Driver Training Creates Pathways for Women and People of Color

June 23rd, 2021

To support an equitable economic recovery and access to middle income careers, Worksystems has been working with the Portland Hauler Association (PHA), companies that collect recycling and garbage for the City of Portland, SE Works, and Interstate Trucking Academy to launch a first-of-its-kind training to help women and people of color access good-paying jobs in recycling/waste management and start careers as drivers serving city neighborhoods and businesses.

The new 12 week training program places women and people of color in middle-wage jobs with benefits. Participants in the inaugural cohort included 82% Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), 29% female, and 6% non-binary.

Program Featured on KGW, Portland Tribune, and Portland Business Journal!

The hands-on driver training program includes:

  • CDL Training                          
  • Container Moving
  • Customer Service Skills
  • Safety Training
  • Hauler Specific Inspections
  • Route Sheet Reading
  • Truck Cleaning
  • Using Hydraulic Hand Controls

A Community-Centered Training Program

Worksystems worked with PHA and Interstate Trucking Academy on driver curriculum, and Worksystems is leading recruitment through its WorkSource Portland Metro Centers and a network of more than 20 community-based organizations with strong connections and a history of workforce development with women and people of color. Worksystems is providing funding for this program and PHA companies contributed funding and donated automated garbage trucks to use for training.

“Our communities should see themselves in their government and the contractors we employ,” said Commissioner Carmen Rubio, who oversees the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. “This is especially true for highly-visible services like garbage and recycling. I applaud PHA’s commitment to accessibility and inclusion for the benefits it will provide both the future employees and Portland’s diverse communities.”

For Portland Haulers Association members, the program provides access to work-ready, committed candidates who have their CDLs and a basic understanding of the industry.

For Participants, the program provides CDL orientation and certification, industry-specific training and throughout the 12-week course, introductions to the 10 local recycling and garbage PHA companies that are hiring drivers to serve Portland. A hiring event follows successful completion of the training program. For those who qualify the training program and childcare is provided at no-cost.

Great Opportunity for Great Jobs!

Our first class of trainees are excited to graduate at the end of June and have immediate access to middle-wage jobs within the 10 Portland Hauler Association member companies and other opportunities in the Portland area.

About the Partners

Worksystems

Worksystems is an award winning workforce development agency that accelerates economic growth in the City of Portland, Multnomah and Washington counties by pursuing and investing resources to improve the quality of the workforce.  We design and coordinate workforce development programs and services delivered through a network of local partners to help people get the skills, training and education they need to go to work or to advance in their careers.  Our partners include employers, labor groups, government, community colleges, high schools, community-based and economic development organizations. 

Portland Hauler Association

Since 1992, the City of Portland has franchised recycling and waste services to make the service more efficient and affordable. Portland Hauler Association members include family, and women-owned small businesses such as:

  • Arrow Sanitary Service
  • City Sanitary Services
  • Elmer’s Sanitary Service
  • Heiberg Garbage & Recycling
  • Portland Disposal & Recycling 
  • Republic Services
  • Sunset Garbage Collection 
  • Wacker Sanitary Service
  • Walker Garbage Services 
  • Waste Management                                    

Interstate Trucking Academy

Interstate Trucking Academy is Oregon’s only African American owned and operated truck driving academy and is a mission-oriented company founded by newly elected PPS Board Member Gary Hollands to increase access for people of color and women to truck driving careers.

Funding Information

This program is financed with funds provided through Worksystems from the U.S. Department of Labor, PHA, and sponsoring organizations. This is an equal opportunity program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. To place a free relay call in Oregon dial 711.