Workforce retraining shapes new career and degree path for Portland hybrid student

After finding herself unemployed as the result of a manufacturing plant closure, OSU Portland hybrid Business Administration student Angela Douglass decided the time was right to return to college and complete her degree. “I was able to go back to school full time under the federal Trade Act, a program for workforce retraining,” she explains.

She started with project management classes through Clackamas Community College (CCC) and discovered an industry, construction, and she says she “took to it naturally.” Her instructors recommended her for an internship with the construction project management firm chosen to provide new construction, renovations and deferred maintenance for three community college campuses through the voter approved Clackamas Community College Bond Program. “I got the position and never left.

Douglass has been with the company for almost five years now, managing several projects. One project in particular that stands out for Douglass was the creation of two workforce programs for the CCC bond project. “I worked with contractors and architects to get students and minorities and local businesses involved in the construction work happening on campus”, she recalls. “The programs have been wildly successful, and it has been so rewarding for me to get to help give other students the same opportunities I had, securing internships that lead to careers.”

As part of her responsibilities she recently presented a progress update to the CCC Board of Education.
In December Douglass successfully earned her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, which is the industry standard certification for Project Managers. According to Douglass, “It takes years of hard work to achieve and is a milestone I am really proud of that will open more doors for me as a Project Manager in the construction industry.”

Douglass believes her OSU Business Administration degree will fit into her future plans in a few ways. She’s considering an MBA after graduation, but is also looking at different types of management degrees such as Construction or Engineering Management.

“I want to work up into management positions, so any business and leadership class will help me get there. I am also currently working on starting my own project management consulting business, with the goal of doing small jobs on the side for several years until I have enough experience to run my own woman-owned project management company.” A long-term goal is to start a nonprofit traditional housing community for the homeless, which is what led her to decide to pursue a degree in business.

“All of the teachers and connections I have met along my journey have empowered me to succeed by believing in me and recognizing talents I never even knew I had,” Douglass said. “I am beyond grateful for every opportunity.”

Douglass grew up on a Christmas tree farm in Beavercreek, Oregon, and currently lives in Oregon City with her two cats, Shylphrena and Aziraphale (“who love me unconditionally and keep my heart open“). When she’s not studying or pursuing professional development opportunities, Douglass enjoys exploring the world around her.

“One of my favorite things to do is to go on mini road trips, whether it’s to my favorite winery, the beach, or around the mountain, finding new places to grab a bite to eat and drink and new roads to explore. I can also be found hiking the wilderness, or curled up with a book or pad of paper writing poetry.”

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