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Barriers and Resources For Workers 55+ Older In Portland, Oregon.

Updated on June 27, 2015

Percent of All Oregon Jobs in Portland Area


Job Search Guidance in Portland

Recently, I was asked for help locate job search resources for several categories of unemployed or underemployed workers, especially for Senior Citizens who need to keep working into their retirement years.

One of the metropolitan areas I was asked to examine was the Greater Portland, Oregon area.

Numbers of job listings in and around Portland fluctuated after the Great Recession (2008 - 2010), with an upsurge visible beginning in January 2012. Additional marked increased occurred during the first halves of 2013 and 2015.

Many of these increasing positions have been in the professions that require several years of education and training. They are not very useful to job seekers having fewer years of education and fewer credentials.

BY the end of May 2012, 36,000 out of 58,000 jobs listed online anywhere for Oregon were located within a circle of radius 25 miles from city center of Portland. This is 62% of all available jobs in the state. The same holds true for April - May 2015.

If you are among the long term unemployed, underemployed, or older unemployed workers, how do you find and keep a job among those available? Accessing the lists of resources below are a first step toward receiving the help you need.

If you are among the long term unemployed, underemployed, or older unemployed workers, how do you find and keep a job among those available?

Increases In Employment In Portland 2011 - 2012


For 2014, employment increased again to 472,100 workers. This is over 31,400 more workers than were employed in 2012. In June - July 2015, 42,000 job openings were advertised.

Portland Job Market Snapshot

The occupation at the top of the list of highest demand jobs in and around Portland is Registered Nurses (RN), as it is in many locales, followed by Software Engineer. These engineer jobs are listed largely for Intel in Hillsboro*, about 20 miles west of Portland.

*Hillsboro WorkSource Oregon Employment Department

  • 265 SE Oak St; Suite A; Hillsboro OR; 97123
  • Clackamas One Stop Center: Phone: 971-673-6400. Hours 8AM - 5PM M-F, on Bus Transit Lines 48 and 57, and MAC Blue Line
  • Portland Metro/Hillsboro: 503-681-0219
  • Portland Metro/Tualatin: 503-612-4200 Ext. 4568

*Intel Corporation Employment

  • 5200 Northeast Elam; Young Parkway; Hillsboro OR; Phone: (503) 696-2580
  • QUOTE: Located 30 minutes from downtown Portland, Intel Oregon is the largest and most complex site in the world, a global center of semiconductor research and manufacturing, and the largest private employer in the state.--

Hillsboro Is 20 Miles from Portland, with Public Transit

Portland OR:
Portland, OR, USA

get directions

Hillsboro OR:
Hillsboro, OR, USA

get directions

Mount Hood
Mount Hood | Source

Employment Barriers: Transportation

Transportation can be a barrier to employment for anyone, but more particularly to the long term unemployed that have either lost their cars to repossession or expensive disrepair. Some individuals may complain about taking public transportation, but in Portland, the options are very good and expanding throughout 2012.

The major city bus service is operated by TriMet, with the Metropolitan Area Express light rail system connecting with Portland suburbs. The Westside Express Service light rail runs out to the western suburbs, Beaverton and Wilsonville. Additional plans for the 2010s call for further light rail development and new lines, one crossing the Willamette River.

If job seekers need transportation assistance in the form of bus passes or express rail tickets, information about receiving these is available from the County and City Workforce Investment Act agencies, as discussed below. However, rides inside the Free Rail Zone in Downtown Portland cost nothing on the MAX and the Streetcar. On Sundays, rides on a vintage trolley car are also free of charge.

Although Portland supports one large Transit Mall in the Free Rail Zone downtown between 5th and 6th Avenues for buses and light rail, a second transit mall should appear shortly after 2012 or 2013. A second streetcar line is planned to begin operation in 2012 as well.

A Portland Streetcar runs from the North Waterfront District to Portland State University and on to shopping districts north of the University. At the other end of the waterfront, a Portland Aerial Tram carries passengers in the air from the South Waterfront District to the Oregon Health & Science University Main Campus.

The C-Tran bus system runs seven express bus lines between Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon.

  • Salvation Army call 503-239-1226
  • Citybikes Worker Coop call 503-239-6951
  • St. Vincent de Paul call 503-233-5589 in Northeast Portland and 503-235-8431 in Southeast Portland

Portland Train Station
Portland Train Station | Source

Streetcar (A to B) and Aerial Tram (C to D)

North Portland Waterfront, Portland Oregon:
Waterfront Park, NW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97299, USA

get directions

Portland State University:
Portland State University, 1719 SW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97201, USA

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South Portland Waterfront, Portland Oregon:
South Waterfront Dental LLC, 3671 SW River Pkwy, Portland, OR 97239, USA

get directions

Oregon Health & Science University:
Oregon Health & Science University, 611 SW Campus Dr, Portland, OR 97239, USA

get directions

Employment Barriers: Shelter

The following is a list of some shelters in Portland for those that have lost their homes. Many are in the Free Rail Zone and the Transit Mall that is between 5th and 6th Avenues..


  • Ecumenical Ministries Shared Housing; 909 SW 11th Ave; Portland OR; 97205; Phone: 503-225-9924;; Bus Transit: 8, 33. This program matches people with homes that can offer shelter to people without homes for decreased rents and/or help with chores.

Daytime Access for the Homeless

  • Daywatch at Julia West House; 522 SW 13th Ave.; Portland OR; 97205
  • Hours: 6:30 AM to 1:00 PM, Monday - Saturday.
  • Showers Available from 7:30 AM - 1:00 PM -- required early sign-up.
  • Bus Transit: Fareless/Free Rail Zone Max Blue, Green, Yellow.

Families and Children, non-violence related

  • Family Bridge; 183 SE 6th Ave.; Hillsboro OR; Phone: 503-844-2919 Transit: 57, 48, Max blue line.
  • Goose Hollow Family Shelter; 1838 SW Jefferson; Portland OR; 97201; Phone: 503-915-8306 Transit: Max Blue, Red, 6
  • My Father's House; Phone: 503-492-3046

For Men

  • Portland Rescue Mission; 111 W. Burnside St.; Portland OR; 97209; Phone: 503-906-7690 Fareless Max All, 4, 12, 19, 20

For Women Only

  • Salvation Army Female Emergency Shelter; 11 NW 5th. Ave.; Portland OR; 97209; Phone: 503 227-8681. Transit: Fareless Square/Free Rail Zone. Transit Mall is between 5th and 6th Venues.

For Veterans

  • VETS; 30 SW 2nd Ave.; Portland OR; 97204; Phone 503-239-1259; Bus Transit: Fareless Max All.

Domestic Violence Shelters

  • Bradley-Angle House - 503-281-2442
  • Clackamas Women's Services - women and children; 503-654-2288 or 888-654-2288
  • Raphael House of Portland - 503-222-6222;
  • West Women's & Children's Shelter; 503-224-7718;
  • Yolanda House; Phone: 503-535-3266; Crisis Hot Line: 503-535-3269

Nicknamed Rose City

Roses from the International Test Garden in Portland, Oregon.
Roses from the International Test Garden in Portland, Oregon. | Source

WIA Workforce Agencies and Others in Portland

WIA, Workforce, and Related Offices

  • WorkSource Portland Metro Central; 30 N Webster Street; Suite E; Portland OR 97217; Phone: 503-280-6046.
  • Metro One Stop 5600 NE 42nd Ave; Portland OR; Phone: 503-943-2277

WorkSource Portland Metro Central

Worksource in Central Portlant:
30 N Webster St, Portland, OR 97217, USA

get directions

If you find that you need additional help after contacting WIA and WorkSource Offices, access any of the resources listed below.

  • Goodwill Job Connection; 1943 SE 6th Ave.; Portland, OR; Phone: 503-238-6165

Portland Convention Center


A Writer's Group In Portland

  • Write Around Portland; 917 SW Oak St.; #406; Portland OR; 97205. Phone: 503 796 9224
  • Website:
  • Hours are standard business hours, 9 AM-5 PM, Monday-Friday.
  • Workshops in which the community is invited to write and share.
  • Community readings.
  • Published anthologies.

New Job Surge in January 2015


Highest Demand Jobs

  1. Registered Nurses (RNs) - includes Travel Nurses
  2. Software Engineers
  3. Warehouse Workers and Supervisors
  4. Shift Supervisors and Baristas
  5. Physical Therapists
  6. Occupational Therapists
  7. Customer Service Representative
  8. Sales Representatives
  9. Pharmacists
  10. Administrative Assistants
  11. Project Managers
  12. Java Developers
  13. Physicians
  14. Engineers: Mechanical, Systems, Validation, Hardware, Test, Quality, Other
  15. Jobs with Standard Insurance of New York
  16. Physician Assistants
  17. Accountants
  18. Certified Nursing Aides (CNAs)


  • Internships in over 400 openings
  • Merchandising
  • Salespeople
  • Park Ranger Assistants - State of Oregon
  • Housekeepers
  • Lawn Service and Pest Control Jobs
  • Shuttle Drivers
  • Window Cleaners
  • Hardware Store and Garden Center Jobs

© 2012 Patty Inglish MS


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