Jobs in Portland area?
Hello everyone, long time reader here, first time poster. I'm going to be graduating from college in May, and am moving to Portland (a major reason of which is the riding) with two friends. We're all in the process of looking for jobs, and were wondering if anyone had any contacts within companies that are hiring. Degrees and interests are detailed below. Just so you know, we're not looking for someone to GIVE us a job, just a phone number or an email, just a piece of contact info to supplement the usual job hunt process. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated. Any general information on the Portland area would also be helpful (what to do, where to live, what to avoid, etc.). Here's the promised breakdown of the three people:
Nathan: Graduating from Rochester Insitute of Technology in May 2006, with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Would like an entry level engineering position in manufacturing or quality engineering. Also willing to consider other, non-traditional engineering positions in companies that need someone with strong analytical skills and problem solving background.
Dave: have a BS in Economics and a very strong technical background in computers. I'm looking for a entry level job in public policy analysis and formation, or a job that would act as stepping stone to a position in that field. I am also open to a professional level job in the bike industry, having two years of shop experience as a mechanic and being an expert level racer.
Jackie: I have a B.F.A. in Film-Animation from RIT with an emphasis in 3D Computer Animation. I'm looking for an apprenticeship/internship/entry-level position at a studio or company that would expose me to the different areas of production so I can decide on which area I would most enjoy and would like to focus my career on. Any contacts at production and post-production companies, studios, television stations, or advertising firms would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance. Please send any information to email@example.com
Tell nathan to check out Chris King. They're here in Portland and are supposed to be a great company to work for. Just a suggestion.
Portland has a thriving restaurant scene. Turnover for waiting tables can be tight, especially for the higher-end and well-tipping houses. But there are usually opportunities to get a foot in the door. The good news is that Oregon has a very high minimum wage and no tip credit, so a savvy server can make $20+ an hour!
The Portland area is chock full of bike industy related manufacturers. Some of these options are in or around Portland (within 1/2 hour). Keep in mind some of these businesses only have a handfull of employees, so the likelyhood of a job opening is slim. It never hurts to ask.
Ellsworth (manufacturing only in Vancouver, WA)
Several very small companies:
"You don't have to be fast to look fast."
The Dude Abides
Gunderson, Inc. is a subsidiary of the Green Briar Companies. They design and manufacture rail cars for the freight industry. I would go to their website www.gbrx.com. They are often hiring entry level ME's
Nathan: Lots of opportunities for mechanical engineers here. Besides high-tech manufacturing, heavy manufacturing, especially for the transportation sector, is one of our biggest industries. Companies to look at would include Gunderson Railcars, Zidell Marine (barges) and Freightliner. There's a fair amount of metals manufacturing and processing here -- Esco Steel, Oregon Steel, Schnitzer Steel and I think there are still some aluminum companies around too and I'm pretty sure there's large-ish company that makes lots of metal tubing, piping, extruded products, etc. I'll post the name if I can remember it.
Dave: If he's going to public policy that probably means government agencies. Most opportunities at the state level are unfortunately in Salem, a sucky 45-mile commute if you wanted to live in Portland. Major government entities are Metro (handles regional planning, water and garbage), Tri-Met (public transit), Multnomah County (includes Portland and some eastern suburbs), Clackamas County (south/east suburbs), Washington County (western suburbs), Clark County Washington (Vancouver and nearby suburbs), and the cities of Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Clackamas and Gresham. All probably employ at least a few people with Dave's range of skills.
Jackie: In the animation world, the big kahuna in town is Laika Entertainment, formerly Will Vinton Studios, Wieden + Kennedy is the big ad agency in town, known for a fairly edgy approach, famours for big-name clients like Coke, Nike, Subway, etc.
I'm not sure where you are moving from but Portland is not the land of opportunity. It is pretty but it rains and dreery most of the year. Plus, PDX has income tax with absolute monkeys running the city. I don't get the attraction.
If I were just getting out of school, I would head to Vegas. Riding may not be as good but the weather allows you to ride year round.
I hope you enjoy Portland. Many people love it.
Coming from Rochester, NY, so the weather can't be much worse than it is here now. Big part of the attraction is the ability to get around by bike, the moderate temps, and Alpenrose velodrome. Maybe we'll change our minds, but for right now, it seems like a good move.
Pardon my 1st smart-ass post.
I don't know much about the jobs in the industries of which you are inquiring. However, I have lived in the Willamette Valley all my life and the weather is a small price to pay for the rewards. The rewards are incredibly mild, pleasant and gorgeous summers. Period.
It really doesn't rain a whole lot compared to other regions that get deluged less frequently. Porland's rain is more of a visible and constant 100% humidity without the high temps. It's tolerable. I commute by bike year round and the number of days I have to put the extreme wet weather gear on are few. I get wet, it's a part of life here. Sure it can get to you if you let it. But my philosophy is to accept and embrace it, otherwise it will drive you nuts.
I can't give you much advice on the job search. But I can suggest places to live, especially if you want to be bike commuters. Don't live in the suburbs (Gresham, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tualitan, Lake Oswego). Unless that is where you find work. Close in SE or NE Portland offer good bike lanes/routes and easy access to the bridges connecting downtown and the thriving restaurant/bar scene (if that's your particular cup). I like the quirky culture living "in the city" as opposed to the white bread Suburban Hummer-driving soccer moms for neighbors.
For the real mountain biking, you'll have to drive at least an hour, but the quality and variety of trails are excellent. There are a few exceptions, but unfortunately the goods can be spread out. There isn't a single central community that offers world class riding straight out the door. Hood River is close, but still most of the goods require a bit of fossil fuels.
Are there issues with local econo-politics? Of course there are. And I hope that we will resolve these issues. Is moving somewhere else an option? Always. But this is my home and I will be sticking it out. I personally invite any and all cyclist-minded folks to move here and make it their homes so that the power of the people can more effectively cause change.
Here's a not-so-typical taste:
Talk about hell on Earth! Ouch! I understand now. You might be comfortable in Portland than. It is pretty here. I actually live in Vancouver, Washington across the bridge. We are going to move up the Columbia River Gorge in the next year. A bit drier and much slower.
The job scene is pretty bad here. Tom Potter, PDX major, is an absolute bumbling fool. The education system is terrible due to overspending and the fact families are fleeing PDX to the suburbs.
However, PDX was recently voted the number one place to ride in the whole country due to the bike lanes and rider friendly environment. lots of bikes shops with some really great people to ride with.
Last, if you are liberal minded, you will like PDX. It is a bastian of liberalism...at least parts of it. Lots of underemployed, miserable liberals running around hating everything but their crazy ideologies. Sorry, I had to say that
It is sunny and 55 today after a stretch of cold, rainy days. The weather should improve now as we get closer to summer.
Lets us know if you move out, we would show you around
The Casual Rider
Phoenix arizona is the fastest growing large city in the US, and the economy here is booming.. not to mention great riding almost year around.. if you avoid mid day Summer..
That said, I grew up in the SF bay area, and would live there in a heart beat if it weren't for the slow economy there these days.
I came, I rode, and I crashed!
gave up SS in 1975
I agree with Snake Muesl in the idea that we need more cyclists here in the Portland area. The more the merrier, less hummer driving yippies.
Jobs here are sometimes tough to get (just about anywhere really), at least the ones that have good benefits and pay enough to have a decent lifestyle. But for engineers, not a prob. Your tech experience or lack of, especially if you are an EIT for mech, will land you quickly just about anywhere in Portland, no less the whole state. I'd recommend even a better place for regular riding such as Eugene or Grants Pass. With the level of training you have you could work anywhere in the state cause of the shortage of trained engineers! So shop around and don't jump into Portland unless you want to commit to a position here for really good starting pay. Don't let folks convince you of the weather probs either. The spring weather here is spotty and some years are really wet, but some years are fantastic. Realize the more south you go, the better the weather gets.
For the Film guy, there is a burgeoning industry here but it is really sporatic, and very mixed as to what you'll get for pay. Working freelance, I have found the lack of consistant income a real challenge, but if you are lucky, and get good refs. from people within the industry, it can be done. I have met some very successful people in the industry, though their lifestyle of long hours and long remote site stays to me was a turn off.
I had a economics professor that was a good friend and he found that going back to school and getting a Business degree matched up to the Econ degree (not too hard to do from what he told me) got him the position he wanted, and one that paid well. But you really want to go back to school, right? Straight Econ jobs are very tough to get in this town, but I have seen positions posted working for the State. The IT stuff is almost worthless. There are a lot of IT guys in this town, and only the cream of the crop find good jobs, though you may get lucky...
Taxes, schools, jobs
Don't let Jaybo's comments get you down. He always injects his politics into any thread where someone asks what it's like to live here. His Seasonal Affective Disorder is getting to him again. And to think the conservatives call us liberals whiners!
See my comments about schools in the PDX vs. Sac vs. Phx thread. Our schools are actually quite good for an urban district, and just because Jaybo left the city for the 'burbs (heck, he left the state) doesn't mean everyone else is doing the same. Last year he was complaining (justifiably, I might add) about the county commish, now it's the mayor. How much does either of those offices directly affect our quality of life? Some but not a lot. Oregon as a whole has the 8th lowest tax burden in the country; the added local county tax that Jay is complaining about is expiring after this year anyway, and I guarantee you it will not be reinstated.
The job market was really awful a couple of years ago, and we had the highest unemployment in the country at 8%. It peaked right at a time I found myself out of work, so I'm painfully aware of how bad it was. But now it's back down to 5% and there are plenty of opportunities.
I agree with Snake Muesl, we have our problems but they don't sure hurt my quality of life that much, and I'm committed to sticking it out and working to make things even better here.
If you're coming from the cold half of the country, you'll be amazed how mild the weather is here. You will probably have to get used to less sunshine. Not necessarily more rain, but more rainy days. The summers are spectacular here though, with no rain, moderate humidity, and (most years) no mosquitoes.
I agree with Glowboy on the weather.
I moved up here from NorCal, but I am originally from Arizona. The weather here is a bit cool for me in the winter but I never found that I could not go outside to do something. Not like the upper Midwest or northeast where you have to battle snow. I have commuted by bike in the rain, freezing mornings, and fog. No real problem, just wear appropriate gear.
In regards to the Engineer, you should be able to find a job very easy in Portland. I am also an Engineer but in Water Resources so I do not know of anyone specific that you can contact.
For the film maker, Portland has a thriving art community. I would be willing to bet that you can find something, maybe even something in a support role until you get your footing.
For the person interested in government work, I am sure that you could find something in the public arena. One thing about Portland, they pay their employees well with the best benefits. If nothing else, there are numerous non-profit political based organizations. Also, Portland is home to Mercy Corps, one of the most respected relief agencies these days.
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who's replied so far. We appreciate it, and we'll let you guys (and gals too) know when we do make the trip out that way.
If you come from a place with snow and "real" winters, Portland isn't bad. I grew up in Alaska, went to school in Colorado, my wife is from Michigan. We settled here and the winters aren't nearly as bad as I was led to believe before I got here. I can commute easily year round, and the non-raining months more than make up for the rainy ones. A brief glance at the oregonian's job listing should convince you that mech engineering jobs are aplenty right now.
You don't sound like you have to worry about offspring education anytime soon, so I wouldn't worry about that. And as far as the politics go, I have no idea what the last thing was that a local political figurehead did that affected me in the slightest, save for the county tax. But that was our own dumb fault.
Liberals are absolutely insane and miserable
Give Portland a shot. You can always leave if you find you don't like it.
PS bring your mud gear too....
Last edited by Jaybo; 03-20-2006 at 10:26 PM.
Respect Your Trails
Ah, soon to be RIT grads. How about that. Congrats. I graduated from there in 01. And I'm seriously considering moving to the Portland area this early summer from Philly. (Gresham/Fairview/Sandy area to be exact) What a coincidence. I've been out there a few times biking, visiting friends on vacation. Far from a local, I know, but the way I see it; if you can survive a Rochester winter, and all the days of overcast, bitterly cold, lake effect snow and wind.... Portland should be quite nice. At least thats my theory. Good luck with everything, and you never know, maybe I'll see you out there.
new to PDX
I just moved here from the Bay Area, where everybody there said the weather would be bad, but it's not, I think it's all a scare tactic to keep out the californication.
Anyhow, Jackie should check out the animation studio 'Laika' , www.laika.com. Phil Knight (aka Mr. Nike) has infused it with cash and there seems to be alot of buzz about them, their site says they are actively hiring.
Myself being in a creative line of work, I would have to say I have found Portland a hidden gem. The art/design scene is pretty good considering....
Having only been here for a few months, it has been incredible to see so many people riding around town. I live in NE and the sheer number of cyclist, from hard-core to average joes, just commuting back and forth everyday warms my heart. It seems to have had quite an effect on the gas-powered road users as well. With so many riding around, there is definately a bike awareness to the streets. Everyone actually seems to share the road!?!?!? Ah, reminds me of my college days back in Flagstaff. But like I said, I just moved here from Oakland, so I'm still trying to get all the road-rage out of my system.
Originally Posted by Snake Muesl
veddy veddy nice.