Applications due for Gorge Works Internships Jan. 31

Applications are now being accepted online for Gorge Works paid work experience opportunities at for the summer 2018 program.

The application period continues until Jan. 31.

“If you are thinking about your career options, you will definitely want to check out what’s on offer,” said Kathy Ursprung.

Ursprung and Bayoán Ware are spearheading the program through the Port of The Dalles, with help from a number of local economic, employment and education organizations, including Columbia Gorge Community College.

“We currently have a dozen opportunities available in a variety of fields. Many fall into a category we call entry level technician, but we also have some more front office-oriented options,” Ursprung said.

Gorge Works applicants don’t have to be currently involved in an education program. High school or college coursework, hobbies, work experience, volunteer activities and other means can provide the basis of experience or interest needed for some of the positions. In most cases, but not all, participants must be at least 18 years old to qualify.

“Graduating high school seniors, community college students or working people looking for a career upgrade can find some great opportunities through Gorge Works,” Ware said. “Our primary focus is to introduce local people to skilled careers, and to employers who pay a living wage and offer benefits.”

Gorge Works will also coordinate weekly professional development workshops that may include topics such as workplace expectations, business communication, project management, leadership, finance, community involvement and other topics.

“Being a strong job candidate involves more than just the skills of the job,” Ware said. “These workshops can help people become more well-rounded and employable. They are also a great way to learn about the businesses of the Gorge and build connections with other participants.”

Many Gorge employers have stepped up to support Gorge Works, either as steering committee members or host sites. The program follows the template established by the McMinnville Works program, which has been in operation for six years. While their program is community-based, Gorge Works spans the Columbia Gorge region because of the interconnected nature of our economy.

“Gorge Works was started because we were told that our area employers are struggling to find skilled and qualified workers, so we developed the program to build our own workforce,” Ursprung said. “At the same time, we are hearing from students who are struggling to connect with hiring managers and would like a chance to prove themselves. Our motto is, ‘Careers Built Here.’”

Find more information about Gorge Works online at or contact the coordinators at the Port of The Dalles, 541-298-4148 or

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