• MHCC Story

  • What is Mt. Hood Community College?

    It is an institution that is touching lives in many ways.

    It is an economic engine that brings hundreds of millions of dollars into our community.

    It is a vital part of our community that has been providing great educational services to area residents for nearly 50 years.

    In 1966 when the college was first built, enrollment was 989 students. This past year we served nearly 30,000 students. This college has seen over a million students come through its campus in the past five decades.

    Talk about touching lives.

    So why do students come to MHCC? They are looking for a job, a new career. They want to better their lives and that is exactly what MHCC strives to do, is provide them that opportunity.

    At the same time the college is creating a vital workforce for companies and small businesses in and outside of our district. Every year MHCC is producing nurses, welders, machinists, dental hygienists, funeral service technicians, childcare workers, future engineers and along with many other occupations, cyber security specialists.

    So, who do you think area business owners look to for their workforce?

    That’s why we are in close contact with local business owners and industry leaders to make sure we are producing the workers they need. Our partners include Boeing, Leatherman Tools, the Yoshida Group, Microchip, McKinstry Oregon, Kaiser, Mt. Hood Medial Center as well as dozens of small-to-medium sized businesses in our area.

    Another great example in partnering with local business, is that we work with all of our area car dealers. They sponsor our automotive technology students by providing them part-time jobs while the student works toward their degree. These are real jobs.

    We also work closely with our local high schools, providing early college opportunities by providing these students college level classes. We want them not only to finish high school, but to go on to college and begin a career.

    Mt. Hood Community College is also the leader in East County’s STEAM initiative. This is an effort to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. The college is working with high schools, Multnomah County and community organizations to keep up with the growing demand for employees in the fields involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These areas represent some of the fastest growing fields across the country and around the world.

    As I mentioned earlier the college plays a vital role in our economy.  It is one of this area’s largest employers.  Close to 14-hundred of your neighbors, friends, maybe even relatives work at the college. These are people who patronize our local businesses, eat at local restaurants, and as a result contribute to the vitality of our community.

    On top of employing local residents the college also contracts with a variety of area businesses to perform work that needs to be done to operate the institution. Whether it’s heating and cooling, electrical work, paving, banking, sanitary service or other needs, the college does do business locally returning millions back into the economy.

    So imagine this area without the college?

     Just think a bit.

    The college was built in 1966 on what was formally strawberry fields.

    Our founders include, Betty Schedeen, Richard Deich, Sed Stewart, Charles Becker, George Casterline, and the list goes on and on. Our founders knew that building this college would be a beginning to a better future for East County.  Not only did they want a college to provide higher education classes to this community, but they wanted an investment into the future.

    The college’s first president, Dr. Earl Klapstein said, “This campus was not built as the finishing touch of a dream, but rather it was built as a beginning.”

    And now, almost 50 years later, this dream is alive. It is working. It is providing opportunities, it is building new leaders, it is building a workforce, it is contributing to a better East County.

    It is touching lives.

    So where would we be without this college?

    Well thank goodness we don’t have to worry about that.  MHCC is here not only because of our founding fathers and mothers, but because of you, our community.

    We thank you for your support of Mt. Hood Community College, the Jewel of East County.