By: Angelina Klouthis

Portland Professional Connections was launched in 2019 with a goal of matching Portland’s internationally trained and educated professionals with Portland-based professionals with strong ties to key industries. The program is a joint initiative of the city of Portland’s Office of Economic Opportunity and the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce. Since its launch, the program has served approximately 100 people, with a 42% job placement rate. This month we sat down with Eamonn Dunden from the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce to talk about the program.

How does Portland Professional Connections work?

The program matches foreign-trained professionals with local, established business people and community leaders, whom we call “Connectors.” It’s an informal networking program – as simple as having a cup of coffee and a chat. Connectors share contacts from their networks and make introductions. Connectors have at least five years’ experience in their fields in Portland, and provide valuable information, advice, and connections.

Why does a network matter?

Networking helps professionals develop and improve skill sets and stay on top of the latest trends in an industry. Networking provides access to job opportunities. A strong professional network can have a huge impact on career success. We know that 85% of all jobs are obtained through a professional network. Beyond sharing job opportunities, what makes a big difference is when a Connector can set up a warm introduction to those in recruiting positions. This elevates a candidate from a name and a faceless resume to a person who is supported by a trusted professional in the community.

How do I sign up?

Signing up is simple. Just visit If you are a foreign-trained professional, click to join as a Connectee. And if you are looking to help others build their networks, click on Connector.