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Portland On The Cheap:  Classes & Education

            Updated 09/18/2012

Consulting and Knowledge Exchange (C.A.K.E.)
Submission from Kathleen:

Consulting and Knowledge Exchange (C.A.K.E.) is one part meet-up group, one part information/brainstorming session and two parts fun.  The weekly lecture and workshop began with a very basic goal: present appetizing and digestible information to entrepreneurs about how to launch and grow their small business. The recipe is simple. Eliminate the outdated, generic business advice that small business owners don’t have time for and focus on actions that can produce tangible results.  Preferably in less than an hour. 

Each week C.A.K.E welcomes small business experts to share their wealth of knowledge. The workshops delve into a broad range of topics...C.A.K.E. understands that entrepreneurs need dough for their business so they’ve made their sessions donation based. That makes C.A.K.E the most affordable business workshop in town as standard fees run from a few hundred dollars up. Can’t make it? Don’t stress. For those unable to attend the series, the C.A.K.E. website offers free access to lecture/workshop summaries, web casts and the worksheets from the events at www.cakepdx.com. The sessions are also available for free on iTunes.

C.A.K.E. meets every Wednesday night from 6:00 PM -8 PM at East Bank Saloon, 727 Southeast Grand Avenue and is by donation. And yes, as the name might imply, cake is served at each meeting party. Owning a business can be incredibly challenging but if done correctly, it can also be pretty sweet. 
Clackamas Community College Community Education
Classes are offered at many locations around Clackamas County, including Canby, Estacada, Gladstone, Oregon City and West Linn.    Classes include arts and crafts, fitness, writing, dance, animal care, financial planning, computers, cooking, language and more.  Please see web site to download their latest offerings for credit and non-credit offerings.
Community and City Offerings
Check with your city or community recreation department for educational opportunities and class offerings.  Here are some to try:

City of Hillsboro:  classes in arts, fitness and language
City of Portland Parks & Recreation:  Click on the Recreation tab, then on 'Class Search' and then 'Activities'
Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District:  Click on 'Class Programs'
County Libraries
Book clubs, computer classes, homework help, story readings, movie showings, crafts, current event discussions, knitting groups, language exchange, special events and performances and much much much more.  Take a look at your local library!

Clackamas:  Click on your neighborhood library for classes
Fort Vancouver Regional Library District:  Click on "Classes"
Multnomah: see calendar or use the 'Event Finder'
Washington:  Click on "Classes and Workshops"
Craigslist The web site has a section just for classes and you'll find everything from yoga and martial arts to piano and language.  Some classes are offered by businesses, others by individuals. 
Free Geek
From web site:  "Free Geek offers a range of educational opportunities including hands-on experiences in our Build and Adoption Programs as well as a wide variety of desk-based learning in our classroom. All classes are free to our volunteers and the general public. Please sign up in advance by visiting the volunteer desk at Free Geek or calling us at 503-232-9350."  Please visit web site for latest class offerings and schedule; here's a PDF brochure for the August 2012 classes.
Free School Portland
Their slogan says it all:  "Connecting people from all walks of life to freely share their knowledge and skills."  Take a class, or offer to start up a class.  Subjects range from gardening to singing and from writing to mid-wifery.  Classes are held in various locations; see the web site for latest calendar of classes.  Also check them out on Facebook.  
Health Clinics & Hospitals
Free and low-cost community health education classes and programs are offered by the following medical providers:

Adventist Health
Kaiser Permanente
Legacy Health
Providence Health & Services
Tuality Healthcare
Home Depot
The national chain offers free, in-store clinics on a regular basis. Open to everyone, the clinics simplify complex projects with easy-to-follow instructions.  Some of the clinics include:
- Energy Efficiency in Your Home
- Tiling Floors and Walls
- Closet Organization
- Learn How to Hang Drywall
- and much more

Visit web site and to see what classes are upcoming for your nearby Home Depot.  The chain also offers kid's workshops.  Designed for kids 5-12, these free workshops teach do-it-yourself skills and tool safety, while instilling a sense of accomplishment. Offered on the first Saturday of each month between 9 a.m. and noon at The Home Depot®
Lowe's How-to Clinics
Offers regularly scheduled home-improvement clinics.  The web site is a bit clunky so your best bet is to just call your local store to inquire about what clinics are offered next. 
Mt. Hood Community College Community Education
Community Education activities include everything from art to exercise, communication to computers, investing to furniture building, world languages to drivers education - all offered at convenient times and locations throughout the community.  See web site for latest offerings.
Neil Kelly Design/Build
Offers free monthly remodeling and design seminars at their eastside and westside showrooms.  Topics include design and remodeling of kitchens, bathrooms and basements; green remodeling; closest design; whole house remodeling; and more. 
New Seasons Markets
Offers free or low-cost classes and workshops on a variety of classes on nutrition and health.  Call the Wellness Class Hotline at (503) 280-5177 or visit the web site for a listing of classes by store location.
Portland Community College Community Education
Offers hundreds of non-credit classes held all over the Portland area.  See web site for a listing of classes. Some examples:  ballroom dancing, cooking, photography, language, computers and more.  Class tuition and fees vary depending on materials and subject.  Also check the FREE Lunch and Learn Lecture series, occurring Thursdays at the downtown central library.  See web site for the schedule.
Portland Housing Center We've gone through the classes offered by this organization and highly recommend it.  Start with a free orientation to learn more about the classes and services and then you determine your next step.  See web site for complete details.
Worksource Oregon See web site for location and contact information for your local Worksource office.  After you register in-person, gain access for free use of computers and resources and for employment-related classes and workshops.

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