Who We Are

History of LCSA-Portland

Since 1946, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and United Way have shared objectives for the greater good of our communities and worked together to achieve them. In local affirmation of these principles, Labor's Community Service Agency in Portland, Oregon was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit community partnership program of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette on July 5, 1974.  Then-Executive Director, E.R. “Del” Ricks, had this to say about the newly formed Agency:

“Our programs are designed to make our membership community-minded and also directly benefit the community. By involving officers and members of organized labor in the problems of society and the community, we utilize a vast resource of knowledge, experience, and expertise with a willingness to work toward a beneficial solution.”

LCSA-Portland's first Executive Director Del Ricks (pictured center) and his staff. ca. 1980

Over the years, United Way funding and support has allowed the Agency to apply those time-honored objectives to the many health and human service programs provided:  Union Counselor courses (now Resource Navigator training), food drives, blood drives, ex-offender job placement, the Project Bridge foster home program, Seafarers apprenticeship testing, community family dinner nights, emergency assistance (now Helping Hands), holiday meals, Labor in the Pulpits, the Presents from Partners toy drive and distribution program and so much more.

Ten years after the Agency's inception, the overall mission was enhanced by the award of dislocated worker pilot program funds to provide outreach and pre-layoff services, in partnership with local community colleges, the Oregon unemployment administration, and State and local agencies, to Union represented companies and their workers facing job loss. Since that time, Labor's Community has contracted for state and federal workforce funds to provide Labor Liaisons, Peer Advocates, and pre-layoff "Rapid Response and Early Intervention Services" for tens of thousands of workers throughout the Portland Metro region. Funding for these services is currently through a contract with Worksystems, Inc., our regional workforce development coordinator.

1995 Union Counselor Course Banquet

Beneath these many years of service to the community, a strong current of Local Labor support faithfully lifts and carries the Agency through every program and service offered. Local Unions, Union leaders, staff and members alike generously invest their time and donations into Labor's own charitable community service agency. The old United Way labor campaign slogan, "Labor Cares - Labor Shares" is as relevant today as it has been for over forty years, and we are proud to carry that tradition into the future. 


Why Labor and The United Way?


United Way of the Columbia-Willamette has supported labor since 1974 by investing in your local labor agency. Annual operating funds allocated from the overall United Way campaign allow Labor’s Community Service Agency to build additional financial support for programs that provide temporary hardship assistance, holiday cheer for out-of-work families, community education, dislocated worker services, and so much more.

With United Way Campaign investment choices, you can direct your donation to any 501(c)3 non-profit agency,  including Labor’s Community Service Agency. Best of all, “Cornerstone Partners” fund United Way overhead to guarantee that 100% of your donation will be delivered where you direct it

This year, show your appreciation for the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette.  Support labor by supporting United Way.

For more information on how to participate in the United Way Labor Campaign, call Labor’s Community Service Agency, 503-231-4962 or visit United Way of the Columbia-Willamette online at https://www.unitedway-pdx.org/


Team Labor Trail Maintenence 3 (2).jpg

Eryn Byram - Executive Director



Becky Wright - Program Assistant


Jackie photo.png

Jackie Whitt - Program Assistant



Contact Information

Contact us by phone at (503) 231-4962 or by email at director@lcsaportland.org