- About NSC
- Skills Mismatch
Kelly Kupcak is the Executive Director of Oregon Tradeswomen, a nonprofit founded in 1989, which is dedicated to promoting success for women in the trades through education, leadership, and mentoring. Through her fundamental belief that economic equity and gender inclusion are critical to building strong women, strong families, and strong communities, she has almost two
decades of experience as an advocate and ally for tradeswomen. Her work leads her to engage with Portland’s nonprofit community and Oregon Tradeswomen’s industry partners deeply and authentically in the construction sector. She brings her skills in strategic visioning, collaborative leadership, and outcomes-driven mission work to collaborate with a truly dynamic and passionate team, committed Board of Directors and a group of tremendously dedicated volunteers.
Prior to her tenure at Oregon Tradeswomen, she served as the Director of Technical Assistance for the National Center for Women’s Equity in Apprenticeship and Employment at Chicago Women in Trades. There, Kelly managed a highly competitive, multi-year U.S. Department of Labor regional grant-funded initiative and a U.S. Department of Labor contract, national in scope, to improve outcomes for women in nontraditional sectors through technical assistance to industry partners including employers, registered apprenticeship, workforce system, career technical system, and government entities. Kelly discovered her love for this work and supporting tradeswomen to have access, opportunity, and equity in nontraditional industries in her role as Director of Public Policy and Advocacy while at Hard Hatted Women in Cleveland, Ohio.
Kelly proudly serves on several industry boards, coalitions, and advisory committees, including the National Taskforce on Tradeswomen Issues, the Executive Committee of the Metropolitan Alliance for Workforce Equity, the City of Portland Fair Contracting Forum, the Labor Education Research Center (LERC) at Oregon State University, and the Oregon Healthy Worker Center at OHSU. She has also served as a board member for SafeBuild Alliance, Jobs with Justice, Emerald Cities and Women Work. She was a 2011 Progressive Leadership Fellow, 2009 National Women’s Law Center PLAN Fellow, 2008 Aspen Institute Construction Sector Community of Practice Fellow, and 2007 Case Western Reserve University Mandel Center for Neighborhood Leadership Development graduate. She pursued a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Cleveland State University and as a tradeswoman was a proud member of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 18.