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A Portland State University athletic and outdoor program aimed at non-degree students will be offered starting in January.
The non-credit certificate program, teaching the basics of one of Oregon's largest industries, follows the introduction this year of a certificate program offered through the School of Business Administration.
Beginning in January, the business school's Center for Executive and Professional Education (CEPE) is offering the 75-hour non-credit Athletic and Outdoor Product Management certificate program for people who want to break into or advance their career in the athletic and outdoor industry, center director Kristen Pedersen said.
Industry professionals teach classes spanning merchandizing, materials sourcing, competitive dynamics, and salesperson interaction. Business partners include Nike, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, The Clymb, Leatherman, Keen, Gerber Legendary Blades, and Korkers Footwear.
Korkers chief executive Sean Beers has assisted PSU in creating the non-credit program.
“I think (the program) will help raise the level of industry knowledge and access for an increasingly smarter, more well-trained workforce within the industry that will benefit small, mid-level and larger companies in the region,” Beers said in a PSU news release.
Lauren Beitelspacher, an assistant professor in marketing at PSU who founded the credit and non-credit programs, said there are more than 800 athletic and outdoor companies in Oregon. A 2010 study prepared for the Portland Development Commission said the Portland metro area has more footwear distribution and manufacturing outlets than any of the top 50 U.S. metropolitan areas. The industry, the study said, employs more than 14,000 people.