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How we came to be

The Associates - History

The Northwest Federal Employees Association (NFEA or “Associates”) is a nonprofit organization established under IRS paragraph 501(c)(4) to maintain the general welfare and provide specified benefits to Federal employees whose Agency is headquartered in the Lloyd Center area of Portland,Oregon. Employees whose Agency was once headquartered in this geographic area may still be members through “grandfathering.”  Our members include employees from the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, and Interior.  The Associates currently includes employees from the following agencies:

        DOE Bonneville Power Administration

        DOI Bureau of Indian Affairs

        DOI Bureau of Land Management

        DOI Regional Solicitor's Office

        DOI Fish and Wildlife Service

        DOI US Geological Survey

        DOC National Marine Fisheries Service

        Pacific NW Federal Credit Union

The Federal government does not permit the “kitty” or the passing of the hat. To respond to social and welfare concerns, the Associates were formed by employees of the Bonneville Power Administration in 1938. As the Associates grew, membership opportunities expanded to include all Federal employees in the Lloyd Center area. The existing organization operates under a Constitution and Bylaws. These documents are periodically revised to reflect the changing needs and perspectives of the organization.  The Constitution was amended in 2002 to allow all Federal Employees in the Portland/Vancouver area, as well as contracted employees to become members.

The Associates sponsors social and community-outreach projects, such as a January installation event to introduce the new officers, a summer picnic, and a children’s December holiday party. A successful program of past decades was float building for the Portland Rose Festival Parade for which the Associates received several first-place trophies.

The Associates became very involved in providing blood to the American Red Cross during World War II. We have continued to be a community leader in this area and have received recognition from the Red Cross over the years. The Associates has been one of the larger corporate suppliers of blood products in the Portland area.

There were no concession or purchasing programs in the 1930s. Eventually our members’ interests in discounted prices on services and products spurred the creation of a purchasing program. We compiled a directory of retail and wholesale outlets that offered cost savings to our members. We also had a concession program coordinated by member volunteers.

Other current program provide access to automotive parts, candies and nuts, and flowers. We add new concessions as opportunities arise. Today we provide for Pagers, Cell Phones, COSTCO Membership, and florist services.

Some highlights of our other programs are: 

* Amusement Park Discounts (Great Wold Lodge, Silverwood, Entertainment Book)
* Event Discounts for Rose quarter events, Broadway events, Oregon Ballet, Memorial Coliseum.     
* Outreach in the form of Blood Drives, canned food drives, Foster Children's Holiday Gifts Programs, and many other functions.
* Member only benefits such as Caring & Sharing (remembrances for the ill and bereaved; celebrations of births and adoptions), medical equipment loaners, and a Notary Public 
* Special events are held each year such as the Children's Holiday Roller Skating Party and the Summer Picnic. Both are held at Oaks Park and are sponsored by the Associates for its members. 
* Retail participation at organized Holiday Bazaars. 
* Sports Programs
* Reduced-price sales of products and services, such as Book Fairs, See's Candy, and Entertainment Books. 
* College Scholarship Program (children of members may apply). 
* WATTS News and its archives (newsletter for members).  
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