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Workforce Washington News & Legislative Report

The WorkforceTraining and Education Coordinating Board provides weekly updates on news of interest to professionals who care about workforce development in Washington.
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December 29, 2010

GOVERNOR'S COMPETITIVE OJT GRANTS: NEW DEADLINE
The deadline to apply for On-The-Job Training grants from the Governor's 10 Percent Workforce Investment Act Discretionary Fund has been extended to Jan. 6. Some $1.5 million is available to train workers in high-growth areas, including: aerospace, life sciences, health care, green industries and information technology. Learn more at

WAVE APPLICATIONS ARE ENCOURAGED
The current and proposed supplemental and 2011-2013 budgets do not fund any additional new WAVE scholarships. However, state law still directs the Workforce Board to designate and recognize recipients of this award. Even without an accompanying monetary scholarship, WAVE recipients are recognized by colleges, universities and employers as hard working, achievement-oriented leaders.

AMERICAN INDIAN COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE FEB. 1
The Higher Education Coordinating Board is taking applications for the 2011-12 American Indian Endowed Scholarship awards. Awards range from about $500 to $2,000. Priority is given to upper-division and graduate-level students.

December 20, 2010

CONSUMER PROTECTION ALERT: BEWARE OF UNLICENSED SCHOOLS
The Workforce Board advises potential students to make sure a school is licensed before enrolling. In a down economy, students are vulnerable to claims from unlicensed schools promising jobs. The Workforce Board regulates many private career schools and provides a list of these licensed schools. See this Consumer Advisory news release and other information. 

LEGISLATIVE REPORT ON INDUSTRY CLUSTER COORDINATION RELEASED
A progress report on Substitute House Bill 1323 calling for the coordination of workforce and economic development around strategic industry clusters has been transmitted to the Legislature.

STATE COMMERCE CLUSTERS GRANT APPLICATION DUE JANUARY 13
The Department of Commerce is overseeing a competitive grant to fund economic development activities to further regional cluster growth.

BUDGET SUMMARY FOCUSES ON WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT IMPACTS
The Workforce Board has prepared a list of the effects of the Governor's proposed 2011-2013 operating budget on workforce development activities. The summary also includes effects of the recently approved supplemental budget.

December 13, 2010

THREE STAFF POSITIONS OPEN AT WORKFORCE BOARD
The Workforce Board is seeking a research investigator, a policy analyst/legislative liaison, and a temporary secretary.

WASHINGTON AWARD FOR VOCATIONAL EXCELLENCE APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE
The application process for the 2011 Washington Award for Vocational Excellence (WAVE) is now underway. The Workforce Board administers this recognition program for outstanding career and technical education students at high schools and community and technical colleges around the state. See .  

KELSO CHAMBER CEO TALKS TO WHITE HOUSE ABOUT SKILL GAPS
Rick Winsman, a Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council board member and the CEO of the Kelso Chamber of Commerce, was part of a national employer delegation that met with the Domestic Policy Council and Office of Management and Budget in Washington D.C. last month.

December 6, 2010

GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES BEST PRACTICE AWARD WINNERS
Gov. Chris Gregoire announced the winners of the 2010 Workforce and Economic Development Best Practice Awards. Both winners featured projects involving green jobs. Two other nominees were honored as "ones to watch." The Best Practice Award is jointly sponsored by the Workforce Board and the Department of Commerce.

WORKFORCE BOARD SEEKS RESEARCH INVESTIGATOR
The Workforce Board is seeking a research investigator with the technical and analytic skills to complete critical research projects, and the ability to clearly communicate those results.

GIVE US A PIECE OF YOUR MIND
The Workforce Board wants to know what you think of our reports, publications and initiatives. Our annual survey should take only three minutes or so and help us improve our service.  

November 29, 2010

ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF WHY STUDENTS SHOULD VERIFY SCHOOL LICENSE
After receiving several student complaints, the Workforce Board's Private Career School program threatened legal action against CT Communications in Everett for operating as a private vocational school without a license.Learn more about which schools are licensed and the protections that licensing provides students.  Also, CareerBridge.Wa.Gov now provides detailed information on over 5,000 training programs in Washington.

PAPADAKIS AND CARNEVALE SHARE PODIUM AT SEATTLE FORUM

Workforce Board Executive Director Eleni Papadakis and Tony Carnevale of the Georgetown University Center on Education & Workforce will be part of a panel on skill gaps and the importance of post-secondary credentials at the Seattle Jobs Initiative's annual Community-Based Organization--Community College Forum, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., December 1, at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle.

NEW "GREEN ECONOMY" REPORTS AVAILABLE
The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County has released new reports on the green economy of Seattle-King County and the Puget Sound covering the job outlook, supply chains and other information related to green jobs in the Puget Sound area.

November 22, 2010  

PROGRESS NOTED ON HIGH SKILLS HIGH WAGES PLAN
The Workforce Board's annual report on progress made with Washington's strategic plan for workforce development, High Skills, High Wages is available online. 

WORKFORCE BOARD'S BUDGET REVIEW RESULTS IN RECOMMENDATIONS
At last week's meeting, members of the Workforce Board approved a resolution requesting the Governor and Legislature to prioritize certain "programs and activities for continued funding for the current operating budget and for the 2011-2013 operating budget."

NATIONAL WORKFORCE WEBSITE WANTS YOUR SUCCESS STORIES
A new website that showcases how workforce development keeps communities strong, "Workforce Investment Works," is being launched in January by the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB). They want Washington's workforce success stories to be a part of the site, now in its test phase. Submit a story.

AD CAMPAIGN ENCOURAGES HIRING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Washington is among 30 states to feature a national ad campaign promoting the hiring of people with disabilities. The goal of the humorous, edgy campaign is to raise awareness of the need for diversity in the workplace and counter stereotypes about people with disabilities.

November 15, 2010

WORKFORCE BOARD WILL ACT ON "RETOOLING" INITIATIVE AT NOVEMBER MEETING

The Workforce Board meets in Olympia Thursday, Nov. 18 and is expected to take action on work plans developed through the statewide Retooling Washington's Workforce initiative  and will review proposed agency workforce development budget and legislative policy requests.

CROSSCUT OUTLINES UPSKILL BACKFILL WORKER STRATEGY
Crosscut, a Seattle-based online new forum, features an article today by Workforce Board Executive Director Eleni Papadakis that goes into more detail regarding efforts to train current entry-level employees for higher skilled positions as a job-creation strategy.

RESPONSE GUIDE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE EXHAUSTEES AVAILABLE
As federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits begin to phase out at the end of November, phone calls and emails from affected people are expected to rise. The Employment Security Department has created a fact sheet that provides background details and contact information for calls that come your way.

3.2.1: INGRAHAM H.S. TO LAUNCH ROCKETS IN NATIONAL CONTEST

Two teams of Career and Technical Education students from Seattle's Ingraham High School are headed to Huntsville, Ala., in April, to participate in NASA's Student Launch Initiative. Led by teacher Peter Schurke as part of the school's first-ever Aerospace Engineering class, 20 students who designed and constructed rockets capable of traveling one mile above ground level will compete with teams from across the country.

EDC REPORT PROPOSES APPROACH ON TALENT ATTRACTION

A new report from the Washington Economic Development Commission showcases policies of other states and nations and recommends several ways Washington could improve its performance. Authored by GSP Consulting, the report entitled "Innovation Policy: Opportunities for Washington" focuses on four program areas, including ways Washington can attract and retain talent.

November 8, 2010

UPSKILL BACKFILL INITIATIVE HELPS TO CREATE NEW JOB OPENINGS
"By up-skilling reliable employees with more training, the employer creates jobs that can be backfilled by entry-level applicants," says Eleni Papadakis, Workforce Board executive director in her latest blog about a Recovery Act project on Governor Gregoire's website.

WASHINGTON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY STUDENTS TRACKED IN OUTCOME STUDY

A new paper from the Community College Research Center at Columbia University uses data on Washington students who pursued Information Technology (IT) coursework at the state's community colleges, and then entered the labor market. The paper presents findings on employment outcomes of IT students by the type of preparation they completed, and the types of employers who hired them.

FORUMS TO SHARE RESULTS OF MANUFACTURER SURVEY

Impact Washington, formerly Washington Manufacturing Services, will be holding forums to share results of a statewide manufacturing CEO survey. The forums start in Yakima on November 17 and finish in Richland February 11.

October 28, 2010

RETOOLING WASHINGTON INITIATIVE NARROWS FOCUS
The Workforce Board's Retooling Washington initiative has divided into three workgroups addressing the top issues that arose from three stakeholder meetings, an online survey and an employer focus group. The workgroups will be presenting to the Workforce Board at its next meeting, November 18.

NATIONAL ENERGY GROUP TARGETS WASHINGTON FOR PILOT

Washington will be one of eight states that will be working with 5,000 low-income, young adults to prepare them for careers in the energy industry, under a recent grant award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Center for Energy Workforce Development received the $1.37 million grant and has issued a news announcement.

$11 MILLION GRANT BOOSTS KING COUNTY HEALTH CARE TRAINING
The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County will receive more than $2.2 million a year for five years to provide job training through the Health Careers for All program. The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. At least 970 economically disadvantaged people will receive training to enter jobs in the fast-growing health care field.

October 21, 2010

STATE BOARD COLLECTING INPUT ON PROPOSED GRADUATION REQUIREMENT CHANGES
The State Board of Education will consider final adoption of its proposed new high school graduation requirements at its November 9-10 meeting. (The Workforce Board will also look at this issue at its November 18 meeting.) The proposed graduation requirements result from three years of work by the State Board of Education and many other stakeholders. Review a presentation, documents and participate in a survey.

COMPREHENSIVE DROPOUT PROGRAM RECOMMENDATIONS AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW
The Building Bridges Work Group has submitted funding recommendations to the Quality Education Council to address the dropout issue. These initial recommendations are the first set of recommendations called for in legislation passed earlier this year directed at developing a means for funding and implementing a comprehensive K-12 Dropout Prevention, Intervention, and Retrieval system.

SYMPOSIUM TO FOCUS ON WASHINGTON'S ECONOMY
The Labor Market and Economic Analysis branch of the Washington State Employment Security Department will hold its 16th Annual Economic Symposium, Friday, October 29 at The Evergreen State College in Olympia.

October 7, 2010

NEW WIA ANNUAL REPORT RELEASED
Washington has submitted its annual report on the state's activities with the federal Workforce Investment Act Title I-B funds. The report covers the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010 and includes state activity highlights, reports from workforce development councils, Recovery Act investments and more. See NEW report

WORKFORCE BOARD EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NAMED TO NATIONAL COMMITTEE

Workforce Board Executive Director Eleni Papadakis and Israel Mendoza, Adult Basic Education Director at the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, will serve on a national advisory committee for the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success. The center will explore ways to increase the number of low-income adults and disadvantaged youth who earn postsecondary credentials.

WASHINGTON LOTTERY TO HELP FUND WAVE SCHOLARSHIP, OTHER PROGRAMS
A new state law directs more of the lottery proceeds into a new Washington Opportunity Pathways Account created to fund state education programs and priorities including WAVE scholarships, State Need Grants, State Work Study awards, and the Washington Scholars program.

GEAR UP REGIONAL CONFERENCE SLATED FOR OCT 24-26 IN VANCOUVER
Registration is open for the regional Gear Up West conference in Vancouver. Administered by the Higher Education Coordinating Board, Gear Up contracts with school districts to help disadvantaged middle school and high school students prepare for college and gain access to financial aid.

September 22, 2010

TRAINING RESULTS, EMPLOYER SURVEY ON WORKFORCE BOARD AGENDA
The September 23 meeting of the Workforce Board will feature presentations on the agency's evaluations of training programs and this summer's 2010 Employer Survey. There will also be an update and discussion on the Retooling Washington initiative.

 GET YOUR BRAND NEW (FREE) WHERE ARE YOU GOING GUIDE
The new 2010 edition of the Where Are You Going career guide is being printed as you read this. This edition navigates the user through the process of identifying career options. Useful to anyone looking to start their first or their next career. Order your free copies now!:

CAREER BRIDGE WINS NATIONAL AWARD
The Council of State Governments has recognized CareerBridge.wa.gov with a 2010 Innovation Award. The website was recognized for its ability to bring a wide range of career exploration and education information under one site, including detailed information on 5,000 Washington programs.

FORT VANCOUVER STUDENT VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS VALUE OF CTE
Fort Vancouver High School students received a video production Gold Medal at the SkillsUSA 2010 National Championship. Students Jesse Chiem and Nathan O' Meara produced a video highlighting Fort Vancouver's Career and Technical Education offerings. The video can be found on the Workforce Board's YouTube Channel.

September 15, 2010

NEW COMMISSIONER NAMED AT EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Paul Trause has been named the new commissioner of the state's Employment Security Department. He was the agency's deputy commissioner under Karen Lee, who held the post for five years. He also served as deputy commissioner at Employment Security under two previous commissioners. The new Deputy Commissioner is Joel Sacks, former assistant commissioner for Budget, Policy and Communications.  

BUILDING SKILLS CONFERENCE FEATURES WORKFORCE BOARD PRESENTATIONS
Workforce Board staffers Mike Brennan, Marina Parr and Karen Pyle will speak at the Building Skills Conference in Wenatchee, Oct. 12-14. Brennan along with Terry Lawhead from the Department of Commerce will explain how to better integrate workforce development with economic development. Parr and Pyle will provide a live tour of the Career Bridge web site, home to over 5,000 education and training programs, including apprenticeships.

FREE MICROSOFT E-LEARNING AVAILABLE AT WORKSOURCE CENTERS
Starting this week, the state's Employment Security Department will be rolling out Microsoft's complete e-learning library at area WorkSource career centers. The goal is to help job seekers build their computer skills and become more competitive in the job market. The e-learning courses will first be available at WorkSource offices in Everett, Redmond, Spokane, Thurston County, Vancouver and Walla Walla. It will be expanded to job seekers statewide on Oct. 1. Once people complete the coursework, they'll be able to take free exams to earn credentials in Microsoft's Office and Technology Associate programs.

FORTUNE MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS WASHINGTON'S BUSINESS CLIMATE
Washington and its workforce is featured in the current "Fastest Growing Companies" issue of Fortune magazine. The 12-page section showcases Washington's high level of international trade and notes the state was the first to join President Barack Obama's export initiative.

September 1, 2010  

SEEKING YOUR IDEAS FOR RETOOLING WASHINGTON'S WORKFORCE
Members of the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board are seeking ideas on ways the workforce system can better serve its customers as our economy slowly recovers. An online survey, facilitated discussions and a virtual meetings are being deployed.

TEN DAYS LEFT TO SUBMIT YOUR BEST PRACTICE NOMINATIONS
The nomination period for the Governor's Best Practices Awards in Workforce and Economic Development closes September 10. Our prestigious panel of judges will start the review the following week with an announcement of winners in October.

WASHINGTON STUDENTS EXCEL AT SKILLSUSA
Students from Washington high school and college technical education programs won the nation's highest awards at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. Industry leaders representing over 1,100 businesses, corporations, trade associations and unions recognized the students for their demonstrated excellence in 96 hands-on occupational and leadership contests. View our medalists by selecting Washington

STATE TRAINING ACADEMY STARTS NEWSLETTER
The Employment and Career Development Division Training Academy in Lacey has begun sending out a newsletter detailing new classes and links to resources. The Training Academy, which opened its doors in June 2009, has served over 1,000 job counselors from around the state. Its overseen by the states Employment Security Department. See the August newsletter

August 25, 2010  

FEDERAL GRANT WILL BOOST STATE'S LONGITUDINAL DATA SYSTEM IN EDUCATION
The U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences has awarded a $17.3 million grant to Washington for enhancing and expanding its system of longitudinal education data capacity across several agencies, including pre-school to graduate school (P-20) education data, as well as workforce and social service outcomes.

CAREER BRIDGE WEBSITE IS A REGIONAL FINALIST
CareerBridge.wa.gov has been named one of nine Western regional finalists for a 2010 Council of State Governments Innovations Award. The website allows users to find education and training, including Eligible Training Providers, by searching for their preferred job. The Council of State Governments will decide in September which regional finalists advance to the national finals.  

DISABILITY CONFERENCE BRINGS RUTTLEDGE HOME
Lynnae Ruttledge, commissioner of the federal Rehabilitation Services Administration, will be one of the featured speakers at the Washington Disability Inclusion Conference, October 4, at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond. The event is hosted by the Washington State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management.

BEST PRACTICES AWARD NOMINATIONS ARRIVING
The Workforce Board and Department of Commerce have started to receive nominations for the Governor's Best Practices Awards in Workforce and Economic Development. The deadline for submitting a nomination is September 10.

August 12, 2010

ESD COMMISSIONER TO MOVE TO SEATTLE NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION
Employment Security Commissioner Karen Lee announced last week that she has accepted a position as the CEO of Pioneer Human Services in Seattle. Her last day will be September 30. Read more at:

ONLINE RECIPE AVAILABLE FOR PIZZA, POP AND POWER TOOLS
A toolkit now available online can help you develop an event similar to Spokane Public Schools annual "Pizza, Pop and Power Tools" day that showcases the construction trades to female middle school students. A 2007 winner of the Governor's Best Practices Award, the hands-on awareness day engages over 400 students with participation from 12 different apprenticeships.

NATIONAL SURVEY ON BRIDGE PROGRAMS
The Workforce Strategy Center is conducting a nationwide survey on "bridge programs" which assist students in obtaining the necessary academic, employability, and technical skills they need to enter and succeed in post-high school education and training programs.

BUILDING SKILLS CONFERENCE KEYNOTE TO FOCUS ON MOTIVATION
Dr. Beverly O. Ford will speak on Motivating the Unmotivated at the next Building Skills conference, October 12-14 in Wenatchee. This conference is designed to provide skill building opportunities for front line and supervisory staff who work in the workforce development field.

August 4, 2010  

APPROPRIATIONS BILL PROPOSES KEY WORKFORCE INVESTMENTS
Last week, Senator Patty Murray announced she secured funding in a subcommittee version of the 2011 federal appropriations bill for a number of workforce investments in Washington, including projects that would be managed by the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council and the Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board. If the subcommittee budget is approved by Congress and signed by the President, the Workforce Board would receive $1 million to fund the next generation of Industry Skill Panels.

STUDY SHOWS THAT SECTOR INITIATIVES INCREASE WORKER EARNINGS
A six-year study claims there is compelling evidence that industry-specific training programs can increase the earnings of a range of disadvantaged populations. Public/Private Ventures, a national policy and research organization, has released Tuning In to Local Labor Markets which tracks the progress of four mature sector initiatives.

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE DIRECTOR MEETING WITH BUSINESSES AROUND STATE |
State Department of Commerce Director Rogers Weed will lead a presentation of the state's economy and budget followed by a discussion on key policy questions. The goal of these forums is to gain perspectives from businesses and economic development groups, local governments, and community-based organizations. The meetings will be in Longview, Tacoma, Spokane, Walla Walla and Port Angeles starting in mid-August.

DON'T FORGET BEST PRACTICES AWARDS APPLICATIONS
The deadline for the 2010 Governor's Best Practices application is September 10, 2010.

July 27, 2010

SEARCH FOR APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS ON CAREER BRIDGE
CareerBridge.wa.gov now allows you to search for the 250 occupations trained through registered apprenticeship programs. Now, you can learn more about how to connect with apprenticeship programs that pay you while you work and learn. Career Bridge.wa.gov is also home to the state's Eligible Training Provider List and includes detailed listings of more than 5,000 programs--from one-week training courses, to two-year associate's degrees to four-year bachelor's degrees and beyond. To learn more about this website's full potential, contact: Marina Parr.

WASHINGTON JOB OPENINGS ON THE RISE
Job openings in Washington increased for the first time in nearly three years, according to the Employment Security Department's Spring 2010 Washington Job Vacancy Survey. The most recent twice-yearly survey showed a 21 percent increase in job openings since the previous Fall 2009 survey.

ONLINE REGISTRATION OPEN FOR AUGUST WA-ACTE CONFERENCE IN SPOKANE
The Workforce Board is a sponsor of the Washington Association of Career and Technical Education summer conference in Spokane, Aug. 8-11. Conference attendees will be able to learn more about Washington's career search website, CareerBridge.wa.gov, at a featured presentation and at the Workforce Board's information booth. 

July 14, 2010

NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN FOR GOVERNOR'S BEST PRACTICES AWARD
The Workforce Board and Department of Commerce have opened nominations for the 2010 Governor's Best Practices Awards in Economic and Workforce Development. Winners this year will need to demonstrate how their practice benefits both workforce and economic development. Deadline is September 10.

MOTHER'S ELOQUENT LETTER HIGHLIGHTS VALUE OF CTE, WAVE AWARD
Janice Maxson of Shoreline has written the Workforce Board about how Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center's welding classes have made a difference in her son's life. Read how this amazing young man found his calling through the Skills Center and won a WAVE scholarship while battling autism.

WORKFORCE BOARD SCHEDULES JULY RETREAT

Members of the Workforce Board will gather at The Evergreen State College, July 28 and 29 for their annual retreat. An agenda for the retreat will be posted later this month. Check the Workforce Board page

July 8, 2010

TEMPORARY LAYOFF WILL CLOSE WORKFORCE BOARD OFFICE
The Workforce Board will be one of 52 state agencies closed on Monday, July 12 as a result of a temporary layoff mandated by state law. The budget saving measure temporarily lays off all Workforce Board staff for that day and 10 others during the course of the fiscal year. The Workforce Board office will be open again for business on Tuesday. 

WORKFORCE BOARD APPROVES FEDERAL CTE FUNDING & OPERATING BUDGET
At its June 24 meeting, the Workforce Board approved the distribution of federal Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education funds and the Workforce Board's agency operating budget for fiscal year 2010. Agenda and materials.

NEW WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT DIRECTORY PRINTED AND ONLINE
The Workforce Board has updated its Workforce Development Directory and printed copies are now available. You can always access detailed information on the 40+ Washington-based state and federally funded workforce development programs on our website. But if you would like a hard copy of this directory (copies are limited), let us know.

June 28, 2010

WASHINGTON SCHOLARSHIP WEB SITE LAUNCHES
The Washington Scholarship Coalition has launched theWashBoard.org, a new, free, web-based scholarship matching clearinghouse that is Washington-focused. The site is for students, as well as scholarship providers, counselors, and career specialists. For more information, visit online or contact Mary Beth Lambert, Washington Scholarship Coalition, at (206) 335-0191.

MORE EMPLOYERS TO REQUIRE SOME COLLEGE, REPORT SAYS
Between 2008 and 2018, retirements and new job creation will result in 1 million job vacancies, of which 67 percent will require some post high school education, according to a report by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University. The report forecasts that the number of jobs requiring at least a two-year college associate degree will outpace the number of people qualified to fill those positions.

TRAINING FOR WORKFORCE PROFESSIONALS ENGAGED WITH REFUGEE POPULATION
The Puget Sound Welcome Back Center at Highline Community College is hosting a training session for front-line service providers and program managers seeking tools to cope with incoming refugee populations and the realities of resettlement, July 27-29.

APPRENTICESHIP COUNCIL MEETS IN TUMWATER IN JULY
The next regular quarterly meeting of the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council is July 15-16 in Tumwater.

June 10, 2010

WORKFORCE BOARD TO LEARN ABOUT RURAL WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board will meet in Colville, June 24. The Workforce Board will hear a report on rural workforce development and a number of other business matters. Agenda and memos will be available on our website by June 17.

ENERGY AND CONSTRUCTION CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE SHOWCASE BEST PRACTICES
David Allen of McKinstry Industries and Charlie Earl of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges will be the keynote speakers at the Fifth Annual Energy & Construction Sustaining Innovation Summit, June 24-25 at the Satsop campus in Elma. The event is hosted by the Center of Excellence for Energy Technology and the Center of Excellence for Construction.

WOMEN GAIN, MEN FALL FARTHER BEHIND IN POST-HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION
Women now account for a disproportionate share of the enrollments of higher-education institutions at every degree level and are likely to dominate further in the coming decade, according to a new U.S. Education Department report.

NATIONAL WORKFORCE POLICY GROUP IDENTIFIES NEED FOR LONG-TERM APPROACH
Low-skilled workers will reap the benefits of growth in the green energy economy if training targeted to them is within the context of long-term career advancement rather than short-term training and job placement, according to a study by the Workforce Strategy Center. See "A Workforce Strategy Center Discussion: Green Jobs and Community Colleges"

June 3, 2010

ONLINE DIRECTORY OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM UPDATED
The Workforce Board has updated its online directory of Washington's workforce development programs. A printed directory will be available later in the month but you can access online detailed information about the 44 programs inventoried now. To order a directory, contact Marina Parr.

WORKFORCE BOARD ENGAGED IN FEDERAL GRANT FOR STATE DATA SYSTEM
Washington will receive a $17.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to design and build a statewide integrated data system that tracks Washington student progress from early childhood education to adult employment. The Workforce Board will participate in this initiative through improving its data system for collecting performance information about private career schools and by summarizing over 10 year experience working with employment records for the benefit of other potential users. See the Governor's announcement.

FINANCIAL AID CHALLENGE: TOO FEW COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENTS APPLY
A new report from the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center found that millions of dollars are left on the table each year by low- and moderate-income students attending community colleges. Even though they are eligible for need-based federal financial aid, these students are the least likely to apply for funds.

PUGET SOUND ENERGY PROJECT MEETS APPRENTICESHIP REQUIREMENT
The Department of Labor & Industries announced recently that Puget Sound Energy used registered apprentices to complete at least 15 percent of the work that expanded a wind and solar power generation facility near Ellensburg. In doing so, the utility company met a new state requirement that links renewable energy development with green job training.

May 25, 2010

FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF IS NEW WORKFORCE BOARD CHAIR
Gov. Chris Gregoire has appointed her former chief of staff, Cindy Zehnder, as the new chair of the Workforce Board. Ms. Zehnder succeeds Marty Brown who served as an interim chair after David Harrison retired last year. Read more about Ms. Zehnder's extensive background

GOVERNOR'S WEBSITE FEATURES CAREER BRIDGE
Workforce Board Director Eleni Papadakis urges future students to do their homework by exploring www.CareerBridge.wa.gov before they enroll in a program in an article featured on the Governor's home page.

TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO IMPROVE OUR "WHERE ARE YOU GOING?" CAREER GUIDE
The Workforce Board will print the 2010 edition of the Where are You Going? Career Guide this fall. This will be the first edition printed since the advent of our online career website www.CareerBridge.Wa.Gov. Make it the best ever by checking out the current career guide and give us your feedback by answering our survey questions.

May 12, 2010

STATEWIDE EMPLOYER SURVEY LAUNCHED
In the coming weeks, over 4,000 businesses in Washington will receive a written or phone survey asking about their experience and practices in trying to achieve a skilled workforce. The 2010 Workforce Board employer survey is underway.

WORKFORCE BOARD SEEKS GRANT AND PROJECT MANAGER
The Workforce Board seeks applicants for a new project position that will manage several workforce initiatives, including two projects funded by U.S. Department of Labor grants. Applications will be accepted through June 4, 2010.

STATE BOARD SEEKS APPLICATIONS FOR HOSPITAL TRAINING FUNDING
Washington's community and technical colleges_e-wkforcehospitalemployee are invited to apply for Hospital Employee Education and Training (HEET) grant funding. A successful proposal will involve a collaboration between at least one community or technical college and one labor-management partnership to enhance the accessibility of college education for hospital workers.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION SUMMIT FEATURES WORKFORCE PANEL
The Workforce Board is a sponsor of the Regional Innovation and Jobs Summit hosted by the Washington Economic Development Commission in Tacoma. 

May 5, 2010  

WORKFORCE BOARD FOCUSES ON DROPOUTS AND I-BEST
The Workforce Board meets Monday, May 10, at 8:30 a.m. in Tumwater. Among other items, the morning session includes an in-depth look at how Washington is addressing dropout prevention, intervention and reengagement as compared to national policy recommendations. The afternoon session includes an update and look at the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training, a nationally recognized model being used at Washington's 34 community and technical colleges. Agenda and handouts

GOVERNOR SIGNS SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATING BUDGET
Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a supplemental budget yesterday that closes the budget deficit through a combination of cuts, federal funding and new revenues.Workforce Development Perspective of new supplemental budget.:

2010 WAVE SCHOLARS ANNOUNCED
With budget uncertainties now resolved by the 2010 supplemental budget, the Workforce Board has announced the 2010 WAVE scholars.  Because of budget cuts, only the top scoring 2010 scholar from each legislative district will be eligible for a scholarship for the upcoming school year. The other WAVE scholars will be recognized for their achievement. See our news release:

April 28, 2010

SPOKANE SKILLS CENTER GRAPHIC ART STUDENT DESIGNS 2010 WAVE POSTER

Melanie Hoff connected her passion for drawing to commercial design work after taking a CTE class her sophomore year of high school. Now, as a Spokane Skills Center student, she designs posters, logos and clothes, including the 2010 WAVE poster. Check out her story and the design that won the 2010 WAVE poster design contest, as well as order free printed copies for next year.

ENERGY AND CONSTRUCTION SUMMIT SET FOR JUNE AT SATSOP
The fifth annual Energy and Construction Summit is slated for June 25-26 at the Regional Education and Training Center at the Satsop Campus in Elma. The 2010 conference theme is Sustaining Innovation and features David Allen, executive vice president of McKinstry Company, as keynote speaker. Contact Shana Peschek at speschek@rtc.edu (425) 235-2352, ext. 2217.

HIGH TECH U COMES TO SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON
With a goal of encouraging more students to pursue careers in math, science and technology, Southwest Workforce Development Council and its partners will bring High Tech U to more than 85 students in Southwest Washington this spring.

April 22, 2010

INTRACOASTAL ALLIANCE GETTING ACTIVE AS MARINE INDUSTRY BOUNCES BACK
The Intracoastal Marine and Advanced Manufacturing Industry Alliance is making a difference at a key time in the economic recovery for the maritime industry in 12 Western Washington counties. Read more about the Alliance and how the Industry Skill Panel concept and strategic funding are contributing to this important regional industry cluster.

STUDY IDENTIFIES LINK BETWEEN TRAINING AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY
A new Berkeley National Laboratory study examines the workforce needs of the energy efficiency services sector, and finds the speed with which employment grows depends in part on how effectively the nation deploys training and education programs for the energy efficiency workforce.

NATIVE AMERICAN ASSET BUILDING CONFERENCE IN SPOKANE
The U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Native American Programs offers a conference in Spokane, June 2-3. "Asset Building: A Pathway to Economic Self-Determination" includes workshops that focus on workforce development, TANF best practices, financial education and more.

April 13, 2010

LEGISLATURE APPROVES BUDGET, WORKFORCE SYSTEM IMPACTS REVIEWED
The Legislature wrapped up business and adjourned after approving a tax package and budget yesterday. Review a summary of how the budget affects Washington's workforce development system.

GOVERNOR & SUPERINTENDENT KICK OFF RACE TO THE TOP PROCESS
Governor Chris Gregoire and Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn announced the start of Washington's Race to the Top application process last week by calling on all 295 school districts to sign on and participate in the federal grant competition. 

CENTRALIA COLLEGE PART OF A SMART GRID RECOVERY ACT AWARD
Centralia College was awarded almost $5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to develop an online smart grid training and information portal for utilities, businesses, and consumers. The project will deliver smart grid training for utility workers in a four state region (Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon). Washington State University ($2.5 million) and Incremental Systems Corporation of Issaquah ($3.6 million) also received funding for smart grid workforce training. See Governor's announcement

BELLEVUE COLLEGE JOINS NATIONAL HEALTH IT INITIATIVE
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Bellevue College nearly $3.4 million as part of a national effort to advance the widespread adoption and use of health information technology. Bellevue College is one of five regional grant recipients that will lead a consortium of colleges to create non-degree training programs that can be completed in six months or less by individuals with appropriate prior education and/or experience.

April 8, 2010

HEALTH CARE TASK FORCE LAYS OUT 2010 WORKFORCE AGENDA

Strategies for growing the state's health care workforce, and avoiding ongoing shortages in key occupations including nurses, physicians, pharmacists and physical therapists, are contained in the latest report just issued to the Governor and Legislature by the Health Care Personnel Shortage Task Force.

PERCENTAGE OF EMPLOYERS OFFERING MEDICAL COVERAGE CONTINUES TO DECLINE
The percentage of employers offering medical insurance continued to decline in 2009 for the fifth consecutive year, according to an annual employee-benefits report released this month by the state's Employment Security Department.

APPRENTICESHIP CONFERENCE LINES UP GOVERNOR AND SPONSORS
Governor Chris Gregoire will speak at the Pacific Northwest Apprenticeship Education Conference, May 19-20, at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center.The Workforce Board is a sponsor of this event which will feature best practice "recipes" for apprenticeship programs serving youth and adults.

April 1, 2010  

WORKFORCE BOARD UPDATES ITS WORKFORCE SYSTEM AT A GLANCE
The Workforce Board's matrix charting workforce development program funds and services in Washington has been updated. You can see the poster online and get one mailed to you. 

FORUMS WILL FOCUS ON OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT
A series of spring employment forums will focus on, among other topics, developing strategies for serving people with the most significant barriers to employment. Sponsored by the Division of Developmental Disabilities and the Washington Initiative for Supported Employment, these free forums will be held in May around the state.

BUILDING A LEARNING AGENDA AROUND DISCONNECTED YOUTH
The MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan social policy research organization, has published a new paper on promising strategies to reengage disconnected young people and improve their long-term outcomes.

March 25, 2010 

STATE RELEASES SECOND ANNUAL GREEN JOBS SURVEY RESULTS 
The second annual green jobs survey reveals there were almost 100,000 green jobs in Washington in 2009. The state's green jobs initiative isheaded up by the Evergreen Jobs Leadership Team.

SPOKANE OPENS DEDICATED YOUTH CENTER
Spokane now has a career and education center designed just for youth. Next Generation Zone is no longer the name for only Workforce Investment Act services; it is the branding for all career, education, and mentoring services offered in a separate facility next to Spokane's WorkSource Center.

PRESIDENT PROPOSES CHANGES TO EDUCATION ACT

The Obama administration has released its "blueprint" for revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which would ask states to adopt college- and career-ready standards and reward schools for producing dramatic gains in student achievement.

BUSINESS WEEK SUMMER CAMP PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR REGISTRATION
Washington Business Week has opened registration to its 35th summer of programs. High school students and volunteer business advisors are immersed in a week of business-world experiences that allow students to more readily connect school learning with a future career.

March 12, 2010

REGULAR SESSION ENDS, SPECIAL SESSION BEGINS
Last night, the Governor called the Legislature into special session after the regular 60-day session came to an end without agreement on how to close the $2.8 billion budget gap. Our legislative budget page was updated this week to reflect the most current budget proposals, as well as details on workforce-related bill delivered the Governor for her consideration, and we will continue to update our legislative pages throughout the special session.

OLYMPIC COLLEGE ACCREDITED FOR FOUR-YEAR DEGREES

Olympic College has announced that the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has awarded bachelor degree accreditation to the college. The accreditation applies retroactive to September 2008, when Olympic College began its bachelor’s of science in Nursing.

WORKFORCE BOARD'S BRENNAN TO SPEAK AT RURAL SUMMIT
Workforce Board Economic Development Specialist Mike Brennan will be one of the speakers at a rural development conference set for March 19-20 in Moses Lake. Hosted by Washington State University Extension Horizons, in partnership with the state's Department of Commerce, the "Rural Reflections Summit" will address asset development, community leadership, public policy and economic development issues.

STUDY SHOWS NEXT GENERATION COULD BE THE MOST EDUCATED
While it's too early to be definitive, a Pew Research study shows that the generation currently 18 to 29 years old is on course to become the most educated generation in American history.

March 5, 2010

RANDY DORN & SCOTT CHENEY WILL SPEAK AT WORKFORCE BOARD MEETING
Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, a Workforce Board member, will speak about the future of K-12 education at the Workforce Board's regular meeting March 15 in Olympia. The day-long meeting also will feature a live phone conversation with Scott Cheney, staff director for Employment and Workplace Safety subcomittee of the the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Agenda and support materials

TAXPAYER BENEFIT REPORT TOPS HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD AGENDA
The Higher Education Coordinating Board will hold its regular meeting March 10 in Olympia, including a meeting with its advisory council to review a Rand Corporation study on the taxpayer benefits resulting from increased educational attainment.

LEGISLATIVE SESSION ENTERS LAST WEEK OF REGULAR SCHEDULE
Today is the last day the Legislature can consider non-budget related legislation. The Legislature will spend the last week of this session reconciling legislation that is in dispute and negotiating changes to the current biennial budget. As always, you will find the latest information on workforce-related issues on our website, including updates on the supplemental budget. 

NATIONAL STUDY SAYS PRIOR LEARNING PROCESS IMPROVES ACADEMIC RESULTS
An extensive review of college educational records indicates that students who received credit for prior learning were more successful academically than their counterparts. Prior learning is a process by which many colleges evaluate for academic credit the college-level knowledge and skills an individual has gained outside of the classroom. The study comes at the same time that the Washington State Legislature has adopted Senate Bill 6357 calling for the creation of policies for awarding credit for prior work experiences.

KENNEWICK HIGH SCHOOL SENDS TEAM TO NATIONAL ENGINEERING CONTEST
For the second year in a row, Kamiakin High School in Kennewick is sending a state champion team to compete in the national Real World Design Challenge in Washington D.C. later this month. Terrance Casey is the team's coach.

February 26, 2010

HOUSE & SENATE RELEASE NEW SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET

This week, the House and Senate released a budget and tax package designed to close the state's projected $2.8 billion shortfall. You can learn about how these supplemental budget proposals affect WAVE, Worker Retraining, Navigation 101 and many other workforce-related issues on our regularly updated budget summary page.

WALLA WALLA COMMUNITY COLLEGE LAUNCHES "CAREER COACH"
Walla Walla Community College has a new website called Career Coach that blends job demand and job opening information with training programs at the college.

MORE STATES LOOKING AT ADOPTING WORK SHARE PROGRAM
At least seven state legislatures are considering creating work-share programs which provide an alternative to laying off employees. The program provides partial unemployment compensation to eligible workers whose hours have been reduced. Washington's Employment Security Department, an early program adopter, has the highest participation rate of employers and employees in the country. Learn more. 

APPRENTICESHIP CONFERENCE OUTLINES BREAKOUT SESSIONS

The Pacific Northwest Apprenticeship Education Conference has posted its breakout sessions, including "cross system"sessions designed to appeal to all attendees. The conference is May 19-20 in Tacoma.

February 19, 2010

LEARN HOW CAREER BRIDGE LINKS YOU TO OVER 5,000 PROGRAMS
Career and technical educators will discover how Career Bridge links to over 5,000 education and training programs and provides detailed performance results at the Transitions Conference, March 4-5.  To learn more about how to use CareerBridge.Wa.Gov, contact Marina Parr at mparr@wtb.wa.gov to schedule a training. 

LEGISLATIVE NEWS GROUND DAILY ON WEBSITE
Which workforce bills are still active and which ones are not? What impact will the Senate budget bill to be released early next week have on workforce training? You will find the latest workforce-related legislative information, including a list of bills and their status updated daily, on our legislative webpage.

ROLE MODELS HIGHLIGHT THIS YEAR'S WOMEN IN TRADES FAIR
Students and other attendees will be able to chat with women who worked during World War II in a variety of non-traditional jobs as part of the 31st Annual Washington Women in Trades Career Fair at Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center, April 30.

February 12 , 2010

WASHINGTON HEALTH CARE PARTNERSHIP SECURES RECOVERY ACT GRANT
A health care worker retraining team, headed up by the Workforce Board, has received a $5 million Recovery Act grant to provide training for low-wage health care workers, creating additional entry level health care jobs in the process. Learn more about this exciting project

ADULT WORKER STRATEGY FEATURED ON GOVERNOR'S WEBSITE
"Washington's competitive advantage may very well rest on how well Washington workers are able to realize their full potential," writes Workforce Board Executive Director Eleni Papadakis in a story featured on the Governor's website:

WORKFORCE BOARD MEMBERS SPEAK TO PROJECTED SKILL GAPS
The Workforce Board issued a news release last week with quotes from members Rick Bender and Mike Hudson regarding how Washington is going to need more bookkeepers, nurses, lab technicians, and aircraft mechanics in the coming years.

GOVERNOR SAYS SYSTEM REVIEW SHOULD WAIT FOR WIA REAUTHORIZATION
Governor Chris Gregoire has announced that she would like to wait until Congress reauthorizes the federal Workforce Investment Act before proceeding with any further workforce system review.  Learn more about the review

PREMIERE APPRENTICESHIP EVENT FEATURES MIDDLE-SKILL REPORT AUTHOR
Dr. Robert Lerman, co-author of "America's Forgotten Middle-Skill Jobs" headlines the Pacific Northwest Apprenticeship Education Conference, May 19-20 at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center.

February 5, 2010

CAPITOL ACTIVITY INTENSIFIES AS SESSION PROGRESS
The focus of attention shifts to floor debates in the next week and a half as the Legislature finishes its initial round of committee work. Find out what workforce development bills are moving--and which ones are not-- on our legislative page (updated daily)

E-LEARNING REPORT PROMOTES ANYTIME, ANYWHERE CURRICULUM
The final report on Workplace Digital contains eLearning best practices, recommendations on increasing student access and methods to increase the number of open course materials that deliver "anytime, anywhere" curriculum to working students.

SEA-KING WDC DIRECTOR TESTIFIES ON SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYMENT
Marléna Sessions, chief executive officer of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, testified last month at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services hearing titled How to Save and Create Jobs.

MORE COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENTS NEED FAFSA HELP
The recession spurred more students to attend community college. But too few filled out the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) in advance, delaying their ability to enroll. Read about the consequences of the enrollment surge in a new American Association of Community Colleges report.

SHORELINE CROSS-TOWN RIVALRY SPURS NATIONAL ATTENTION FOR CTE PROGRAM

It started with Shorecrest High School's video production class doing a music video and challenging their Shoreline District rival Shorewood High to top it. If national attention and YouTube viewings are any measure, Shorewood did just that. Shorewood teacher Marty Ballew and the lead student Javier Caceres have been guests on a national talk show, providing another shining example of the magic of Career and Technical Education programs. See both school videos on our YouTube channel.

January 29, 2010  

WORKFORCE BOARD IDENTIFIES SPECIFIC IN DEMAND JOBS
At this week's Workforce Board meeting, members reviewed the list of jobs projected to be in demand. The Workforce Board staff updates its Skill Gap Analysis annually.

SENATE COMMITTEE ACTS ON BUILDING BRIDGES RECOMMENDATIONS
The Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee has passed dropout prevention legislation based on the Building Bridges Work Group Report. SB 6403 is now in Senate Rules Committee. To view the work group report, see: To learn more about this and other workforce legislation, see our Legislative Page.  

FEBRUARY FOCUSES ATTENTION ON CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Starting with National Job Shadow Day on Groundhog's Day (February 2) and running through National Entrepreneurship Week (February 20-27), February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) month. Check out the many activities that highlight CTE's role in preparing youth and adults for successful careers at: http://www.acteonline.org/ctemonth.aspx?terms=cte+month  

WASHINGTON'S RETURN ON INVESTMENT WORK FEATURED IN WEBINAR
Bryan Wilson, deputy director of the Workforce Board, participated in a webinar recently that highlights the work being done in Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Washington to collect return on investment data on career and technical education. You can find the link to the archived webinar at: http://www.wtb.wa.gov/Activities_IPI.asp

PLUS 50 CONFERENCE TARGETS GROWING WORKFORCE
Workers who are over 50 are expected to grow to 22 percent of the state's workforce by 2030. At the Northwest Region Plus 50 Conference, you can learn from the state's experts on how to help this important workforce upgrade their skills and prepare for a new career. The all-day conference is at Clark College in Vancouver, February 10. Free registration at: https://sites.google.com/site/nwregionplus50conference/

January 22, 2010

JANUARY BOARD MEETING COVERS SKILL GAP, LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
The Workforce Board's first meeting of the year is January 28 at the State Investment Board Office in Olympia. The all-day meeting will include updates on the Workforce Development System Review and the 2010 legislative session as well as reports on the Workforce Board's projections regarding which mid-level skilled occupations are and will be in high demand and the status of the state's health care workforce. Agenda and materials

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE ACTIVITY HEATS UP
Next week's hearing schedule includes legislation that addresses the state's competitiveness for "Race to the Top" education grants, port district job training and the Quality Education Council Recommendations. Our legislative web page.

WASHINGTON AWARDED GREEN JOBS TRAINING GRANT
The U.S. Department of Labor awarded an almost $6 million Recovery Act grant to the Washington Energy Sector Partnership, a broad-based public-private team headed by the Workforce Board. The grant will fund three Workforce Development Councils (Snohomish, Seattle-King County & Spokane) to provide training for targeted populations in high demand, professional-technical occupations needed for energy efficiency in commercial and public buildings.  

E-LEARNING REPORT PROMOTES ANYTIME, ANYWHERE CURRICULUM
A print version of the Workplace Digital Learning final report is available online. This report contains eLearning best practices, recommendations on increasing student access, and methods to increase the number of open course materials that deliver "anytime, anywhere" curriculum to working students.

NEW STAFF JOIN THE WORKFORCE BOARD
Paul Stern, formerly of the Social & Economic Sciences Research Center with Washington State University has filled an opening on the Workforce Board's research staff. Also, Joyce Ahlering, who previously worked as a policy analyst for the Washington State Senate, will join us as a policy analyst focusing on economic development issues starting February 1.

January 15, 2010

QUALITY EDUCATION COUNCIL APPROVES 2010 LEGISLATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS
The Quality Education Council has issued recommendations to the 2010 Legislature regarding the process for phasing in last year's education reform bill (HB 2261).

WORKFORCE-RELATED LEGISLATION
Get the latest information on workforce-related legislation and hearings at our Legislative Report page

RICHLAND NEWSLETTER HIGHLIGHTS REGION'S PARTNERSHIP

Featured at last year's Workforce & Economic Development Conference in Spokane, the Tri-Cities team approach to economic development is put on further display in the most recent newsletter from the City of Richland Economic Development Office. The newsletter also includes an article on WorkSource Columbia Basin.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT COUNCILS IDENTIFY LOCAL IMPACT OF GREEN JOB GRANTS
Three Workforce Development Councils have provided information on how the recently awarded Recovery Act green job grants will affect their communities.

STATE BUSINESS RECRUITMENT WEBSITE FEATURES WORKFORCE CONTENT
ChooseWashington.com, the website that showcases what Washington has to offer to businesses considering locating or doing business here, has gone through a makeover with a new look and updated content. Several web pages feature workforce development resources such as the Job Skills Program, Customized Training and Lifelong Learning Accounts.

WORKFORCE ALLIANCE MARKS DECADE WITH A NAME CHANGE
The Workforce Alliance, a national workforce policy advocacy organization, has become the National Skills Coalition. The new name comes with a new office location and website.

January 12 , 2010

HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE TO HEAR DROPOUT BILLS
This Friday, the House Education Committee will hear the results of Building Bridges Work Group report on recommendations to address the dropout issue as well as bills targeting dropout prevention while Executive Director Eleni Papadakis will be detailing the Workforce Board's budget priorities before the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Committee.  For more information on this and other legislative activities.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT DIRECTORY UNDERGOING UPDATE
Workforce Board staff is collecting information from the wide range of programs that make up our state's workforce development system for purposes of updating an online program directory and poster that illustrate the state's workforce development system. Learn more at:  

WASHINGTON SCORES RECOVERY ACT GREEN JOBS TRAINING GRANTS
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a new batch of green job grants to 25 recipients across the nation, including $3.8 million to the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council in Washington and $5 million to the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which includes a partnership with Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council. See Governor's release.

EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPLOYS A CALL BACK SYSTEM FOR CLIENTS
The Employment Security Department has added a telephone service that gives customers the option of being called back instead of waiting on hold, without losing their place in line. Learn more.

ERIC LIU'S GUIDING LIGHT NETWORK HOSTS "CLOSING THE GAP" CONFERENCE
The Guidling Lights Network, founded by Eric Liu who was our well-received keynote speaker at last year's conference, is hosting a weekend conference on the art of mentoring and community-building in Seattle, January 29 & 30.

January 6, 2010

WORKFORCE BOARD OFFICE OPEN ON FRIDAYS AGAIN
The Workforce Board is no longer participating in a pilot project that closes some state offices on Fridays. Office hours are now Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for holidays. As always, you will find lots of information on our website 24/7:

COMMITTEE WILL HEAR UPDATE ON STRATEGIC PLAN/WORKFORCE LEGISLATIVE PAGE ACTIVATED

The Workforce Board will report on progress made in 2009 toward achieving the state's strategic plan for workforce development (High Skills, High Wages) to the House Higher Education Committee, on January 12. We will have a complete calendar of legislative meetings involving workforce issues available on our legislative news page by Friday.

WHY STUDENTS LEAVE COLLEGE & WHAT MIGHT BRING THEM BACK

Young adults who attended college but left without graduating say their need to work and make money was a bigger factor in leaving school than tuition and other college costs, according to a survey by Public Agenda and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They also say flexible scheduling and financial aid for part-time students is as important as cutting college prices.

CONGRESS PASSES UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE EXTENSION
Last month, Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 3326) containing several short-term provisions affecting the unemployment insurance program. The bill extends through February and contains an additional $25 weekly benefit, 100 percent funding for the State Extended Benefits program and a 65 percent COBRA insurance subsidy for unemployed workers. Read Department of Labor directive to states on the unemployment insurance changes.COBRA info

FOOD PROCESSOR'S EXPO OFFERS FREE ADMISSION TO EDUCATORS & STUDENTS
The annual NW Food Manufacturing & Packaging Expo at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Jan. 17 - 20 seeks job postings and resumes for its Talent Pipeline and Education Pavilion. Registration fees (but not meal costs) are waived for educators and students. See website or e-mail: expo@nwfpa.org .

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