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Governor's 2009 Best Practices Awards

The Governor's 2009 Workforce and Economic Development Best Practices awards were presented in Spokane at the 2009 conference in Spokane, Oct. 29.

Five projects were recognized as models of success in workforce and economic development from among many strong programs, including those in this year's awards booklet.

“These five exceptional projects demonstrate the diversity, innovation and partnerships that are contributing to a new, stronger Washington,” Gregoire said. “Each partnership is helping our state build a globally competitive economy, and a better future for working families.”
Governor's opening remarks

Governor's news release


Best Practices Winner - Health Careers for Youth

Health Careers for Youth creates a career and education pathway for low-income youth who might otherwise overlook promising careers in health care. Health Careers for Youth provides high school students with career exploration, Certified Nursing Assistant training, prerequisite coursework in nursing and allied health occupations, and work-based learning. Certified Nursing Assistant training and certification serve as a gateway to both employment and additional training for a broad array of health care careers such as nursing, phlebotomy, medical assisting, pharmacy technician, radiologic technologist and more.

Washington State Hospital Association’s Health Work Force Institute
City of Seattle, Youth Employment Program
North Seattle Community College
Seattle Vocational Institute, Bright Future Program
Seattle Central Community College
Renton Technical College
King County, Work Training Program
High Schools in Seattle and Renton School Districts

Marlena Sessions
Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County
(206) 448-0474

Full description of program

From left to right:
Steve Miller (North Seattle Community College); Charlie Best (WDC Board, representing labor); Tracy Woodman (North Seattle Community College); Barbara Hack (Nursing Director, NSCC); Richard Berkowitz (WDC Board Chair); Marlena Sessions (CEO, WDC of Seattle-King County); Reza Khastou (Bright Future Program at Seattle Vocational Institute); Seanna Melchior Ruvkun (WDC staff); Jennifer Jack (NA-C Instructor at NSCC); Belinda Tillman (North Seattle Community College); Alison Stevens (Seattle Central Community College)

Short Video on Health Careers for Youth

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From left to right: Mike Edens (OPDA), Ted Condon (Barr-Tech, LLC), Steven Powell (OPDA
President), Steve Starr (Inland Empire Oilseeds, LLC), Pam Kelley (PK
Consulting), Larry Condon (Barr-Tech, LLC), Kim Ramm (OPDA Secretary), Kim
King (OPDA Admin. Asst.), George Rodeck (OPDA), Keith Schafer (Seed-Rite,
Inc.), Leanna Schafer (Seed-Rite, Inc.)

Short video on Odessa Public Development Authority

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Best Practices Winner - Odessa Public Development Authority

A group of concerned community leaders partnered with the Lincoln County Economic Development Council, to form the Odessa Public Development Authority (OPDA) which has been successful in bringing new businesses and jobs to the rural eastern Washington farming community of Odessa, population 980.

Five new businesses and 40 family-wage jobs were created—with as many as 80 more on the way. One new business to a community as small as Odessa has a ripple effect throughout the community. If that business hires just one employee who chooses to relocate to Odessa from outside the community, it can bring more students to the school system, more patients to the hospital, additional taxes for governments and more spending in local businesses.

Pam Kelley
former Executive Director of Lincoln County
Economic Development Council
(509) 994-7064 (cell)

Full description of program


Best Practices Winner - Rural Outreach Nursing Education (RONE) project of Lower Columbia College

The RONE project provides nursing education to areas of Washington that have limited access, helping address a critical skill shortage through classes delivered over the web. It is the only pre-licensure e-learning nursing program in the state and has been approved by the Washington Nursing Commission and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. Rural hospitals, clinics and other outpatient facilities provide hands-on clinical experience as part of this two-year associate degree registered nurse program.

Total hospital cost to train one RN through RONE is $42,000 compared to the $100,000 the hospital would spend to recruit and compensate a trained nurse. Lower Columbia College’s per student costs are comparable with campus-based nursing students (roughly $11,000 for two years), but no additional classroom buildings are needed.

Western Washington Area Health Education Center
Eastern Washington Partnership
Washington Center for Nursing
Washington State Hospital Association’s Health Work Force Institute
Ferry County Hospital, Republic
Jefferson Health Care, Port Townsend
Morton General Hospital, Morton
Klickitat Valley Hospital, Goldendale

Helen Kuebel
Lower Columbia College Director of Nursing Programs
(360) 442-2861

Full description of program

From left to right: Jodi Palmer, Western WA AHEC; Tamara Norton, Instructor, Lower
Columbia College; Bettie Rundlett, AHEC of E. WA; Gwyn Miller,
Klickitat Valley Health and Mary Beth O'Brien, Dir. Of Nursing Services,
Klickitat Valley Health - Goldendale; Tom O'Brien, Eastern WA
Partnership WDC; Karen Joiner, Lower Columbia College; James McLaughlin,
President, Lower Columbia College; Ron O'Halloran, Ferry County Memorial
Hospital; and Helen Kuebel, Lower Columbia College.

Short Video about Rural Outreach Nursing Education (RONE)


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From left to right: Teresa Hancock, Port of Kennewick real estate specialist/special projects; Tana Bader Inglima, Port of Kennewick director of governmental relations and marketing; Tim Arntzen, Port of Kennewick, executive director; Bill King, City of Richland, deputy city manager for community and development services; Commissioner Gene Wagner, Port of Kennewick Board of Commissioners

Short Video about Spaulding Business Park Project

Best Practices Winner - Spaulding Business Park Project

The Port of Kennewick, working in partnership with the City of Richland, stepped outside its traditional role and got involved in the purchase, development and resale of property as a way to promote urban renewal, improve social services and promote economic development. The result of this initiative is the Spaulding Business Park, which has lured new business and corporate headquarters to Richland.

The Spaulding Business Park has created 482 new jobs, bringing a wide range of services to Richland. The Port of Kennewick realized a profit of almost $1.3 million from its land improvement project and is looking for other revitalization projects to pursue.

City of Richland

Tana Bader Inglima
Director of Governmental Relations and Marketing
Port of Kennewick
(509) 586-8140

Full description of program

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Best Practices Winner - Workforce Development Partnership at General Plastics Manufacturing Company

A collaboration of business, government and education has demonstrated how an engaged Washington employer can recruit, maintain and develop a top-flight workforce capable of meeting the tough demands of a global economy.

The partnership created stronger employee involvement and a sense of ownership for the 25 participating employees. It also fostered a workforce capable of successfully competing in a global economy developed through the collaborative efforts of business, government and education.
Since 2006, the company has spent $14,218 to recruit, screen and assess 908 applicants. From this candidate pool, 144 were hired. Employee turnover, recruiting costs, and company staff time to source these positions were substantially reduced.

Tacoma Community College
WorkForce Central Business Connection

Eric Hahn
Vice President for Organization Development
General Plastics Manufacturing Company
(253) 473-5000

Full description of program

From left to right: Dan Grisham, Linda Nguyen, Eric Hahn, Lisa Edwards, Julie Sandstede

Short Video About General Plastics Project

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The Governor’s Economic and Workforce Development Conference is organized by the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board and Washingtonstate Department of Commerce. Commerce is the lead state agency charged with enhancing and promoting sustainable community and economic vitality in Washington. The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board is a partnership of labor, business and government, dedicated to helping Washington state residents obtain and succeed in family-wage jobs, while meeting employers’ needs for skilled workers.

Previous Best Practice Winners

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