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Worker Retraining Program

Contact: Katherine Mahoney
State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
P.O. Box 42495
Olympia, WA 98504-2495
Telephone: (360)704-4329
E-mail: kmahoney@sbctc.edu

State Website: http://www.sbctc.edu/college/_e-wkforceworkerretraining.aspx

Participation: 15,326 participants were served by the Worker Retraining Program between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013. This count includes both community and technical college as well as private career school enrollments.

Who is Served: The program serves unemployed people and those who have been notified they are about to be laid off. To qualify, a person must be eligible for or have exhausted his or her unemployment compensation benefits within the last 24 months. Dislocated workers and long-term unemployed people have priority access to the program’s training and support services. Displaced homemakers, those formerly self-employed, and unemployed veterans recently separated from service may also qualify. Vulnerable workers (those who are employed but in declining occupations and have less than one year of college education plus a credential) may qualify.

Program Description: The program serves the unemployed or those facing imminent layoffs. Community and technical colleges provide training in basic skills and literacy, occupational skills, vocational education, and related or supplemental instruction for apprentices. Qualified students may receive financial assistance to help with tuition, as well as the costs of child care and transportation. Private career schools and colleges enroll a small number of Worker Retraining students as well. The program is administered by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.

Other Program Characteristics: Annual plans focus on training programs that prepare students for occupations with demonstrated demand for qualified workers and lead to jobs providing a living wage. Program plans actively involve business, government, and labor as they determine the employment demand and content of the training program. There is flexibility as to the length of participant training and program of study.

Program History: The Employment and Training Trust Fund was established in 1993 to fund training and related support services for the unemployed and to fund improvements in the state’s employment security system. After sunsetting in 1997, the fund was reauthorized as the Worker Retraining Program with the passage of SB 5909 in 1999. Funding comes from the State General Fund. Since 1993, more than 135,000 workers who lost their jobs have been trained through the Worker Retraining Program. In 2009 and 2010, the economic downturn resulted in a dramatic increase in demand for worker retraining funds.

Planning Cycle: Annual

State Core Measures: See Workforce Training Results at http://www.wtb.wa.gov/WashingtonStateCoreMeasures.asp

Other Outcome Measures: Include completion of an educational program, employment, and regaining or exceeding previous wages.

Funding and Regional Division: 2013-14 funds are allocated as follows:

  • Enrollment: 7,606 full-time equivalents (FTEs)
  • CTC Enrollment Support: $3,620 per FTE
  • CTC Financial Aid/Training Completion Aid: $1,505 per FTE
  • Private Career Schools and Colleges: Funding only supports student tuition. Private career schools and colleges do not receive funding to support the development or administration of programs.
Each college is required to submit a one-year plan. The plans must be developed in cooperation with and endorsed by the college’s worker retraining advisory committee. The plans are reviewed by State Board for Community and Technical Colleges staff.

State Funding: $39,759,100 (July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014), State General Fund

Federal Funding: None.

Statutory Authority: State-RCW 28C.04.410 and .420. Administered by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.

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