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Youth Works Initiative


Since the Youth Works Initiative began in 2013, the program has doubled the number of young people doing internships at local employers, doubled the number of youth matched with employer mentors and tripled the number of youth who designed a specific career plan at YouthWorks sites across Washington.

YouthWorks Phase One was a $250,000 pilot program funded by the Employment Security Department and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2013.

The governor’s office, Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, Workforce Development Councils, ESD and OSPI had agreed to use $1.9 million in federal discretionary funding to expand Phase Two of YouthWorks statewide in 2014–15.

Current funding for 2015-16 sits at $2.2 million.


Youth Works letter from the Governor

YouthWorks news release

Youth Works 2015 Report (PDF)--NEW!

Other Workforce Board Youth initiatives


The state's 12 Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) will design and implement programs that bring industry together with schools and youth service organizations to improve both education and employment outcomes for low-income young people.


The Workforce Board established application guidelines for distribution of funds across the 12 WDCs, and also negotiated performance targets for each WDC and for the state as a whole.


The Workforce Board will also:


  • Capture promising and best practice information that can be shared widely with program operators and key policymakers.

  • Capture lessons learned and areas for mid-course correction.


Program contact: Dave Wallace, (360) 709-4613

Youth Works Results for 2014-15


  • Business Mentorships/Coaches: 1,830
  • Career Goals Identified: 5,269
  • Career Pathway Identified: 5,375
  • 90-Hour Business Internships: 1,050
  • WIA Youth EE or Postsecondary: 704
  • Other work-based learning: 3,472


2015-16 YouthWorks grants total $2.2 million

Gov. Inslee announced winners of a new round of funding to help thousands of youth across Washington prepare for meaningful, living-wage careers and the education opportunities necessary to attain them.

YouthWorks grants totalling nearly $2.2 million will provide internships and other work-based learning experiences for thousands of youth and help re-engage those who have dropped out or are at risk of not graduating from high school.

How much for each Workforce Development Council?

Olympic WDC (Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap counties) $97,393


Partners: Westsound Technical Skills Center, Olympic College, OESD Educational Advocates and Stand up for Kids

Pacific Mountain WDC (Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific and Thurston counties) $176, 848


Capital Region Educational Service District and Big Brother Big Sister of Southwest Washington

Northwest WDC (Island, San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom counties) $134,539


Partners: Bellingham Technical College, Whatcom County School District Open Doors, NW Youth Services

Snohomish County WDC~ $145,635


Partners: Everett Community College, Cocoon House, Snohomish County STEM Network

WDC of Seattle-King County ~ $418,003


Partners: Highline Public Schools, Juma, YouthCare, YMCA of Greater Seattle

Tacoma-Pierce County WDC ~ $305,049

Partners: Pierce County Skills Center, Tacoma Public Schools, The REACH Center


North Central WDC (Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan counties) $138,391


Partners: Wenatchee and Okanogan School Districts

South Central WDC (Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania and Yakima counties) $176,536


Partners: Yakima County School District Open Doors, ACG Apprenticeship Center, Rod's House (homeless support), Yakima Neighborhood Health, Laborer's International and the Department of Transportation


Southwest WA WDC (Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties) $238,224


Partners: Battleground, Camas and Vancouver school districts, Educational Service District 112, Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Regions, Innovative Services NW and Partners in Careers

Eastern WA Partnership WDC (Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla counties) $63,798


Partners: Educational Opportunity Center Open Doors Out-of-School Re-Engagement, Clarkston School District

Benton-Franklin WDC (Benton and Franklin counties) $106,003


Partners: IBEW and Benton-Franklin Juvenile Justice Center

Spokane Area WDC ~ $174,581

Partners: Open Doors Re-Engagement program at the Next Generation Zone, YouthBuild Spokane, Community Colleges of Spokane, Washington Youth and Families Fund, Bridge 21st Century Skills Program (Career Path Services--Homeless Youth agency)









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