Home About Us Contact Us


Learn more about Talent and Prosperity for All

Print Print Friendly

Career Connected Learning


Career connected learning can be as simple as a business person visiting a classroom, talking about what they do. Or a job shadow where a young person learns more about an occupation or business.Or in some cases it can be an internship, or a registered apprenticeship, where youth are paid while they learn hands-on skills.

Goal: Connect 100,000 Washington youth during the next five years with career-connected learning opportunities that prepare them for high-demand, high wage jobs.


Governor Inslee Awards $6.4 million for apprenticeships, internships

Career connected learning opportunities for 29,000 Washington youth

Olympia_Job shadows, internships and apprenticeships are just a few of the career connections that are being created over the next few years for 29,000 youth thanks to $6.4 million in new Career Connect Washington grant funding.

The awardees expect to create these learning experiences in 11 communities from now through September 2019. These include STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning experiences, job shadows at local employers, career planning, and over 4,800 new internships, pre-apprenticeships, and registered apprenticeships.

“A four-year degree isn’t the only path to a fulfilling career,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “Business
leaders have told us they are looking for talent in everything from information technology to
health care. And that’s what this initiative is all about: connecting students to great employers and high-quality job training.”

$1.3 million to Career Connect Seattle-King County
Career Connect Seattle-King County focuses on providing relevant experiences across the
continuum of career awareness, exploration, preparation and training for all youth, with an
emphasis on underrepresented populations. The proposal partners with Highline and Seattle Public Schools, along with Open Doors sites, while engaging business and expanding apprenticeship pathways for youth and adults across the aerospace, culinary, allied health and construction sectors.
Media contacts: Dot Fallihee, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Sea-King WDC, 206-448-0474

$957,255 to Career Connect Northwest (Island, San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom counties)
Career Connect Northwest will deliver sequenced career learning experiences and expanded apprenticeship opportunities to nearly 900 young adults, including mentorship
opportunities, informational interviews, job shadows and structured work based activity. The
project will expand existing career connected learning programs such as the Washington
Apprenticeship Vocation Training Tour. The project will expand five existing apprenticeships
while creating two new apprenticeship programs, resulting in 45 new apprenticeship
opportunities annually.
Media contacts: Gay Dubigk, Chief Executive Officer, Northwest Workforce Council, 360-676-
3209 or Michelle Judson, Skagit STEM Network Director, judson@swsd.k12.wa.us, (360) 383-7086.

$854,547 to Career Connect North Central (Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant and
Okanogan counties)

Career Connect North Central addresses the challenges of a large rural region by creating
career connect teams in the region’s three labor market sub-areas of health care,
manufacturing and computer science. Using lessons learned from the Wenatchee Learns
Connect initiative, which has garnered statewide acclaim, the Workforce Development
Council, Apple STEM Network, business champions, local employers, partner agencies, school districts and post-secondary institutions will create high-quality career connected learning experiences for youth and new apprenticeship opportunities.
Media contacts: Lisa Romine, Managing Director, SkillSource/North Central Workforce
Development Council, lisar@skillsource.org or Jenny Rojanasthien, Apple STEM Network
(Wenatchee) Director, jrojanasthien@gwata.org, 509-661-9000.


$852,910 to Career Connect Tacoma-Pierce County
Career Connect Tacoma-Pierce County will collaborate with WorkForce Central, Bates and
Clover Park Technical Colleges, sheet metal and carpenters labor organizations, AJAC,
Associated General Contractors Educational Foundation, the Construction Center of
Excellence, ResCare Workforce Services, and the Tacoma STEAM Network (science,
technology, engineering, art and math). The group will provide youth and young adults with
a multitude of experiences that include career connected learning opportunities, sector
training in growth occupations, and apprenticeships. The project focuses on creating new
registered apprenticeship programs as well as expanding youth and young adult enrollment
into existing apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs.
Media contacts: Christian Caple, Communications Director, Workforce Central, 253-213-2960 or Kyle Roffler, Tacoma STEAM Network Director, kroffler@graduatetacoma.org, 253-
$831,984 to Career Connect South Central (Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania and Yakima

Career Connect South Central partners with STEM champions from local business and
industry, education, government, apprenticeship-sponsoring organizations, and community
organizations to provide equitable access to high-quality career connected learning
experiences to rural and underserved youth. Through internships, expanded and newly
developed apprenticeship programs, job shadows, career exploration events, networking
opportunities and the development of interest-driven career plans, participating youth will
seamlessly enter high-demand STEM jobs in Washington.
Media contacts: Jack Fitzgerald, Executive Director, South Central Washington WDC,
jack.fitzgerald@co.yakima.wa.us, 509-574-1950 or Mark Cheney, South Central STEM Network Director, mark.cheney@esd105.org, 509-654-8804.
$740,000 to Career Connect Southwest (Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties)
This grant will activate the region’s rich expertise in career connected learning by continuing
work done through YouthWorks to dramatically increase internships and work-based learning opportunities for youth. These strong partnerships will continue to build long-lasting
registered apprenticeships in the high-growth and in-demand field of health care through
partnerships with Peace Health, Rebound Orthopedics, Kaiser Permanente and Great Rivers Behavioral Health. Career Connect Southwest will expand the AJAC registered apprenticeship program in rural Cowlitz County through partnerships with Lower Columbia College and Millennium Bulk Terminals.
Media contacts: Jeanne Bennett, Executive Director, Workforce Southwest Washington, 360-
567-1070 or Ted Feller, SW Washington STEM Network Director,
ted.feller@swstemnetwork.org, 360-952-3429

$263,303 to Career Connect Eastern Washington (Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Franklin,
Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens and Walla Walla counties)

Career Connect Eastern Washington will provide students in Ferry, Pend Oreille and Stevens counties with 90-hour internships in natural resources, including in forestry and water and soil conservation. Students matched with a mentor will develop and conduct FieldSTEM investigations, present their career plan and project to various community groups, and then lead additional youth FieldSTEM investigations. This regional will work with employers to convert forest products internships into registered apprenticeships – youth or adult – and will work with additional partners to convert existing apprenticeships into youth registered apprenticeships.
Media contacts: Rod Van Alyne, Director, Eastern Washington Partnership WDC, (509) 684-
8421 or Deb Bowen, Mid Columbia STEM Network Director, deb@stemlearning.org, 509-420- 9316.

$150,000 each to Career Connect Olympic Peninsula (Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap
counties), Career Connect Pacific Mountain (Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific and
Thurston counties), Career Connect Snohomish County, and Career Connect Spokane

These regional teams will continue to refine their local design with a strong focus on
identifying employers willing to expand or launch registered apprenticeships for youth and
adults, internships and pre-application slots.
 Career Connect Olympic Peninsula media contacts: Elizabeth Court, Director, Olympic
Consortium, 360-337-4767 or Kareen Borders, West Sound STEM Network Director, borders@skschools.org, 360-874-7059

Career Connect Pacific Mountain media contacts: Julie Baxter, Strategic Initiatives
Navigator, Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council (WDC), 360-570-4273.
 Career Connect Snohomish media contacts: Erin Monroe, Chief Executive Officer,
Workforce Snohomish, 425-921-3423 or Kandace Barnes, Snohomish STEM Network
Director, kandaceb@snohomishSTEM.org, 206-755-7417
 Career Connect Spokane media contacts: Mark Mattke, Chief Executive Officer,
Spokane Area WDC, 509-533-8470 or Meg Lindsay, Spokane STEM Network
Director, mlindsay@greaterspokane.org, 509-321-3611.



Staff contact: Nova Gattman, Workforce Board Legislative Director, (360) 709-4612

Recommendations from Career Connect Washington Task Force

The Career Connect Washington Task Force released four recommendations in 2018 to bring career-connected learning to scale. The Task Force was created by Gov. Jay Inslee and co-chaired by Workforce Board Chair Perry England and Microsoft President Brad Smith.

  1. Ensure education puts all our students on a pathway to career success, including career exploration that starts in middle school.

  2. Ensure all teachers, counselors, other partners get the training they need.

  3. Expand registered apprenticeships, "earn while you learn" model that leads to high-wage careers.

  4. Develop a strategic plan, starting with an inventory of programs already working across the state.

Get more details here.

“As a business person and Chair of the Workforce Board, I’m committed to strengthening the connection between Washington employers and our young people. We need business and industry at the table to make this work. We need business to be engaged and truly excited about helping create these opportunities."


-Workforce Board Chair Perry England

Why Career Connected Learning is Important

Washington's young adults, ages 18-24, experience the highest unemployment and the greatest difficulty of any age group in getting a job, and keeping it . Unemployment routinely runs twice as great for this age group, than for others.

Unfilled job opportunities

Meanwhile, as Washington's youth scramble for employment, thousands of Washington employers report leaving positions unfilled for lack of qualified candidates who have needed education or skills.

Lack of work experience

Lack of work experience, or simply exposure to the work world, is a key reason why young people lack these employability skills. Internships, job shadows, and other forms of work experience can help young people gain these unwritten but critical skills.

Policy Academy on Work-Based Learning

Washington is continuing a Policy Academy for Work-Based Learning after receiving $40,000 from the National Governors Association to participate in a second phase. This second phase continues previous work begun in 2016, when Washington was awarded a $100,000 grant from the NGA to create a policy framework to increase work-based learning for youth ages 16-29, particularly in STEM fields. Read more about the Policy Academy.


Governor's Career Connected Learning Summit

In May 2017, the Workforce Board co-hosted the Governor's Summit on Career Connected Learning, where the Career Connect Washington Task Force was announced by Gov. Inslee. This Task Force is expected to accelerate career connected learning. The Summit, held at the Microsoft campus, brought together industry, policy, and education leaders to discuss how to create more career-related opportunities for Washington young people. More than two dozen regional sites hosted locally driven meetings across the state and connected to the central site through a live feed. The Summit drew over 1,300 participants, generating significant momentum.

View the recording of the live feed.


Read more here:





Last Modified 11/15/2019   |   Privacy Statement   |   Site Map   |   Employment   |   Access Washington   |   Register to Vote