Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County Names Marie Kurose as Chief Executive Officer

Chosen for her “vision, commitment to equity & fierce work ethic”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 29, 2019

Seattle, Wash– The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (WDC) is pleased to announce that Marie Kurose has been named the next Chief Executive Officer, bringing to the role more than 30 years of experience leading workforce development initiatives in the region, working in community-based organizations, private philanthropy, and major public institutions, including the City of Seattle and most recently the Port of Seattle. Ms. Kurose also served nearly seven years at the WDC—known at the time as the Private Industry Council—working as a Project Manager to implement initiatives that included partnering with agencies to establish the first centralized dislocated worker program site.

“Marie has demonstrated a deep working knowledge of national and local workforce development systems and policies,” says Board Chair Tom Peterson. “That knowledge will be vital as we transform our regional approach to broadening funding sources, increasing program efficiency, and targeting racial inequity.”

Ms. Kurose was selected after an extensive national search led by the consulting firm and racial equity specialists at Morten Group LLC. A search committee comprised of WDC board members and stakeholders from King County’s business, labor, and philanthropy sectors—as well as community partners—interviewed candidates from across the country over the course of several months.

Throughout her career, Ms. Kurose has demonstrated a commitment to engaging and partnering with communities of color, immigrants, refugees, and other community stakeholders. She has led efforts to unite community, philanthropic, and public-private partnerships in effective working relationships, and to improve collaboration with diverse systems and community organizations.

“I am excited for this opportunity to build on my passion and longstanding commitment to economic equity and social justice,” says Ms. Kurose. “I look forward to collaborating with our business, labor, training, community, and philanthropic partners to ensure our diverse communities are part of our region’s economic growth and prosperity.

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The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King Countyis a nonprofit workforce grant-funding organization led by a majority private sector board that oversees employment-related programs for youth, the adult workforce, and employers in Seattle-King County, with the goal of a strong economy and self-sufficiency for every resident.

Media Contact
Joe Taylor, Strategic Communications
Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County
jtaylor@seakingwdc.org |  206-448-0474 x 3031

King County Executive & City of Seattle Spotlight the Efforts of the Workforce Development Council

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May 22, 2019 - Reposted from the office of the King County Executive

SUMMARY

King County and City of Seattle are transforming the workforce system to connect more people to high-demand jobs. The new model will better align funding to help people who face barriers to employment and help ensure that employers have the well-trained workforce they need to remain competitive in the global economy.

STORY

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan are transforming how the region funds employment and job training, uniting the efforts of local governments, businesses, labor and philanthropies to connect more people to high-demand jobs.

Here are highlights of the transformation:

  • Prioritize employment and training for those who face the most barriers to opportunity.

  • Improve coordination between employers, labor, and educators to make sure job seekers are prepared for the best career opportunities available right now.

  • Better align local, federal, and philanthropic funding to maximize the impact and produce better results.

“We brought together businesses, labor, philanthropies, and educators to transform the local workforce system so we can connect more people to good-paying jobs available right here, right now,” said Executive Constantine. “Together, we will remove barriers to opportunity so that more of our neighbors can participate in our region’s historic job growth, providing local employers with the well-trained talent they need to compete in the global economy.”

“This is another step forward in our work to build a regional economy with true opportunity for all,” said Mayor Durkan. “We are connecting workers with the good-paying jobs of the future and building a world-class workforce. We will continue to work with our partners across the region to address disparities in our workforce across race, disability, immigration status and other identities and ensure that prosperity is shared."

By better aligning local and federal funding through the Workforce Development Council, the new approach will maximize the $8 million in federal funds the council receives each year for employment and training. As a first step, the Workforce Development Council is awarding a combined $2.7 million this week to community-based organizations to help them connect more people to employment services.  

The model builds on the progress the region has made over the past two years by creating a single strong board that unites workforce partners and funding, prioritizing funding that promotes racial equity.

Local leaders also announced a new alliance of philanthropic organizations – including Ballmer Group, Microsoft, The Boeing Company, Seattle Foundation, and JP Morgan Chase – that will support the region’s new workforce strategy.

Connecting more people to the region’s thriving economy

While the region’s economy is strong, certain populations still have disproportionately high unemployment rates, including Latinx, Native American, and African-American populations, people with disabilities, and people reentering the workforce after incarceration. The grant funding announced today is being awarded to community-based organizations that are working to promote racial equity in the region.

The $2.7 million in grants announced today includes federal funding and more than $800,000 generated by King County’s Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy. Each of the grants can may be renewed for up to two additional years, pending fund availability. The Workforce Development Council awarded the funding to five agencies, four of which are working with a consortia of organizations, that include a total of 14 community-based organizations that will help people who are currently underserved by workforce programs. Here are a few examples:

  • YWCA will partner with Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle to provide intensive and customized career development services to African-Americans, the chronically and long term unemployed, and individuals with criminal justice involvement.

  • Pacific Associates, in partnership with Alliance of People with DisAbilities and POCAAN will provide employment, career guidance, support services, emotional support, retraining and follow-up services to people with disabilities who want to return to work.

  • TRAC Associates will partner with Pioneer Human Services to provide clients coming out of incarceration access to their Roadmap to Success class, a cognitive behavior curriculum from The Pacific Institute that was written for people who have experienced incarceration. Pioneer staff will also provide supportive services such as help accessing a driver’s license, transit passes, and interview and work clothes.

The strategies funded by these grants were informed by input King County, City of Seattle, and Workforce Development Council received when they partnered with community leaders to apply an equity lens. As a result, many of the organizations that successfully competed for funding are led by people of color. 

King County, City of Seattle, and Workforce Development Council will create a community advisory committee to ensure that communities of color are able to provide input on the priorities for this type of competitive funding. It will be the first advisory of its kind in the nation.

Tapping into a national network of philanthropic funders

The newly formed Funders Collaborative is a local alliance of philanthropic organizations that includes Ballmer Group, Microsoft, The Boeing Company, Seattle Foundation, and JP Morgan Chase. It is affiliated with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, which makes it possible for the region to tap into this national network of philanthropic organizations.

This will diversify the funding portfolio for the Workforce Development Council, which currently relies almost exclusively on federal funding.

JP Morgan Chase today announced a $600,000 grant to the Workforce Development Council that will strengthen partnerships with industry partners to make sure employment and training programs provide people with the skills that employers need by expanding the nationally recognized Next Generation Sector Partnership model. As part of their renewed New Skills at Work initiative, JPMorgan Chase will invest $350 million globally to develop, test and scale innovative efforts that prepare individuals with the skills they need to be successful in a rapidly changing economy.

The Next Generation Sector Partnership model was piloted in the local healthcare sector – the Seattle-King County Healthcare Industry Leadership Table, or HILT – with support from Seattle Foundation, JP Morgan Chase, Ballmer Group, and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. It will be scaled to two additional industries through the JP Morgan Chase grant.

Unlike the old model in which employers worked individually with multiple support organizations, the new the model organizes the many education, training and economic development entities into a coordinated response team, making it possible for employers to partner with a single group to ensure that job training programs prepare students for the current job market.

Kaiser Permanente also announced a $350,000 grant to the Workforce Development Council. The grant will connect more low-income youth to high-demand registered apprenticeship pathways in partnership with Puget Sound Educational Service District, the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee, Seattle Education Access, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction as well as South King County school districts, and community colleges.

QUOTES

“We brought together businesses, labor, philanthropies, and educators to transform the local workforce system so we can connect more people to good-paying jobs available right here, right now. Together, we will remove barriers to opportunity so that more of our neighbors can participate in our region’s historic job growth, providing local employers with the well-trained talent they need to compete in the global economy.”
- Dow Constantine, King County Executive

“This is another step forward in our work to build a regional economy with true opportunity for all. We are connecting workers with the good-paying jobs of the future and building a world-class workforce. We will continue to work with our partners across the region to address disparities in our workforce across race, disability, immigration status and other identities and ensure that prosperity is shared.”
- Jenny A. Durkan, Seattle Mayor

“Regional collaboratives are at the heart of how the National Fund achieves its mission. In more than 30 communities across the nation, business leaders and workforce professionals come together to deliver solutions that generate more inclusive prosperity. The National Fund provide a robust learning community for our members — that learning is a two-way street. Through our network, successful solutions in one community are shared, adapted, and replicated in another, creating change on a national scale. Seattle has been a key partner in our efforts to engage employers in new sectors and implement programs to ensure that all workers in the region can earn a family sustaining wage.”
- Fred Dedrick, President and CEO, National Fund for Workforce Solutions

“We are thrilled to work with new partners to grow and evolve our strategy for helping individuals in our community achieve financial self-sufficiency.”
- Tom Peterson, Board Chair of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County

“I could not be more energized by this huge commitment to shaping the workforce of tomorrow. Kaiser Permanente wants to make an impact on the lives of our members, employees and the communities we serve and access to living wage jobs is critical. We are truly honored to be on the frontline by intentionally creating space for underrepresented populations and people facing barriers to skills training and employment. Not only will our members benefit from having exceptional inclusive care but we’ll foster more sustainable and healthy communities.”
- Jiquanda Nelson, Sr. Manager, Equity, Inclusion & Diversity and Workforce Development

“As a registered nurse I wholeheartedly support expanded training opportunities through the Workforce Development Council. I have personal experience with career training through the SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Multi-Employer Training Fund, which gave me the support I needed to achieve my life-long dream of becoming a nurse. With the Training Fund I could go back to school while I worked, and they paid for all my tuition, books and supplies with no out of pocket costs. The WDC initiative is all about bringing together labor, government, philanthropies and employers to help working people achieve our dreams, so we can contribute fully to our communities.”
- Cenetra Pickens, Registered Nurse and SEIU 1199NW Member, Kaiser Permanente Tacoma Medical Center

Map Your Career | Redesign Walkthrough

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Map Your Career, a career pathway planning resource illustrating Seattle-King County’s current and predicted labor market, has been completely redesigned with updated data.

In a classroom or career counseling setting, Map Your Career is most useful for broadening awareness around local opportunities, and inspiring further discovery of education, training pathways, and networking starting points.

In addition to a printed booklet for the public school and workforce systems, MapYourCareer.org is easily accessible on both desktop and mobile devices.

Let's take a walkthrough of the major features.

DISCOVER YOUR WORK VALUES

In designing Map Your Career, we identified a need for a worksheet to help frame career planning in the context of personal work values, in an open-ended format without right or wrong answers. This resource is perfect for a group activity in a classroom.

GET AN OVERVIEW OF INDUSTRIES

Industries were identified by their potential for career opportunity over the next 10 years. To illustrate this for a general audience, we placed job data in the context of population demographics to provide an overview of regional opportunity.

EXPLORE CAREER MAPS

The career maps—the bread and butter of this resource—are designed to show a layered approach to career pathways driven by education and experience, but without creating a false impression of strict, linear progression.

From the Center Out

Some maps show career pathways that move in less of a straight line. To read these maps, start in the center, and work your way out by education/experience level.

From Left to Right

Some maps show career pathways that have a bit more structure, often with clear stages of advancement. To read these maps, begin on the left side and move to the right, advancing with education and experience.

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TAKING THE NEXT STEPS

We also included a general guide to career planning to help point to concrete next steps, and to the wealth of public resources available for further discover. We want Map Your Career to be used to plan a career, rather than just pick a job.

RESOURCE SHOWCASE

Check out the Resource Showcase  to learn more about the history and philosophy behind Map Your Career.

New & Revised Policies Published

April 19, 2019

The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County published new and updated policies for the public workforce system on April 19, 2019, after incorporating feedback received during a public comment period.

To view the policies, visit our Policies & Guidelines page.

1.    ACCOMMODATION

LINK: Policy 01-2005 Accommodation (V3)

Summary: This policy was revised to 1) align with state level WIOA Title 1 Policy 5402, Rev 2, Dec 12, 2018; 2) comply with a new policy template to assure greater consistency and readability; and 3) clarify the expectation that all partners who are part of the WorkSource Seattle-King County System provide reasonable accommodations to customers who require them.

Key Policy Provisions:

  • The revised policy recognizes the WDC’s role in assuring that the entire regional WorkSource System, not only contracted services providers, meet state and federal expectations to meet the needs of customers with disabilities. 

  • The previous policy only applied to “WDC contracted partners” while the revised policy directs “all WDC contractors and One Stop system partners” to comply with the policy.

2.    AUDIT RESOLUTION & DEBT COLLECTION

LINK: Policy 09-2003 Audit Resolution and Debt Collection (V3)

Summary: This policy was revised to 1) update state and federal references, 2) comply with a new policy template to assure greater consistency and readability, and 3) integrate a process for resolving audit exceptions. 

Key Policy Provisions:

  • The previous policy consisted of two separate linked policies for audit resolution and debt collection.  The revision integrates the requirements of these two policies into a single process in order to clarify expectations and streamline processes for staff and contractors.

  • The new version of the policy integrates a process for resolving audit exceptions forwarded to the Board’s Executive Committee.

3.    CONFLICT OF INTEREST

LINK: Policy 09-2002 Conflict of Interest (V4)

Summary: This policy was revised to 1) update references to state level WIOA Policy 5405 Rev 1 Jan 30, 2017 and 2) comply with a new policy template to assure greater consistency and readability.

Key Policy Provisions:

  • The policy seeks to minimize the potential for conflicts of interest impacting WDC contracting and decision-making processes. 

  • The policy defines conflicts of interest and clarifies expectations for board members and contractors when faced with such a conflict.

4.    DISPUTE RESOLUTION

LINK: Policy 03-2019 Dispute Resolution (V1)

Summary: This policy was revised to 1) align with state level WIOA Policy 5401, Rev 1, May 9, 2016 and 2) comply with a new policy template to assure greater consistency and readability.

Key Policy Provisions:

  • The policy describes how partners within the WorkSource System will resolve disputes among themselves.

  • As per state guidance, the policy focuses on addressing disputes at the lowest level possible and only escalating these when informal attempts at resolution fail.

5.    ELIGIBILITY POLICY & DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS

LINK: Eligibility Policy and Documentation Requirements (V7)
LINK: Attachment A: Eligibility Policy Handbook

Summary: Extensive revisions were made to comply with a new policy template to improve readability, update state and federal references, and to update the attached handbook to align with recent changes made to state level WIOA Policy 1019, Rev 4, Dec 28, 2018.

Key Policy Provisions: 

  • This policy codifies the requirements for determination of eligibility for both WIOA Title I-funded and other programs. 

  • This policy includes a handbook that describes federal, state and local requirements, templates and other resources to reduce the risk of errors related to participant eligibility and data validation. 

6.    EQUAL OPPORTUNITY & NONDISCRIMINATION

LINK: Policy 07-2002 Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination (V2)

Summary: This policy was revised to 1) align with state level Title 1 Policy #5402, Rev 2, Jan 12, 2018 and 2) comply with a new policy template to assure greater consistency and readability.

Key Policy Provisions: 

  • This policy clarifies the expectations for those who provide services funded with federal resources to meet the requirements for providing equal opportunity and avoid discrimination.

  • While the content of the policy has not changed significantly from the previous version, the revisions to improve readability and clarity were extensive and deemed worthy of public review and comment.

7.    INDIVIDUAL TRAINING ACCOUNT (ITA)

LINK: Policy 03-2000 Individual Training Account (V6)

Summary: This policy was revised to 1) update references and align with state level WIOA Policies #5601 and #5611 and 2) comply with a new policy template to assure greater consistency and readability.

Key Policy Provisions: 

  • This policy provides the federal, state, and local requirements for using WIOA Title I resources to fund training for eligible participants and the limits to the use of funds for these purposes. 

  • The policy clarifies expectations for the use of the state Eligible Training Provider list to identify training programs, as well as the requirements for participant choice and participant engagement in the development and successful completion of training activities. 

8.    ON THE JOB TRAINING FOR TITLE 1 PROGRAMS

LINK: Policy 03-2018 On the Job Training for Title 1 Programs (V1)

Summary: This is anew local policy to consolidate federal, state and local regulations regarding On the Job Training for WIOA Title 1 eligible adults, dislocated workers and youth.

Key Policy Provisions:

  • This policy clarifies the conditions under which WIOA Title I resources may be used to fund On the Job Training for eligible participants.

  • This policy also explains the requirements for businesses to be eligible to receive WIOA Title I funds under the On the Job Training program.

  • The policy clarifies the situations in which WIOA Title I resources may not be used for On the Job Training.

9.    POLITICAL ACTIVITY

LINK: Policy 02-2019 Political Activity (V1)

Summary: This is a new local policy to consolidate federal and state (RCW and ESD) guidelines regarding restrictions on political activities paid with federal or state funds, and disclosure requirements for other allowable political activities if paid with private funds. 

Key Policy Provisions:

  • The policy defines political activity and prohibits the engagement in such activities by individuals funded with state and federal resources. 

  • The policy differentiates between personal engagement in political activities and those undertaken as a representative of the WDC.

Open House & Staff Networking | Event Spotlight

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On March 29th, WorkSource Center Auburn held an Open House & Staff Networking event attended by over 60 representatives of agencies, community-based organizations, and service providers. The event was held during open hours to provide a window into daily operations and to demonstrate the principles of diversity and inclusion at work in a customer-centered space.

The event kicked off with an introduction from Kimberly Tickner, site administrator, highlighting customer success from working across agencies toward shared objectives. Over the course of two hours, organizations presented their programs, and participants focused on shared areas of improvement. Brad McGuire and Kimberly Tickner co-facilitated a human-centered design exercise on referrals—the “good, bad and ugly” of handing off customers to other service providers.

The event was well-received and may lead to future opportunities for WorkSource staff to foster professional relationships with local colleges, apprenticeship organizations, and community leaders, all with the goal of better serving customers.

Thanks to WorkSource Auburn, King County, the Operator Team, and all partners for helping put on a great event!