Free Job Training, Financial Assistance for Workers Laid-Off from Valente Global

Laid-off workers eligible for free training for a new occupation, financial assistance & other benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 8, 2019

Seattle, Wash – Laid-off Valente Global workers may be eligible for free training for a new occupation, financial assistance, and other benefits.

The U.S. Department of Labor approved benefits for workers who lost their jobs due to a lack of work after December 18, 2017. Workers may receive vocational training, additional unemployment benefits, relocation expenses, reimbursement for an out-of-area job search and the federal Health Coverage Tax Credit. Older workers may receive a subsidy that covers the difference in wages earned at the time of separation and those earned in re- employment.

Workers who believe they are eligible should attend an informational meeting on October 14 or 28, or November 18, 2019 at WorkSource Redmond, 7735 178th PL NE, Redmond, WA 98052. Please call to confirm your seat at 425- 861-3704. Those who are unable to attend may contact WorkSource Redmond (https://www.worksourceskc.org/redmond) for more information.

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is a federal program designed to reduce workforce impacts from imports and covers several sectors of the economy. The program for workers is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. For more information, please visit https://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/.

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The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County is 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

Connect Online

www.seakingwdc.org @SeattleKingWDC WDC on LinkedIn

Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County and Bank of America Announce $150,000 Year-Long Youth Workforce Development Partnership

Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County and Bank of America Announce $150,000 Year-Long Youth Workforce Development Partnership

September 4, 2019

SEATTLE, WA – The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (WDC) and Bank of America announce a $150,000 year-long partnership tosupport the WDC’s Youth at Work Summer Employment Program.

Bank of America and the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County share a commitment to connect low-income youth to meaningful employment opportunities. Funding will expand participation in the Youth at Work Summer Employment Program that will run through June 2020, through paid internships for 25 economically disadvantaged youth at a variety of worksites, with an emphasis on high-growth industry sectors.

The mission of the WDC is to support a strong economy and the ability of each person to achieve self-sufficiency. Under the direction of the WDC, Youth at Work sponsors summer job opportunities for youth ages 14 to 24, supports the development of their workplace skills, and assists employers in evolving a future workforce.

“We’ve long supported WDC because of their ability to provide our local youth with the tools, resources and encouragement needed to lead them on a path toward financial stability,” said Kerri Schroeder, Seattle Market President for Bank of America. “The individuals WDC serves want the same thing we all want: the ability to have a good job and make enough money to support ourselves and our families. By supporting and strengthening these opportunities for our local youth, we help close the poverty gap and build a more economically thriving community.”

This year alone, Bank of America has given $735,000 in economic mobility grants to non-profit organizations working to change lives across the Puget Sound region. In addition, Bank of America’s signature Student Leaders© program offers young people an opportunity to build their workforce and leadership skills through a paid summer internship at a local nonprofit and the ability to help improve their communities. Bank of America has helped chart a path for more than 75 local Student Leaders since the program started in 2015. The Bank also partners with the Boys and Girls Club to provide summer internships to 10 BGC students who are learning banker skills in community financial centers located in low- and moderate-income communities. These locations offer access to tailored financial education, expert professionals, job opportunities, affordable homeownership solutions, and potential capital for small businesses. 

The programs and initiatives mentioned above only skim the surface of the workforce development efforts facilitated by Bank of America locally. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 19.6 percent of our state's young adults were unemployed in 2015. The WDC’s target population, particularly out-of-school youth, face a complex range of challenges – 41 percent of disconnected youth in south King County have a history of mental illness, are involved with the juvenile justice or foster care systems, or need specialized academic or social support. Many also have urgent needs related to basic stabilization, physical and mental health, and other challenging life circumstances.

Research shows that youth employment improves long-term financial well-being, while increasing cognitive and non-cognitive skills, such as grit, responsibility, determination, and self-confidence. When young people are employed, they are less likely to be involved in criminal activity and are better able to attain self-sufficiency in the future.

Marie Kurose, CEO of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, stated, “Thanks to this grant, we can connect more youth to opportunities that set them up for lifelong success. This is one part—an important and vital part—of ensuring that our region is doing all it can to create equitable outcomes for our youth.”

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About the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County

The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (www.seakingwdc.org, @SeattleKingWDC) is a nonprofit workforce think-tank and grant-making organization that oversees employment-related programs for youth, the adult workforce, and employers in King County, with the goal of a strong economy and self-sufficiency for every resident.

About Bank of America

At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more atabout.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).

Manufacturing Workforce in Seattle-King County to Receive Grant from National Fund for Workforce Solutions

Seattle among two workforce collaboratives to receive grant supporting on-the-job training in advanced manufacturing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Fund for Workforce Solutions has announced that two workforce collaboratives in its network—Seattle, Washington and Sarasota, Florida—will each receive $125,000 in grants for on-the-job training in high-demand advanced manufacturing skills.

The two-year investment, made possible by The Boeing Company, will provide support for participating employers to train new and incumbent workers in the skills needed to remain competitive. The training programs will help manufacturing companies fill vacancies while advancing current employees into positions with higher skills and higher wages. The program will prioritize racial and gender diversity in the workforce and will develop employer leaders who commit to building a sustainable career development system.

Seattle-King Workforce Funders Collaborative, in partnership with the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee, will use on-the-job training resources to connect underserved populations – especially young adults, women, and people of color – to advanced manufacturing jobs and registered apprenticeship training that lead to family-sustaining careers.

A total of five communities are participating in the program, with three having been selected in 2018.

“The National Fund is excited to expand this successful on-the-job training program,” said Dr. Pam Howze, director of work-based learning at the National Fund. “Since we started this Boeing-funded work in August 2018, 54 workers have successfully completed on-the-job training programs in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Wichita. We know we will have continued success in Sarasota and Seattle.”

Each local partner will design job training strategies tailored to their labor market, employer partners, and unique needs.

Read the press release from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.

Kaiser Permanente Awards $350,000 to Expand Youth Apprenticeship

Partnerships throughout the community focus on scaleable, equity-focused impact

On May 22nd the Kaiser Permanente Health Plan of Washington announced a generous grant of $350,000 to the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (WDC) to expand apprenticeship opportunities in in-demand sectors for opportunity youth. "We’re pleased to have so many partners on-board as we take on this project,” said Marie Kurose, new CEO of the WDC. “It’s exciting to bring our focus on high-quality training and high-demand jobs into a community like South King County, where those resources, combined with a commitment to equitable outcomes, can have a huge impact on the lives of opportunity youth."

The WDC, in partnership with Puget Sound Educational Services District (PSESD), the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC), and Seattle Education Access (SEA), will develop a scalable system  that connects low-income youth and young adults to high demand registered apprenticeship pathways, with an initial focus on manufacturing and healthcare. “The continued conversations around regional strategies and the integration of current systems to assist in the expansion of registered apprenticeship opportunities for all youth in multiple industries is both important and exciting.” Demetria “Lynn” Strickland, Executive Director, AJAC. 

Partners will form an opportunity youth apprenticeship consortium, bringing together apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships, service providers, youth re-engagement centers, and other interested partners to better understand the challenges facing young people when entering apprenticeship.

Across the two-year grant emphasis will be placed on building pathways for opportunity youth to enter healthcare apprenticeships. With new apprenticeships starting up in Medical Assisting and other occupations, the timing couldn’t be better. “There is tremendous momentum for the apprenticeship model in our region,” said Kim Wicklund, Director of Community Health at Kaiser Permanente. “We are delighted that the Consortium is looking at apprenticeship opportunities through the lens of equity and supporting disengaged youth in accessing such important programs. These young adults play an important role in the healthcare workforce of the future.”

Research shows that there are 19,000 young people ages 16 to 24 that are not in school and not working across south King County, the target area for these resources. Through access to apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship, young people with barriers to employment like housing insecurity, justice involvement, and food scarcity will enter the workforce prepared to succeed.

By working with dropout re-engagement centers and recruitment partners, the consortium will ensure a diverse set of prospective apprentices hear about pathways to living-wage careers. PSESD's role across school districts will ensure that a referral and placement system will be designed with long-term programmatic sustainability in mind, accessing funding sources like Open Doors.

Youth apprenticeship transforms how education systems prepare young people to enter careers and launch into adulthood through mutually beneficial partnerships across schools, industry, and communities. These partnerships create opportunities for young people to finish high school, start their postsecondary education at little-to-no cost, complete paid work experience alongside a mentor, and start along a path that broadens their options for the future. 

The work supported by the Kaiser grant will be closely aligned with the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship grant awarded by New America to the Construction Center of Excellence at Renton Technical College. Both grants will seek to build regional capacity for in-school and out-of-school youth to access and succeed in apprenticeship pathways. "We have been honored to be a part of expanding registered apprenticeship opportunities across industries and beyond the traditional trades programs," said Shana Peschek, Director of the Construction Center of Excellence. "Supporting the Workforce Development Council of Seattle King County on their Kaiser grant is another opportunity to align the work we are doing under the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship grant for youth in apprenticeship.  This work will focus on equity and access for youth, opportunity youth and young adults to gain living wage career opportunities through a registered apprenticeship pathway. These two funding mechanisms will bring together agencies in synchronized efforts for systemic change. It’s exciting to be a part of!"


Grant by the numbers:

2 – initial occupations of focus, manufacturing and healthcare

5 – employers hire opportunity youth apprentices

15 – opportunity youth enter apprenticeship

75 – youth enter pre-apprenticeship or other pre-employment training

150 – out-of-school youth learn about manufacturing apprenticeship pathways

Meet Kristen Fox, New WDC Board Chair

In a recent board election, Kristen Fox was voted Chair for a 2-year term. Kristen has served as a board member since 2018, and we are excited for her to bring her business intelligence and acumen, in addition to her compassion, to this leadership role.

We recently profiled Kristen’s professional journey in healthcare and her pathway to workforce development. Read on to learn more:


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Kristen Fox serves as the Chief Human Resources Officer at Swedish Health Services, where she works to plan and implement long­term workforce strategy in the midst of a constantly evolving industry. Swedish is the largest nonprofit healthcare provider in King County.

When she graduated from the University of Washington in 1995, Kristen planned to take a year off, go into law school, and pursue a career in public policy. But during that year, she started an entry-­level HR position and then ended up at a Critical Access Hospital in Wisconsin, where she discovered a passion for the patient-­centered mission. In her words: "How do you find people who can be there for others at the most vulnerable moments of their lives?"

Before joining the WDC board last year, Kristen already saw her mission as being bigger than a single company. Her work brought her into contact with local healthcare training programs, including apprenticeship design with SEIU Multi­Employer Training and Education Fund, and Seattle Jobs Initiative’s GrowHire, which increases access to healthcare opportunities by offering local training for entry­level care positions. "We live in a world where all ships rise," says Kristen. "How do we scale the work of Swedish to make it possible for small healthcare companies to make the same improvements in hiring?"

Her husband serves as something of a case study—he started his career as a mechanical engineer, went back to medical school as a resident physician, and now works as a family physician serving vulnerable populations.

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That makes for a busy family, and they love to spend free time with their two teenage sons and half­-shepherd Tonka (@tonkatraildog). With two parents in healthcare, perhaps it’s not surprising the phrase "living wage jobs" has already worked its way into conversation at the dinner table.