$1.3 Million to Fund Education & Career Opportunities in Seattle-King County

Partnerships between schools & industry facilitate career-connected learning

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 12, 2018

Seattle, Wash. – The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County and the Seattle Region Partnership have received $1.3 million from a Governor Inslee-issued, state-wide Career Connect Washington grant to increase career guidance, work-based opportunities, and apprenticeship pathways for youth and adults in Seattle-King County. The two organizations will co-lead an effort to build on the best practices to scale partnerships between the public-school system and local industry to serve all youth ages 16-24, with a special emphasis on underrepresented populations. The programs will also connect unemployed adults with apprenticeship opportunities.

The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County is a workforce 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. The Seattle Region Partnership was created to streamline the way businesses partner with our region’s workforce, economic and education systems, in order to ensure residents have access and connection to meaningful, livable wage careers. Among the programs to benefit from the grant is a partnership with Highline Public Schools that offers lessons and best practices for the expansion into a regional education strategy with Seattle Public Schools and Seattle Colleges. Career goals and interests are identified in high school and form the basis of a personalized pathway that includes an education course plan and moves from career awareness to exploration, preparation, and training.

Career Link, a reengagement program and partnership between Highline Public Schools and South Seattle College, works with Washington’s Open Doors dropout reengagement system to provide career mentorship for out-of-school youth. With funding from the grant, this model will scale to form an intensive, three-part program encompassing career planning, adult mentoring, and career experience with local businesses.

Seattle Colleges will act as a systems convener for developing standard processes for enrolling youth and ensuring their success in apprenticeships.   Committed apprenticeship partners include businesses in the aerospace, culinary, allied health, and construction sectors.

Dot Fallihee, interim Chief Executive Officer of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, says, “This grant bolsters our regional partnerships to create new career opportunities for young people from Enumclaw to Rainier Beach. This region’s young people have great potential to meet our local industry need and propel our communities forward with their passion and skill, while achieving self-sufficiency—thriving in supporting themselves and their current and future families.”

Maud Daudon, co-chair of the Seattle Region Partnership and President and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce comments, “Our state expects 740,000 job openings by 2021, many of which provide career paths to family wage jobs. We look forward to seeing that industry need met by local talent through the programs and collaborations made possible by this exciting grant award.”

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The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County is a workforce 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. The Workforce Development Council provides the region with talent pipeline studies, research and partnerships to aid in connecting talent with employers that need it most. Learn more: via www.seakingwdc.org or by calling (206) 448-0474.

The Seattle Region Partnership (SRP) was created in 2016 to streamline the way businesses partner with our region’s workforce, economic and education systems, in order to ensure residents have access and connection to meaningful, livable wage careers.  SRP was founded by Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Seattle Foundation, City of Seattle and King County in 2016.

Media Contact
Hannah Mello, Communications Program Manager
Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County
hmello@seakingwdc.org | 206-448-0474 x 3014

Event Recap: WorkSource Summit 2017

Statewide WorkSource conference with a focus on collaboration and integration

On Friday, December 8, 2017, WorkSource Seattle-King County hosted a statewide summit for staff and partners from across the state of Washington. Gathering at the Seattle Airport Marriot for a daylong conference, teams and individuals shared strategies and inspiration to improve the quality of services provided for community members, and internal collaboration with that goal in mind within the WorkSource system of sites.

Deitra Garrett, Integrated Services Coordinator at WorkSource Rainier, began the morning serving as the Master of Ceremonies. Min Song, interim Chief Operating Officer of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, led opening remarks, drawing experience from her family to discuss themes of courage and legacy. Finally, Agnes Balassa, a pioneer in improving the efficiencies of workforce systems, discussed the essential ingredients of organizational culture change, and summed up the concept of integrated service delivery in three maxims: 1) All Means All, 2) Free the Cubicle People, and 3) Put the Customer at the Center.

The conference broke into sessions covering a range of topics centered around the themes of “innovation, inspiration, and integration.” Representatives from Spokane and Snohomish counties added state-wide context to the expertise of King County staff and administrators. Sessions ranged in topic and encouraged group participation, revealing a wealth of real-world experience and examples for how to integrate services across functional agencies and design resources centered on human behavior.

At lunch, the keynote speaker, Michael Karl, inspired the room with creative strategies for breaking out of rote habits through his practice as a magician and mentalist. Michael demonstrated a number of canny illusions and talked through the twists and turns of his professional life, proving his skill as a master of playing with and subverting the audience’s expectations.

After lunch, smaller groups discussed general topics in workforce development, including community outreach, culture change, customer input, and service integration. Anne Masters, Training and Resource Coordinator with the WorkSource Seattle-King County Operator Team, led a group discussion with leadership and staff in a question-and-answer session.

Finally, Min Song returned to the stage with Hannah Mello, Strategic Communications Manager at the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, to close the day with a reflection on the courage necessary to leave a legacy of positive change.

Inslee Awards $6.4 Million to Create Apprenticeships, Career Connections for 29,000 Youth

$1.3 million to Career Connect Seattle-King County

Olympia, WA - Job shadowing, internships and apprenticeships are just a few of the career connections that will become available to 29,000 students thanks to $6.4 million in new Career Connect Washington grant funding.

The awardees expect to create 29,000 new career connected 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.”

The initiative expands registered apprenticeship programs and puts a new focus on youth registered apprenticeships. The awardees expect to move over 1,400 young people, plus more than 400 adults, into new apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships in fields such as advanced manufacturing, health care, agricultural irrigation systems, building trades, IT and maritime manufacturing.

Read the rest of the story, including information about the $1.3 million awarded to Career Connect Seattle-King County, on the governor's Medium page.

Excerpt:

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 Contact
Hannah Mello, Strategic Communications Manager
Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County
hmello@seakingwdc.org | 206.448.0474 x 3014

A Path to Nursing - Health Workforce for the Future Success Story

The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County is devoted to creating sustainable career pathways aligned within our Focus and Watch Sectors. Health Workforce for the Future provides an exciting opportunity for individuals to find not just a job, but build a career within the healthcare sector. HWF is a local project of the Health Professions Opportunity Grant (HPOG) initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Below we’ve highlighted the story of Andrea Galicia, an individual who seized these opportunities to advance her career in nursing.

To learn more about Health Workforce for the Future, please visit seakingwdc.org/hwf-project.


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“When I see patients who need help, and work next to professionals who provide that help, it inspires me. I feel compelled to work on my skills and practice growth to become one of those providers who makes a difference in an individual’s life.”

With that perspective, Andrea Galicia, a Medical Assistant at Seattle’s Country Doctor community health clinic, applied for admission to the 3-1/2-year nursing cohort at North Seattle College. “I have watched the devotion and professional strengths of those here at Country Doctor,” Andrea wrote in her application, “and that stirs me to constantly reach and improve.”

Her supervisor at Country Doctor admitted nursing was the right path for Andrea, but lamented, “I would love to have her as my Medical Assistant forever.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Andrea was admitted to the program, with support provided through the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County’s Health Careers for All project, funded under the Health Professions Opportunity Grant initiative of the Office of Family Assistance, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

After completing six challenging quarters of pre-requisite coursework that began in the summer of 2012, Andrea, a working single mother of three young children, successfully began the Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) portion of her training in January 2014. Continually searching for the right balance between work, school, and family life, Andrea ran into academic issues in the 2nd quarter of the LPN program, which prevented her from moving forward with her cohort. Family issues then necessitated a move out of her parents’ home, adding further complications to her plans.

Determined to reach her long-time goal of becoming a Registered Nurse (RN), she explored other nursing programs, but kept alive the remote option of being re-admitted to the program at North—which would require starting the LPN year from the beginning. Said Andrea, “I am very fortunate to have a supportive family and many relatives and friends who are willing to help me with the transition of balancing school and family.”

She ultimately received the good news of her re-admission to North, and did return in the fall of 2014. Continuing her work at Country Doctor while in the program, she made it through the LPN year, passed her LPN licensing exam in November 2015, and began the LPN-to-RN ladder program in the fall of 2015.

Only three quarters remained to achieve her goal, but the HCA project was ending and the challenges to reach completion again seemed insurmountable. Thanks to Andrea’s dedication to achieving her commitments—including spending extra time tutoring and relying on the support of friends, family, and the program—she was able to make it through. The WDC and its partners worked closely to ensure Andrea was able to find the resources she needed to stay on track. This included funding and Navigator support for her final quarter through the WDC’s HPOG2 project, Health Workforce for the Future, which helped support completion of the training and credentialing that followed the academic process.

Andrea’s dream of becoming a Registered Nurse was achieved when she graduated in June 2016 and passed her RUN licensing exam in September. She says, “I am dedicated to putting all my efforts and energy into giving back to the community that has taught me so much. It is my passion to do this.”

Andrea is now preparing for an interview for an RN position at Country Doctor’s sister clinic, Carolyn Downs, a community health center serving a diverse and complex patient population in Seattle’s Central District. Andrea is poised to further the health center’s mission of “providing quality, caring, culturally appropriate primary healthcare that addresses the needs of people, regardless of their ability to pay,” and bring greater stability to her own family, nearly doubling her wage from $16 per hour as a Medical Assistant.

“Those who know her well know how fortunate the community is that she persevered to reach her goal through the many demanding times,” says her HWF Navigator, Mike Hayden. “All who know Andrea know the benefit she will bring as a nurse in the Seattle-King County community.”

Support, Direction & Hope - Health Workforce for the Future Success Story

The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County is devoted to creating sustainable career pathways aligned within our Focus and Watch Sectors. Health Workforce for the Future provides an exciting opportunity for individuals to find not just a job, but build a career within the healthcare sector. HWF is a local project of the Health Professions Opportunity Grant (HPOG) initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Below we’ve highlighted the story of Mari Erickson, who found hope for herself and her teenage children through a nursing assistant (NAC) training cohort at Shoreline Community College.

To learn more about Health Workforce for the Future, please visit seakingwdc.org/hwf-project.


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In December of 2016, Mari was a displaced homemaker supporting 3 teenaged children on an income limited to alimony, child support, and school meals provided by the federal free/reduced lunch program. Mari heard about Health Workforce for the Future (HWF) when she called her local college’s registrar in the hopes of starting a new career path.

In January 2017, Mari enrolled in a 2-quarter nursing assistant (NAC) training cohort at Shoreline Community College. The cohort was designed around Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (IBEST), a model that combines basic education and occupational training so that students can begin the work of training for employment as soon as possible.

The program gave Mari hope that she “has a future and can have a career” that will enable her to support her family. Mari had been a stay-at-home for 19 years and gone through a difficult divorce before she learned about HWF and the training opportunity at Shoreline. According to Mari, the cohort “gave [her] direction and a whole new life.” It has given her hope and transformed her outlook, which she feels has made her an even better mother to her children.

“The instructors, the college, my navigator, and even the other students in the class have been wonderful and a great support. The instructors are always there to answer questions.”

Once Mari completes NAC training, she will sit for the national credential exam to earn her license to work as a nursing assistant in Washington State. She will continue to work with her HWF Navigator to secure employment in the near-term and work toward her long-term goal of becoming a Registered Nurse.