WDC Awarded $464,872 through Governor’s YouthWorks Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 24, 2014


Danielle Wallace
Project Manager- Communications, Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County
Email: dwallace@seakingwdc.org
Phone: 206-448-0474 ext. 3002

The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County is pleased to announce an award of $464,872 for youth internships- On November 20, 2014, the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (WDC) was awarded $464,872 in competitive funding to help thousands more young people across King County prepare for meaningful, living-wage careers, and the education opportunities necessary to attain them.

The WDC will lead a partnership with King County Employment and Education Resources, United Way of King County, Seattle Public Schools, Highline Public Schools, and the City of Seattle that supports internships, business mentorships, and work-based learning experiences for hundreds of youth, and will expose career readiness curricula to over 3,000 young people in King County.

The WDC administers services for adults and youth through WorkSource Seattle-King County, which is the local one-stop system of employment and training offices. Through partnerships with local employers, community-based organizations, and schools, the WDC works to build Seattle-King County’s future workforce by ensuring that young people are prepared for careers that lead to self-sufficiency.

“We are delighted to increase youth awareness and access to high-demand, high-wage career opportunities, leading to increased job placement and post-secondary education enrollment,” says WDC Chief Executive Officer, Marléna Sessions. “The WDC hopes to create a comprehensive infrastructure and support system to benefit current and future youth in Seattle-King County.”

YouthWorks began as a pilot project, in which the WDC worked with the Renton School District (one of the five participating counties) to match students with mentorships, internships, and other work-based learning activities at local businesses. Teachers also participated in business externships to learn how to incorporate real-life work skills into their curricula. This partnership will allow the WDC to expand its business services, workforce curriculum, and employment events to serve students from the Seattle Skill Center, four Highline high schools, and four Dropout Reengagement Centers across King County.

“United Way of King County is working hard to ensure that all youth in our community are able to thrive, including the chance to finish school and plug into internships that will lead to meaningful work,” comments Jon Fine, United Way’s President and CEO. “Working with WDC on this project is an opportunity to help even more young people down the path to a productive adulthood.”

“King County is excited to partner with the Workforce Development Council on the initiative, which will provide 110 young people with internships through our programs,” says King County Department of Community and Human Service Director Adrienne Quinn. “Although the King County economy is improving for many residents, youth continue to face barriers finding jobs and internships. Through the YouthWorks Initiative, youth will learn the skills they need for longer term success in school and the labor market.”

“We are pleased to collaborate on this exciting and important work to provide youth internships for our students,” says Seattle Public Schools Interim Superintendent Larry Nyland. “The focus of this grant aligns perfectly to our goal of preparing students for college and career as well as a focus on equity by providing low-income and at-risk students the opportunity to re-engage through meaningful work-based learning experiences.”

“This exciting collaboration will expose our students to a variety of careers that they might not otherwise have had the opportunity to explore,” says Highline Public Schools Superintendent Susan Enfield. “YouthWorks supports our commitment to ensure that all students experience workplace learning before graduation, and that 19 out of 20 students in the class of 2017 graduate prepared to choose their future.”