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.

New Grant from Retaining Employment & Talent After Injury/Illness Network (RETAIN)

*Release sent by the Washington State Employment Security Department

Washington to expand successful programs to help injured or ill employees return to work 

OLYMPIA – As Washington state prepares to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October, the Employment Security Department (ESD) is celebrating a $2.5 million federal grant to help up to 400 workers who develop a potential injury or illness remain at work, return to work or attain a new job.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury/Illness Network (RETAIN) will fund a demonstration project (WA-RETAIN) focused on two specific populations: state employees at risk of filing long-term disability claims and people not eligible for workers’ compensation who are at risk of leaving the  workforce. Washington is one of eight states to receive this grant funding for the next 18 months.

Generally, the longer injured workers are out of work due to disability, the less likely they are to return to work at all. In fact, an employee who is out of work for six months has less than a 50 percent chance of returning to gainful employment. If lost time reaches one year, the chances of successfully returning to work drop to 10 percent.

The RETAIN Demonstration Projects are modeled after a program operating in Washington state for injured workers covered under the state’s Workers’ Compensation Program. The success of this effort in helping workers return to work sooner is one of several reasons why the state Department of Labor & Industries was able to propose a reduction in workers’ compensation premiums for 2019. 

WA-RETAIN will engage the Center of Occupational Health and Education Alliance of Western Washington as well as other state and local partners, including the Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) in King and Snohomish counties. Securing this Phase1 grant makes Washington eligible to compete for one of four grants of up to $19.75 million each to expand on the model created in the demonstration project.

“We want all Washington workers to have access to great employment opportunities and resources they need to be successful,” said ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine. 

“The WDCs of King and Snohomish counties have been highly successful in serving workers with disabilities and their employers to date and we look forward to working with them on this moving forward to amplify and grow their efforts.”

“We are honored to receive these funds to build a model that helps workers reattach to the workforce,” said Erin Monroe, CEO of Workforce Snohomish. “The longer workers stay out of the workforce, the less likely they are to return to work. Our goal is to help people on the pathway to economic prosperity.”

“With the staggering rate of one in 10 working age Americans having a substantial disability that impacts their opportunities to work, we’re thrilled and honored to continue to support our workforce on their pathways towards self-sufficiency,” said Dot Fallihee, interim CEO of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County. “Our WDC’s 47 WorkSource sites are proud to offer a depth of employment resources and opportunities for our residents.”

The WA-RETAIN project supports Gov. Jay Inslee’s goal of increasing the employment rate of working age people with disabilities in Washington and supplements efforts by the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment (GCDE). Toby Olson, Executive Secretary for the GCDE, will lead the project.

More information about the RETAIN grant is available at the US Dept. of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy site.

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Contacts:   
Janelle Guthrie, Communications Director, 360-902-9289
Toby Olson, Executive Secretary of the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment: 360-902-9489

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Twitter: @ESDwaWorks | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WashingtonESD
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Seattle Selected for Competitive Nationwide Education Pilot

Linking Local Workforce Systems & Community Colleges for Adult Learner Success

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 21, 2017

Seattle, Wash. – The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) has selected partnerships of community colleges and workforce development boards in Philadelphia, Miami, Norfolk, and Seattle for a pilot project designed to link workforce systems and community colleges through Prior Learning Assessments (PLA) for adult learner success.

The local Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County in partnership with South Seattle College were the only west coast entity selected of the four pilot locations.

The method of employing PLAs in education has been highlighted by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration as an effective strategy for increasing postsecondary credential attainment. PLA enables non-traditional learners, a population that the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) projects could encompass more than 30 percent of enrolled students, to complete training and degree programs sooner by awarding them college credit based on the college-level knowledge, skills and abilities they’ve gained outside of the classroom.

Seattle instance of this CAEL project, funded by a grant from the ECMC Foundation, will build on the resources of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County and South Seattle College’s resources for adult learner populations with barriers to employment and will help increase the adult learner pipeline into postsecondary credential attainment. The program will also leverage adult learner-focused strategies to support college credential completion.

“It is an honor to receive this award, working in partnership with South Seattle College to pilot this nationwide movement. Through this innovative approach, we will be able to skill up our workforce to meet the increasing demands of our globalized economy,” says Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County CEO Marléna Sessions. “In a place like Seattle-King County where industries are booming and in need of talent, we are committed to working tirelessly so that all individuals and families can participate in the opportunities and successes created by such great innovation and its increasing demands.”

“Through partnerships with industry and the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, our college is committed to innovative solutions that connect Washingtonians with family-supporting careers,” said South Seattle College President Gary Oertli. “CAEL’s grant support will allow us to further implement a Prior Learning Assessment model, giving workers credit for expertise gained outside the classroom so they can earn credentials and increase their earning power.”

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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.

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

Connect Online
www.seakingwdc.org
@SeattleKingWDC
WDC on LinkedIn

South Seattle College serves a multicultural population of around 15,000 students each year on campuses in West Seattle and Georgetown.  South’s mission is to provide an affordable, quality education that creates a fast track to good paying jobs, the option to transfer to a four-year university or college at great value, the opportunity to develop basic skills, and the chance to enrich your life – personally and professionally.

Media Contact
Ty Swenson, Interim Director of Marketing and Communications
South Seattle College
ty.swenson@seattlecolleges.edu |  206-934-6873

Founded in 1974, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) is a Chicago-based nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that assists adults with their educational career development endeavors. CAEL works with the public sector, private sector industries and higher education institutions to ensure that adult students receive the most efficient training and education to occupy a meaningful professional place in a 21st century economy. More information is available at www.cael.org.

Media Contact
Fritz Schneider|  301-728-4811
Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)