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.


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 | 206.448.0474 x 3014

A Career in Healthcare, Fueled by Passion - 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 (HWF) 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 Josselin Maceda, who seized the opportunities available to her to join a healthcare cohort for young people in college and complete her nursing assistant training.

To learn more about Health Workforce for the Future, please visit

Josselin (left) and HEY Coordinator/Advisor Jennifer Johnston (right)

Josselin (left) and HEY Coordinator/Advisor Jennifer Johnston (right)

In late spring 2016, at the end of her senior year, Josselin heard about the Health Workforce for the Future (HWF) program from her high school counselor, as part of a recruiting effort for a special cohort—Health Exploration for Youth (HEY)—at Highline College in King County, Washington.

“I was immediately motivated,” says Josselin, upon hearing about the program. “College was always a blueprint for me, but I didn’t know what to study. That’s why HEY stood out—there were a variety of options and careers I could choose from relating to the medical field. It gave me a taste of the college experience, and how to survive it.”

The cohort was designed to provide hands-on healthcare career exploration, basic academic skills development, and an orientation to college. Students learn about opportunities in the healthcare field, explore occupations to find a personal fit, and develop the necessary skills to succeed in occupational skills training.

Josselin enrolled in HEY in July 2016 and successfully completed the program in mid-August. She continued to work with her HWF Navigator into the fall quarter, when she began pre-requisite coursework required for nursing. In early 2017, Josselin enrolled in nursing assistant (NAC) training to fulfill a required nursing pre-requisite and earn a credential that will provide her access to higher wages and additional employment experience. She completed the training in March, and then turned her attention to employment and additional training.

“I was raised in poverty among my family,” says Josselin. “I always felt as if there was nothing I could do about it. Being a young, female immigrant in America is often looked down upon, but I hold my head high. I convert that negativity into inspiration, which fuels my passion.”

WDC Announces Award for Health Workforce for the Future


The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (WDC) announces a $9.4 Million Five Year Award– The WDC is thrilled to announce a $9.4 million five-year award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Profession Opportunity Grant for the WDC’s Health Workforce for the Future (HWF) project.

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, HWF will help to build the healthcare workforce needed as healthcare workers near retirement age and King County’s population becomes increasingly more diverse. Leveraging the strong partnerships with Washington State Employment Security Department, Department of Social and Health Services, regional healthcare employers, local colleges, housing authorities, and community partners, HWF is poised to transform King County’s healthcare system.

Using system-changing lessons learned from the WDC’s Health Careers for All five-year project, HWF will leverage, redesign, and enhance existing training program strategies. This project will target outreach to (1) individuals who remain unemployed, or have tenuous connections to the workforce, despite the improving regional economy. In order to ensure true momentum on a career path is possible, this project will also focus on (2) incumbent workers in need of support for wage and career progression.  Finally, the project will target (3) low-income youth who are critical to the future workforce but remain even more disconnected from the labor force.

Industry partners report that the push of healthcare reform toward a more prevention-oriented focus, changes in the economic model of healthcare, and demographic shifts in the patient population put new demands on the health workforce. Accordingly, local employers have emerging priorities around increasing workforce diversity, and expect growth beyond what labor market data alone might predict in many areas. HWF is designed to respond to these needs with an emphasis on occupational pathways and an explicit focus on engaging a diverse customer population.

“Despite King County’s incredible economic growth, many jobseekers have been left behind,” Marléna Sessions, CEO of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County. “Health Workforce for the Future draws upon industry-driven workforce solution to support King County jobseekers and workers. Our innovative work and strong employer partnerships in this field are unparalleled, and we are excited to build upon this foundation.”

“Group Health Cooperative has a long history of working collaboratively with WDC of Seattle-King County to support workforce needs for the changing health care environment and has enjoyed many successes as a result of our partnership,” says Barbara Trehearne, Vice President of Clinical Excellence, Quality, and Nursing Practice at Group Health Cooperative. “We are pleased to continue partnering on this exciting project.”

“Health Workforce for the Future is a fantastic opportunity to offer TANF jobseekers access to health care careers in King County, and we are thrilled to be a part of this project,” says Melanie d’Almada Remedios, Region 2 WorkFirst Coordinator at the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.

“The Employment Security Department values its partnership with the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County and looks forward to working together to connect job seekers with high-quality jobs in the health care field,” said Greta Kaas-Lent, Northwest Regional Director for ESD’s Workforce and Career Development Division. “As this sector evolves, we will continue to work together to arm job seekers across the spectrum with training and development opportunities to prepare them for jobs in our state’s health care industry.”