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

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@SeattleKingWDC
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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)

Funding Awarded for Re-entry Pathways for Incarcerated

$500,000 to connect current and formally incarcerated with work opportunity and access

Seattle, Wash.The Workforce Development Council (WDC) of Seattle-King County, is honored to accept an award of $500,000 from the US Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration to support employment opportunity access for persons having been involved in the criminal justice system throughout Seattle-King County. The WDC is one of ten recipients nationwide in an effort to improve re-entry outcomes for community members returning home from confinement. 

Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez commented regarding the grant’s announcement: “Why wait for inmates to be released before giving them support they need to re-enter the workforce? (I’m) proud to live in a nation of second chances.”

This Workforce Integration Project will establish a One-Stop American Job Center site, known locally as WorkSource, in the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent which is a part of the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention. Partnerships with the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, King County, and South Seattle College will make this great work possible. The project will establish a coordinated system of re-entry pathways designed to help persons reconnect to employment and education opportunities, as well as access the wrap-around services needed to be successful community members and reduce their involvement in the criminal justice system.

Executive Dow Constantine comments: “King County is committed to reducing recidivism and creating employment pathways for people who need a second chance. As part of our commitment to equity and social justice, we support the progressive efforts of local organizations and justice leaders as they foster the potential of all people and build stronger, safer communities.”

“This partnership will build upon our region’s robust employment system,” says Marléna Sessions, Chief Executive Officer of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County. “With this project, we hope to lead systemic change efforts in serving adults who face barriers to employment and self-sufficiency after incarceration.”

“This support from the Department of Labor will allow us to advance our mission of making sure past offenders have the tools, education and support to find good jobs as they transition back into their communities,” South Seattle College President Gary Oertli said.  “We look forward to working closely with our partners in providing these citizens with the opportunities they deserve to achieve stability and success.”

Pamela Banks, CEO of the Urban League, remarks: “This grant in partnership with the Workforce Development Council and partners furthers the Urban League’s mission of empowering communities to thrive by securing educational and economic opportunities. We are honored to engage in this work of supporting our residents’ self-sufficiency upon returning to their community and families.” 

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

Executive leads partnership to produce the next generation of highly skilled aerospace workers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 6, 2015 

Executive leads partnership to produce the next generation of highly skilled aerospace workers – To help produce the next generation of highly skilled employees that King County’s aerospace industry needs to compete, Executive Dow Constantine and the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County announced that $250,000 will be available for high-demand aerospace training.

 King County’s aerospace industry faces a shortage of skilled workers as the current generation prepares for retirement, and there’s a greater need for skill updates as technology in advanced manufacturing quickly advances. At a King County Aerospace Alliance meeting convened by Executive Constantine, local aerospace leaders and workforce developers discussed the new funding for training and other strategies to connect King County adults and youth with high-paying aerospace career opportunities.

 “We have thousands of high-paying, in-demand aerospace jobs that are going unfilled in King County,” said Executive Constantine. “That’s why I’m working with local business and education leaders to connect residents with opportunities and ensure that we have the highly skilled, talented workforce that our region’s aerospace industry must have to compete.”

Workforce development was the focus of this year’s fall meeting of the King County Aerospace Alliance, which Executive Constantine hosted at South Seattle College’s Georgetown campus. The alliance – which Executive Constantine created in 2012 – unites local jurisdictions, businesses and labor to support the local aerospace industry, which employs 56,000 King County residents and another 75,000 in related fields.

The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (WDC) is a nonprofit workforce think-tank and grant-making organization whose mission is to support a strong economy and the ability of each person to achieve self-sufficiency. Funded through federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act dollars, the WDC’s Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant uses sector strategies to create coordinated, demand-driven efforts to train and employ recently laid-off workers.

“The leadership exemplified by Executive Constantine and aerospace industry partners has been integral to our ability to identify workforce gaps and develop effective industry-driven solutions,” says Marléna Sessions, CEO of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County.

Interested organizations may apply electronically until 5:00pm on Friday, November 6, 2015. Please visit http://www.seakingwdc.org/careers-and-funding-opportunities/ for additional information about this fantastic opportunity.