King County Executive & City of Seattle Spotlight the Efforts of the Workforce Development Council


May 22, 2019 - Reposted from the office of the King County Executive


King County and City of Seattle are transforming the workforce system to connect more people to high-demand jobs. The new model will better align funding to help people who face barriers to employment and help ensure that employers have the well-trained workforce they need to remain competitive in the global economy.


King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan are transforming how the region funds employment and job training, uniting the efforts of local governments, businesses, labor and philanthropies to connect more people to high-demand jobs.

Here are highlights of the transformation:

  • Prioritize employment and training for those who face the most barriers to opportunity.

  • Improve coordination between employers, labor, and educators to make sure job seekers are prepared for the best career opportunities available right now.

  • Better align local, federal, and philanthropic funding to maximize the impact and produce better results.

“We brought together businesses, labor, philanthropies, and educators to transform the local workforce system so we can connect more people to good-paying jobs available right here, right now,” said Executive Constantine. “Together, we will remove barriers to opportunity so that more of our neighbors can participate in our region’s historic job growth, providing local employers with the well-trained talent they need to compete in the global economy.”

“This is another step forward in our work to build a regional economy with true opportunity for all,” said Mayor Durkan. “We are connecting workers with the good-paying jobs of the future and building a world-class workforce. We will continue to work with our partners across the region to address disparities in our workforce across race, disability, immigration status and other identities and ensure that prosperity is shared."

By better aligning local and federal funding through the Workforce Development Council, the new approach will maximize the $8 million in federal funds the council receives each year for employment and training. As a first step, the Workforce Development Council is awarding a combined $2.7 million this week to community-based organizations to help them connect more people to employment services.  

The model builds on the progress the region has made over the past two years by creating a single strong board that unites workforce partners and funding, prioritizing funding that promotes racial equity.

Local leaders also announced a new alliance of philanthropic organizations – including Ballmer Group, Microsoft, The Boeing Company, Seattle Foundation, and JP Morgan Chase – that will support the region’s new workforce strategy.

Connecting more people to the region’s thriving economy

While the region’s economy is strong, certain populations still have disproportionately high unemployment rates, including Latinx, Native American, and African-American populations, people with disabilities, and people reentering the workforce after incarceration. The grant funding announced today is being awarded to community-based organizations that are working to promote racial equity in the region.

The $2.7 million in grants announced today includes federal funding and more than $800,000 generated by King County’s Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy. Each of the grants can may be renewed for up to two additional years, pending fund availability. The Workforce Development Council awarded the funding to five agencies, four of which are working with a consortia of organizations, that include a total of 14 community-based organizations that will help people who are currently underserved by workforce programs. Here are a few examples:

  • YWCA will partner with Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle to provide intensive and customized career development services to African-Americans, the chronically and long term unemployed, and individuals with criminal justice involvement.

  • Pacific Associates, in partnership with Alliance of People with DisAbilities and POCAAN will provide employment, career guidance, support services, emotional support, retraining and follow-up services to people with disabilities who want to return to work.

  • TRAC Associates will partner with Pioneer Human Services to provide clients coming out of incarceration access to their Roadmap to Success class, a cognitive behavior curriculum from The Pacific Institute that was written for people who have experienced incarceration. Pioneer staff will also provide supportive services such as help accessing a driver’s license, transit passes, and interview and work clothes.

The strategies funded by these grants were informed by input King County, City of Seattle, and Workforce Development Council received when they partnered with community leaders to apply an equity lens. As a result, many of the organizations that successfully competed for funding are led by people of color. 

King County, City of Seattle, and Workforce Development Council will create a community advisory committee to ensure that communities of color are able to provide input on the priorities for this type of competitive funding. It will be the first advisory of its kind in the nation.

Tapping into a national network of philanthropic funders

The newly formed Funders Collaborative is a local alliance of philanthropic organizations that includes Ballmer Group, Microsoft, The Boeing Company, Seattle Foundation, and JP Morgan Chase. It is affiliated with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, which makes it possible for the region to tap into this national network of philanthropic organizations.

This will diversify the funding portfolio for the Workforce Development Council, which currently relies almost exclusively on federal funding.

JP Morgan Chase today announced a $600,000 grant to the Workforce Development Council that will strengthen partnerships with industry partners to make sure employment and training programs provide people with the skills that employers need by expanding the nationally recognized Next Generation Sector Partnership model. As part of their renewed New Skills at Work initiative, JPMorgan Chase will invest $350 million globally to develop, test and scale innovative efforts that prepare individuals with the skills they need to be successful in a rapidly changing economy.

The Next Generation Sector Partnership model was piloted in the local healthcare sector – the Seattle-King County Healthcare Industry Leadership Table, or HILT – with support from Seattle Foundation, JP Morgan Chase, Ballmer Group, and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. It will be scaled to two additional industries through the JP Morgan Chase grant.

Unlike the old model in which employers worked individually with multiple support organizations, the new the model organizes the many education, training and economic development entities into a coordinated response team, making it possible for employers to partner with a single group to ensure that job training programs prepare students for the current job market.

Kaiser Permanente also announced a $350,000 grant to the Workforce Development Council. The grant will connect more low-income youth to high-demand registered apprenticeship pathways in partnership with Puget Sound Educational Service District, the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee, Seattle Education Access, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction as well as South King County school districts, and community colleges.


“We brought together businesses, labor, philanthropies, and educators to transform the local workforce system so we can connect more people to good-paying jobs available right here, right now. Together, we will remove barriers to opportunity so that more of our neighbors can participate in our region’s historic job growth, providing local employers with the well-trained talent they need to compete in the global economy.”
- Dow Constantine, King County Executive

“This is another step forward in our work to build a regional economy with true opportunity for all. We are connecting workers with the good-paying jobs of the future and building a world-class workforce. We will continue to work with our partners across the region to address disparities in our workforce across race, disability, immigration status and other identities and ensure that prosperity is shared.”
- Jenny A. Durkan, Seattle Mayor

“Regional collaboratives are at the heart of how the National Fund achieves its mission. In more than 30 communities across the nation, business leaders and workforce professionals come together to deliver solutions that generate more inclusive prosperity. The National Fund provide a robust learning community for our members — that learning is a two-way street. Through our network, successful solutions in one community are shared, adapted, and replicated in another, creating change on a national scale. Seattle has been a key partner in our efforts to engage employers in new sectors and implement programs to ensure that all workers in the region can earn a family sustaining wage.”
- Fred Dedrick, President and CEO, National Fund for Workforce Solutions

“We are thrilled to work with new partners to grow and evolve our strategy for helping individuals in our community achieve financial self-sufficiency.”
- Tom Peterson, Board Chair of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County

“I could not be more energized by this huge commitment to shaping the workforce of tomorrow. Kaiser Permanente wants to make an impact on the lives of our members, employees and the communities we serve and access to living wage jobs is critical. We are truly honored to be on the frontline by intentionally creating space for underrepresented populations and people facing barriers to skills training and employment. Not only will our members benefit from having exceptional inclusive care but we’ll foster more sustainable and healthy communities.”
- Jiquanda Nelson, Sr. Manager, Equity, Inclusion & Diversity and Workforce Development

“As a registered nurse I wholeheartedly support expanded training opportunities through the Workforce Development Council. I have personal experience with career training through the SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Multi-Employer Training Fund, which gave me the support I needed to achieve my life-long dream of becoming a nurse. With the Training Fund I could go back to school while I worked, and they paid for all my tuition, books and supplies with no out of pocket costs. The WDC initiative is all about bringing together labor, government, philanthropies and employers to help working people achieve our dreams, so we can contribute fully to our communities.”
- Cenetra Pickens, Registered Nurse and SEIU 1199NW Member, Kaiser Permanente Tacoma Medical Center

Map Your Career | Redesign Walkthrough


Map Your Career, a career pathway planning resource illustrating Seattle-King County’s current and predicted labor market, has been completely redesigned with updated data.

In a classroom or career counseling setting, Map Your Career is most useful for broadening awareness around local opportunities, and inspiring further discovery of education, training pathways, and networking starting points.

In addition to a printed booklet for the public school and workforce systems, is easily accessible on both desktop and mobile devices.

Let's take a walkthrough of the major features.


In designing Map Your Career, we identified a need for a worksheet to help frame career planning in the context of personal work values, in an open-ended format without right or wrong answers. This resource is perfect for a group activity in a classroom.


Industries were identified by their potential for career opportunity over the next 10 years. To illustrate this for a general audience, we placed job data in the context of population demographics to provide an overview of regional opportunity.


The career maps—the bread and butter of this resource—are designed to show a layered approach to career pathways driven by education and experience, but without creating a false impression of strict, linear progression.

From the Center Out

Some maps show career pathways that move in less of a straight line. To read these maps, start in the center, and work your way out by education/experience level.

From Left to Right

Some maps show career pathways that have a bit more structure, often with clear stages of advancement. To read these maps, begin on the left side and move to the right, advancing with education and experience.



We also included a general guide to career planning to help point to concrete next steps, and to the wealth of public resources available for further discover. We want Map Your Career to be used to plan a career, rather than just pick a job.


Check out the Resource Showcase  to learn more about the history and philosophy behind Map Your Career.

Free Online + Print Career Planning Resource, "Map Your Career"

“Map Your Career” microsite and print booklet for people of all career stages


Seattle, Wash. – Community members of all ages and life stages are invited to use the newly redesigned career planning resource provided by the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County—"Map Your Career.” Map Your Career brings together labor market data with research around career pathways—both in the education system and within industries—in order to represent job opportunities in Seattle-King County now and in the future in a visual format that is accessible to students and jobseekers.

Where do you want to be in 10 years? It's a daunting question, no matter where you are now. Life changes, careers go in different directions. People learn things along the way that make them smarter and wiser. “Map Your Career” is an educational tool designed to illustrate the current and predicted labor market in Seattle- King County. 

In a classroom or in a career counseling setting, Map Your Career is most useful for those seeking to broaden awareness around local opportunities, and to inspire further discovery of education, training pathways, and networking starting points. The resource has been accessed by thousands over the past five years, including with release to school districts, WorkSource Seattle-King County job centers, and other community centers throughout the region. 

Not only is the microsite responsive to devices (mobile, tablet, desktop), but it contains the most recent release of data related to industry opportunities, job titles and wages.

“We are thrilled to release this exciting redesigned resource to the community,” says Dot Fallihee, interim Chief Executive Officer. “Educators and community members of all ages seeking long-term, self-sufficient employment in Seattle-King County can benefit in their contributions to our thriving region.”

Check out the recording of the “Resource Showcase” to learn more about how to use the application:

The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County is a nonprofit, grant-making organization dedicated to creating career pathways for adults and youth through demand-driven workforce and training programs. Led by a majority private sector board representing industry and partner agencies, the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County is positioned to serve both industry and community members as partners and customers. Learn more at

Media Contact
Joe Taylor, Strategic Communications 
Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County |  206-448-0474 x 3031

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WDC on LinkedIn

Washington Workforce Conference | Staff Presentation Highlights

Seattle-King County staff presented on a range of workforce development topics at annual statewide conference.

The Washington Workforce Conference took place November 6 & 7 with the theme “Powerful Partnerships: Building the Talent Pipeline,” hosted by the Washington Workforce Association.

Eleven staff and board member Ligaya Domingo from the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County presented nine seminars covering the current state of workforce development, with collaboration from the regional system and across the state.

In order of presentation:

The New Older Workplace

Beth Blanchard, Moderator/Lead Presenter
Georgia Duffy, Co-Presenter
Art Dreeban, Co-Presenter
Tom Auflick, Co-Presenter

The population of younger workers with sufficient education and skills is not large enough or growing fast enough to make up for the impending retirement of Baby Boomers. How are Workforce Development Councils and the WorkSource system prepared for and serving this population of jobseekers?


Investing in Staff as Front Line Leaders

Liesel Schilperoort, Moderator/Lead Presenter
Samara Reich Thomas, Co-Presenter

Investment in professional staff development brings substantial return. How do we know? Over the past 10 years, we’ve strategically coordinated training and curricula for professional development within WorkSource Seattle-King County.


Partners in Apprenticeship: Workforce Development Councils as Innovators in Work-Based Learning

Jason Petrait, Moderator/Lead Presenter

We’re engaging apprenticeships, employers, unions, and job seekers to facilitate the expansion of existing apprenticeship opportunities and the growth of new apprenticeships. Attendees learned about the current state of work-based learning and how to recognize opportunities to expand apprenticeship in their workforce areas.

Equity and Economic Security for Immigrants, Refugees and All Working People: Re-Envisioning Workforce Development and Adult Education

Ligaya Domingo, Moderator
Glenn S. Davis, Lead Presenter
Jennifer Hernandez, Co-Presenter

Immigrants and refugees represent more than one in six American workers, over 17 percent of the workforce, but they remain disproportionally employed in low-wage service jobs with high levels of underemployment and involuntary part-time work. Attendees received a toolkit resource and discussed robust targeted workforce and adult education programs utilizing both WIOA and non-WIOA funding to address labor market, institutional, language, education, and social barriers facing immigrant jobseekers and workers.


WorkSource Brand Basecamp: Marketing Solutions for WorkSource Professionals

Janelle Guthrie, Moderator
Gary Smith, Lead Presenter
Hannah Mello, Co-Presenter
Curt Wilson, Co-Presenter
Bill Tarrow, Co-Presenter

The Washington Workforce Association Brand and Media group works together to develop professionally branded materials for print, web, and social media. Attendees toured the new Brand Basecamp, designed to provide WorkSource staff with tools to conduct successful employer and job seeker outreach.

Micro-Information Products (MIP) Today – Getting the Most from the System You Already Have

Marcelle Wellington, Moderator
Patti Miele, Lead Presenter

Micro-Information Products (MIP) is one of the most flexible, robust, and popular non-profit accounting software services in today’s market. Attendees learned how to get the most out of the system in order to make strategic business decisions.


Learn from the Experiences of Two Local National Health Professions Opportunity Grant (HPOG) Projects in Multiple Areas in the State

Seanna Ruvkun, Moderator/Lead Presenter
Charlie Thompson, Co-Presenter

A discussion on lessons learned from participation in the national Health Professions Opportunity Grant (HPOG), administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Attendees identified opportunities and strategies for engaging diverse program participants in career pathway planning and progress aligned with industry need.

How Does an Integrated Communications Strategy Affect the Way We Do Business?

Hannah Mello, Moderator/Co-Presenter
Bryan Pannell, Lead Presenter
Heidi Seveska, Co-Presenter
Joe Taylor, Co-Presenter 

An effective communications strategy is critical to getting information to all possible audiences. Attendees learned how an integrated communications strategy allows small organizations to meet the increased opportunities—and demands—of the digital age.


Job Readiness Training Curriculum: Evaluation and Professional Development for Youth Programs

Sean Morrin, Moderator/Lead Presenter
Mike Davie, Co-Presenter

Many curricula and programs aim to build the pipeline of workers by engaging young adults in job readiness training. Attendees learned how current research and tools can help to evaluate current job readiness curricula and programs to strategically plan for the future workforce.

Thanks to all presenters, attendees, and to the Washington Workforce Association for a great conference. See you next year!

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.


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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