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Workforce Washington News & Legislative Report

The WorkforceTraining and Education Coordinating Board provides (almost) weekly updates on workforce development in Washington. To sign up for e-mail delivery. As time passes, web links change.Our general policy is to remove the link when broken.

December 21, 2011

PROGRESS REPORT ON HIGH SKILLS, HIGH WAGES PLAN
The 2010-2011 Annual Report on the state's comprehensive workforce development strategy, High Skills, High Wages 2008 - 2018 is now available on the Workforce Board's website.

EVERETT PAPER PLANT WORKERS ELIGIBLE FOR TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE
Workers laid off as a result of the Kimberly Clark tissue paper plant closing in Everett will be eligible for additional benefits through the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Act, according to an announcement yesterday by U.S. Representative Rick Larsen.  Also, WorkSource has a web page specifically to help plant workers.

WORKFORCE BOARD CHOOSES TO DEVELOP AN INTEGRATED WORKFORCE PLAN
The Workforce Board voted today to direct its staff and workforce development partners to develop a new state plan for the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and Wagner-Peyser Act following U.S. Department of Labor's instructions for an Integrated Workforce Plan. Background memo and adopted resolution.

NEW CTE VIDEO RELEASED
A new video highlights students in a mix of industries in which Career and Technical Education helps them succeed. Video run time is 90 seconds.

December 15, 2011

LEGISLATURE ADJOURNS AFTER PASSING AEROSPACE AND BUDGET BILLS
The 2011 Second Special Legislative Session ended yesterday, after the House and Senate approved a Governor-request bill to establish a grant program to high schools and skill centers. The high school grants will be for programs that either prepare students for jobs as entry-level aerospace assemblers or create specialized courses in science, technology, engineering and math. Skill center grants would enhance manufacturing skills programs. The Legislature also trimmed the current budget by $480 million through cuts, fund transfers and delayed payments. See: www.wtb.wa.gov/2011session.asp

GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES K-12 EDUCATION REFORM PROPOSALS
Gov. Chris Gregoire yesterday announced a series of reform proposals for the state's K-12 education system. As part of the package, the Governor proposes allowing students to meet the culminating project high school graduation requirement through participation in Navigation 101 or by receiving a Career & Technical Education program completion certificate.

JOB GROWTH UP, SO IS THE NUMBER OF U.I. BENEFIT EXHAUSTEES
Washington added an estimated 12,100 jobs in November, the largest one-month gain in four years, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD). Meanwhile, ESD began informing Unemployment Insurance recipients about the phasing out of federally authorized extended benefits which will result in them losing benefits sooner. Over 67,000 Washington workers have already exhausted benefits.

WALLA WALLA COMMUNITY COLLEGE ONE OF THE TOP COLLEGES NATIONALLY
The Aspen Institute named Walla Walla Community College one of the top five community colleges in the nation this week. Contributing to its recognition is the college's results in student completion as well as earnings and employment after college. See news release: http://tinyurl.com/6rz6fhn

December 8, 2011

AEROSPACE LEGISLATION INTRODUCED, HEARINGS CONTINUE
The Governor's proposals for aerospace training have been introduced in the Legislature and hearings will be held next week. Also scheduled for next week are presentations on job creation proposals, apprenticeship use, women in trade professions and an overview of employment and earnings outcomes of two- and four-year college and university programs. Visit our legislative page to keep current with workforce-related legislation and hearings.

CTE STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE RELEASES PROGRESS REPORT

In 2011, the Legislature directed OSPI to create a statewide strategic plan for Career and Technical Education (CTE). The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has issued a progress report outlining the areas being considered as part of the development of the strategic plan. A final plan is due December 1, 2012.

JOBS PORTAL CONNECTS EMPLOYERS WITH JOB SEEKERS WITH DISABILITIES
Think Beyond The Label, a national private-public partnership that aids job seekers with disabilities, has launched an online portal that connects job seekers with disabilities to employers actively looking to hire them. This new job-search engine gives free access to nearly 1 million job listings from more than 90,000 screened employers.

November 29, 2011

SPECIAL SESSION ACTIVITIES AND BILLS TRACKED ON WEBSITE
The Workforce Board has updated its legislative web page to include a workforce summary of the Governor's proposed budget and a calendar of hearings related to workforce issues. For instance, the House Labor and Workforce Development Committee will hold a work session on the state's workforce development system on Friday. The web page is updated regularly and will include information on workforce-related legislation as well.  

HELP US DO A BETTER JOB, TAKE OUR ANNUAL SURVEY
The Workforce Board would greatly appreciate if you could take five minutes to take our annual online survey regarding our services and reports.  Thank you:

VETERANS LEARN ABOUT CAREERS VIA NEW WEBSITE
My Next Move for Veterans is a new interactive tool designed to help U.S. veterans learn about their career options. The site has tasks, skills, salary information, job listings, and more for over 900 different careers. Veterans can find careers through keyword search; by browsing industries that employ different types of workers; or by discovering civilian careers that are similar to their job in the military.  

LESSON PLANS NOW AVAILABLE FOR CAREER BRIDGE, CAREER GUIDE
New supplemental lesson plans are available to help students navigate the Career Bridge website and explore the Where Are You Going? career guide. View these free lesson plans from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in the Grades 9-10 and 11-12 sections.

REGISTRATION OPENS FOR APPRENTICESHIP CONFERENCE
The Second Pacific Northwest Apprenticeship Education Conference will be April 17 & 18, 2012 at the Port of Bellingham Cruise Terminal.  Information and registration at:

November 23, 2011

INDUSTRY CLUSTERS LIST GUIDES INVESTMENT IN STATE'S WORKFORCE AREAS
A region-by-region ranked list of the state's top industry clusters was recently adopted by the Workforce Board. The list identifies areas of economic activity that have been successful and offer good paying jobs. The list is intended to guide and inform policy and investment decisions for workforce education and training.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT KEY IN NEW NATIONAL HEATLH CARE GRANTS
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Service has announced that up to $1 billion will be awarded to innovative projects across the country that test creative ways to deliver high-quality health care services and lower costs. Priority will be given to projects that rapidly hire, train and deploy new types of health care workers. Letter of intent due by December 19.

MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS GATHER TO ADDRESS EMPLOYMENT ISSUES
The Mental Health Employment Consortium, a statewide group that focuses on ways to help individuals with mental illness get jobs, will meet December 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the La Quinta Inn in Tacoma. This public meeting is hosted by the Department of Social and Health Services Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Washington Insitute for Mental Health Research and Training. Contact is Andres Aguirre.

NEW LOCATION AND CHAIR FOR WASHINGTON WORKFORCE ASSOCIATION
Mark Mattke, executive director of the Spokane Area Workforce Development Council, is the new chair of the Washington Workforce Association, which includes all 12 of the state's Workforce Development Councils. The association's office is now in Lacey. Phone number, email and website have not changed.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL SEEKING NEW DIRECTOR
Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council is seeking a new executive director. Deadline is December 1: www.swwdc.org/

TELL US HOW WE'RE DOING, TAKE OUR FIVE-MINUTE ON-LINE SURVEY
www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22DWSTG8GAX

November 16, 2011

GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES STATE AEROSPACE TRAINING INITIATIVE
Workforce strategies play a key role in Washington's strategy to ensure that the Boeing Company's newest aircraft (737MAX) is built here. Governor Chris Gregoire announced the strategy, developed by a partnership of business, labor and government leaders, at Renton Technical College this morning. Handouts and presentation 

WORKFORCE & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS RECOGNIZED AS BEST PRACTICES
Governor Chris Gregoire has recognized four Washington programs for their ability to strongly connect workforce training to employer needs. The 2011 Governor's Best Practices Awards for Workforce and Economic Development were announced yesterday. An awards ceremony will be held in Olympia in early 2012.

NEW GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS ALLOW CTE COURSES TO COUNT FOR ACADEMIC CREDIT
The Washington State Board of Education amended high school graduation credit requirements and policies at its recent November meeting. The changes included, among others, an increase in English credit requirements and a two-for-one policy that would enable students taking a CTE-equivalent course to satisfy two graduation requirements while earning one credit.

COMMERCE FORMS A PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION
Washington's Department of Commerce is creating a program to provide education and training to economic and workforce development practitioners in the region. The Northwest Professional Development Partnership is developing a set of monthly webinars available to individuals and organizations starting in January. Currently, the Partnership is conducting a survey to identify topics of greatest interest. 

EMPLOYMENT SECURITY POSTS NEW UI EXHAUSTEE DATA

New demographic data is available on Washington residents who have exhausted their Unemployment Insurance benefits. Detailed information is provided as part of the Retooling Washington's Workforce effort to encourage more hiring of long-term unemployed workers.

November 10, 2011

WORKFORCE BOARD TO MEET AT APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING CENTER NEXT WEEK
The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board will hold its regular meeting, November 17, at the Southwest Washington Pipe Trades and Apprenticeship Training Center in Lacey. The agenda includes presentations on the Workforce Board's federal stimulus grant projects, Eligible Training Provider standards and 2012 workforce system legislative and budget requests. Agenda and materials

NEW WORKFORCE EXPLORER WEBSITE LAUNCHED TODAY

A new website that makes it easier to access the labor market and economic reports and information available through the Employment Security Department premieres today. The existing Workforce Explorer website is still available during the transition. 

DRAFT MATERIALS DESIGNED TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF JOB REFERRALS
The Employment Security Department, working closely with the state's Workforce Development Councils, has developed tools and materials to improve the quality of job referrals made by the state's WorkSource centers.

END OF $200 TEXTBOOKS: STATE LAUNCHES OPEN COURSE LIBRARY
The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges has officially opened the Open Course Library, a collection of educational materials for 42 of the state's highest enrolled college courses. The materials which include textbooks, syllabi and more cost $30 or less per student and are freely available online. The project is set to expand to 81 courses by 2013.

November 2, 2011

STATE FILES ANNUAL REPORT ON FEDERAL WORKFORCE TRAINING PROGRAM
Washington's annual report on the state's actiivities under the federal Workforce Investment Act Title I-B was not printed because of budget reductions. However, the report, by the Workforce Board, Employment Security Department and regional Workforce Development Councils, is available online.

JOBS FOR WASHINGTON'S GRADUATES LAUNCHES STATEWIDE
Washington has become an active state with Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) with the launch of a new statewide nonprofit aimed at keeping students in school and helping them find employment. Jobs for Washington's Graduates will be unique among JAG organizations because it is the only state, so far, that links directly to career and technical education classes and allows for industry certifications. Read news release

NEW REPORT SHOWS COLLEGE ATTENDANCE, REMEDIATION RATES BY DISTRICT
The percentage of Washington high school graduates who enroll in postsecondary education and training, and the percentage who enrolled in post high school remediation courses, is the focus of a new report from the state's Education Research and Data Center. The P-20 High School Feedback  reports provide Class of 2009 data by school district and high school. 

CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE OFFERS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SESSION
The latest workshop in the Technology Transfer series by the Centers of Excellence for Marine Manufacturing and Technology, Construction, and International Trade will feature an economic outlook by Dave Wallace, acting chief economics with the Employment Security Department. The free session is at Highline Community College, January 27, 2012. See:

October 19, 2011

RETOOLING FORUM ECONOMIC PRESENTATION AND NOTES AVAILABLE
Over 150 people attended the Retooling Washington's Workforce Forum earlier in the month. If you missed it or would like the materials from that meeting, see: www.wtb.wa.gov/OctoberForum.asp  

SPOKANE SCHOOL DISTRICT MAKES CTE EVENT PLANNING TOOLKIT AVAILABLE

Spokane School District's Career and Technical Education office is sharing its extensive expertise in organizing student career conference and awareness days. These toolkits include sample budgets, letters and planners. Eight different types of events are covered, including the award-winning "Pizza Pop & Power Tools" event. See: http://tinyurl.com/CTEToolKits

GUIDE PROVIDES DETAILED LOOK AT WASHINGTON'S COMMUNITY & TECHNICAL COLLEGES
The Washington State Community and Technical College Field Guide 2011-2012 is online as a single PDF document, by chapter, or college.

FORUM FOCUSES ON PRIOR LEARNING ASSESSMENTS
A free three-hour forum hosted by SkillUp Washington will look at how Washington can pursue a more uniform approach in evaluating prior learning for college credit, November 3, at South Seattle Community College Georgetown Campus.

October 5, 2011

TOMORROW'S RETOOLING FORUM STREAMING AND TWEETING
The Retooling Washington's Workforce Forum is closed to further registration, but you will be able to follow the events as they happen tomorrow--technology allowing. Workforce Board Member Mike Hudson, of the AWB Institute, will provide live reports via Twitter (hashtag: #ReToolWa) and will be streaming video of the key speakers and panel discussion during the day.

WORKFORCE BOARD SEEKS TO EXPAND INDIVIDUALIZED CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board has issued a Request for Qualifications for a consultant to help take Lower Columbia College's Individualized Certificate Program (ICP) to scale across the state's community and technical college system. This effort aims to make on-the-job training more accessible and effective, and aligns with Retooling Washington's Workforce initiative.

GRANT TO BOOST COLLEGE READINESS FOR STATE'S LOW-INCOME STUDENTS
A six-year, $27 million grant promises to boost college readiness for 6,500 low-income Washington students in 40 middle and high schools statewide. The Higher Education Coordinating Board, in partnership with other organizations, will administer the grant--which succeeds a previous one which expired. It's awarded through the U.S. Department of Education's national GEAR UP program. Read more about Washington's GEAR Up at

September 28, 2011

$20 MILLION TRADE ADJUSTMENT ACT GRANT LANDS IN WASHINGTON
Spokane Community College's Air Washington Program, a consortium of 14 colleges across Washington, two aerospace companies and an apprenticeship committee,will be awarded a $20 million grant, according to an announcement by the U.S. Department of Labor. The grant will go toward curriculum development and to train people for the aerospace industry. List of grant awards

VIDEO EXPLAINS HOW TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS WORKS
The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, in partnership with the Employment Security Department, recently debuted an outreach video for the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. Request free copies from Caitlyn Felling, cfelling@wslc.org.

SOUTHWEST WDC DIRECTOR TO MOVE TO COLUMBIA RIVER EDC
Lisa Nisenfeld, the executive director of the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council, has been selected to be the new president of the Columbia River Economic Development Council. Local article

REPORT FOCUSES ON WASHINGTON'S FIRST-TIME COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENTS
A paper from the Community College Research Center uses Washington data to chart pathways of community college students, and examines the characteristics of students who do and do not achieve key milestones.

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION OPENS FOR GEAR UP WEST
Registration is now open for Gear UP West, a multi-state regional conference for teachers and counselors who help disadvantaged students prepare for education beyond high school. The conference, featuring a presentation by Workforce Board staff, is Oct. 16-18 in Portland.

September 15, 2011

SEPTEMBER WORKFORCE BOARD MEETING PACKED WITH PRESENTATIONS
Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn,  Employment Security Department Commissioner Paul Trause and Keith Loeber of the Microsoft's IT Academy headline a series of presentations at the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board meeting, September 22 at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood. Review the agenda and materials (available on Friday) at:

RETOOLING STORIES TO ENLIVEN FORUM'S NETWORKING SESSIONS
Workforce professionals will share their stories of connecting unemployed workers with the employers who need them, forming partnerships, and leveraging resources during the networking sessions at the Retooling Washington Workforce Forum, October 6, in Seattle. Registration is required and is limited. Agenda and registration.

REGISTRATION EXTENDED FOR POST 9/11 GI BILL TRAINING
Registration has been extended until Monday, Sept. 19 for a free training session aimed at non-degree granting schools serving veterans. The training takes place Wednesday, Sept. 21 at Clover Park Technical College.

LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED NUMBERS CONTINUE TO GROW
The number of unemployed Washington workers who have exhausted their unemployment insurance benefits is over 60,000. You'll find the July report along with information on the next Motivational Interviewing training sessions for frontline staff at: www.wtb.wa.gov/Retool_UIExhaust.asp

August 31, 2011

WORKFORCE BOARD CHAIR, HARVARD DIRECTOR TEAM UP ON EDUCATION REFORM ARTICLE
"Our young people deserve multiple pathways to viable, living-wage jobs instead of a one-size-fits-all approach that too often doesn't fit," concludes an Everett Herald guest column co-written by Workforce Board Chair Cindy Zehnder and Harvard Pathways to Prosperity Project Director William Symonds. www.heraldnet.com/article/20110827/OPINION/708289943

RETOOLING TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME
The Retooling Washington's Workforce Forum for October 6 in Seattle has travel scholarships available on a first come, first serve basis. However, applications for scholarships must be turned in no later than September 8. To learn more about the forum, its agenda and registration, see: www.wtb.wa.gov/OctoberForum.asp

WORKFORCE BOARD LAUNCHES RFP FOR WORKPLACE-BASED EDUCATION
The Workforce Board is requesting proposals to develop three pilot Learning Laboratory Partnerships that will deliver, test and expand workplace-based education and training options in Washington. The pilots will be funded by a U.S. Department of Labor grant. For more information, see: www.wtb.wa.gov/LearningLaboratoryPartnerships.asp

HEALTHCARE TRAINING REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS ALSO UNVEILED BY WORKFORCE BOARD
The Workforce Board is requesting proposals to deploy $429,600 in U.S. Department of Labor grant money to help move more low-wage workers into better paying, high-demand health care professions. See: www.wtb.wa.gov/HealthTrainingRFP2011.asp

HEALTH CARE PERSONNEL SHORTAGE TASK FORCE MEETS NEXT WEEK
The Healthcare Personnel Shortage Task Force will meet Thursday, September 8, from 9 a.m. to noon at Pierce College, 1601 39th Avenue Southeast in Puyallup at the College Center building, Room 250. Get the agenda here. http://www.wtb.wa.gov/HCTFmeetingslist.asp

August 25, 2011

SPEAKERS FOCUS ON ECONOMY AND NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE AT ONE-DAY FORUM
Michael J. Parks, former editor of Marple's Business Newsletter, and Lee Foley, senior D.C. lobbyist specializing in workforce and economic development, will speak at the Retooling Washington's Workforce Forum, October 6, in Seattle.

DIRECTORY SPOTLIGHTS AEROSPACE AND ADVANCED MANUFACTURING
The Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Materials Manufacturing, working with a consortium of 26 aerospace and advanced manufacturing education and training organizations called Air Washington, has released a new directory describing all of its programs.

KING COUNTY FORECASTS TALENT SHORTAGE IN TRANSPORTATION FIELD

A study commissioned by the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County attempts to project supply and demand in King County for 184 occupations within three industry sectors. The study's forecast is for the years between 2014 and 2019 and covers health care, transportation and logistics and manufacturing.

SNOHOMISH WDC ADDRESSES LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED IN EVERETT ARTICLE
Sue Ambler and Heather Villars with the Workforce Development Council Snohomish County cite the state' Employment Security Department's survey on people who have exhausted their unemployment insurance in a guest editorial run by The Herald (Everett).

August 9, 2011

58,000 UNEMPLOYED HAVE EXHAUSTED THEIR U.I. BENEFITS 
A recent survey shows that only 25 percent of those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits in Washington have found work. The survey was conducted by the Employment Security Department as part of the Retooling Washington's Workforce initiative. A separate Retooling report shows that almost 58,000 residents in Washington have exhausted their benefits as of June 30, 2011.  

CONGRESSIONAL REPORT TARGETS TRAINING ROLE DURING SLOW RECOVERY
The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee released a new report last week highlighting the long-term unemployment crisis and the need for workforce training investment. "The challenge for policymakers is to begin to cut into these high rates of long-term unemployment and to do so quickly."

TWO WEEKS TO TURN IN BEST PRACTICES NOMINATIONS
The Governor's Best Practices Awards for Workforce and Economic Development are the only awards in the nation that recognize programs and projects that demonstrate excellence and achievement in both workforce development and economic development. Nominations for the 2011 award will be accepted through August 22. See: www.wtb.wa.gov/BestPracticeAwards.asp

HARVARD PATHWAYS REPORT FEATURED AT CTE CONFERENCE

The Washington Association of Career and Technical Education summer conference will have William Symonds, lead author of the Pathways to Prosperity report by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, as its opening speaker on August 15.

July 21, 2011

WORKFORCE BOARD SCHEDULES JULY RETREAT
Members of the Workforce Board will gather at The Evergreen State College, July 27 and 28 for the Board's annual retreat. Agenda and materials

WORKFORCE PRESENTATION PART OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COURSE

The nationally accredited 20th Annual Northwest Economic Development Course is in Ellensburg, August 22-26. This year's program includes a class by Mike Brennan, staff with the Workforce Board, and Sue Ambler, chief executive officer of Workforce Development Council Snohomish County. Course, agenda, general information, and online registration

NEW REPORT EXAMINES ECONOMIC PROSPECTS OF 26-34 YEAR OLDS
A new report from Public Agenda surveys young adults who graduated from high school and those who obtained a post-high school degree ffor a first-hand look at how they view their economic prospects. "One Degree of Separation" highlights how both groups diverge in their views on higher education and employment prospects, and what the policy implications are for their future prosperity.

July 13, 2011

NOMINATE THIS YEAR'S BEST PRACTICES WINNER

Nominations are open until August 22 for the 2011 Governor's Best Practices  Awards for Workforce and Economic Development. Sponsored by the Washington State Department of Commerce and Workforce Board, this coveted award recognizes excellence in programs and projects that provide benefits to the economy (particularly employers) and workers. Application packets at: www.wtb.wa.gov/BestPracticeAwards.asp

NATIONAL JOURNAL ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS 2010 BEST PRACTICES WINNER SUCCESS
The King County Jobs Initiative, a green jobs program that won a 2010 Governor's Best Practices Awards (See above item), is featured in the most recent Solutions, a bimonthly electronic magazine targeting workforce, economic development and education professionals. See Page 14

JUST A FEW MONTHS LEFT FOR FREE MICROSOFT E-LEARNING
Users must register by Oct. 31 to access free online courses that teach Washington residents how to use Microsoft software products. The courses cover basic computer literacy, Office and Windows products, and training for IT professionals. Learn more and register online at www.Go2WorkSource.com by clicking on the "Wow!" icon on the right.

PATHWAYS TO PROSPERITY FEATURED AT CTE SUMMER CONFERENCE
The Harvard Graduate School of Education Pathways to Prosperity project is getting attention nationwide, including a recent CBS broadcast regarding Boeing's need for skilled workers. The project lead, Bill Symonds, will speak at the Aug. 14-17 conference sponsored by the Washington Association for Career and Technical Education. State Superintendent Randy Dorn will also speak. Register at: wa-acte.org/confsummer.php

June 22, 2011

WORKFORCE BOARD APPROVES OPERATING PLAN & BUDGET
At its regular meeting last week, the Workforce Board approved the agency's 2012 operating plan and operating budget. The board also approved the distribution of over $20 million in federal Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act dollars. See board's agenda and materials.

COMMERCE ACCEPTING INNOVATION PARTNERSHIP ZONE APPLICATIONS
The state Department of Commerce has released the official competitive solicitation for the 2011 Innovation Partnership Zone designation. This designation is intended to promote collaboration and cover relatively small areas that have a concentrated industry cluster. Information teleconference sessions are June 27 and July 12. Application deadline is September 1.

LAYOFF RESPONSE TOOLS HIGHLIGHTED AT AUGUST CONFERENCE
A conference showcasing layoff aversion and response tools to help Washington businesses and workers is slated for Aug. 3. The Washington State Labor Council, in partnership with the state’s Employment Security Department and Department of Commerce, is hosting the conference. Register here.

REPORT TOUTS ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF ADULT BASIC EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Federal spending on career training for adults provides a significant return on investment, according to a new report from the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education and the McGraw-Hill Research Foundation. The report comes as lawmakers begin work on a 2012 budget that could cut spending on adult and career education.

June 16, 2011

GOVERNOR APPOINTS WORKFORCE BOARD DIRECTOR TO AEROSPACE COUNCIL
Workforce Board Executive Director Eleni Papadakis has been appointed by Governor Gregoire to the Council on Aerospace and charged with compiling and maintaining a thorough review of aerospace education and training opportunities in Washington. The appointment sharpens the council's focus on ensuring a skilled workforce for the state's largest manufacturing industry. News Release.

NEW LEGISLATIVE LIAISON JOINS WORKFORCE BOARD STAFF
Sonja Hallum has joined the Workforce Board as the agency's new policy analyst/legislative liaison for adult workforce issues. Hallum, an attorney, formerly served on State House committee staff for five years. She occupies the position once held by Madeleine Thompson and, temporarily, by Carolyn McKinnon during the recent Legislative session.

WEBSITE HELPS THOSE WITH DISABILITIES CONNECT TO CAREERS
The Department of Social and Health Services has launched a new website designed to give job seekers with disabilities new tools to find employment without worrying about losing health care benefits in the process. It includes information on health coverage, an online resume builder and video success stories.  

ANNUAL BEST PRACTICES EVENT TARGETS SMART GRID TECHNOLOGIES

"Smarter Grid Innovations 2011" is the title of this year's best practices summit hosted by the Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy and the Washington State Construction Center of Excellence. The event is June 23-24 at the Regional Education and Training Center, Satsop Campus.

June 9, 2011

ECONOMIC PRESENTATIONS HEAD UP JUNE WORKFORCE BOARD MEETING
Greg Weeks, Labor Market and Economic Analysis director with Employment Security Department, will present on trends in middle-wage jobs and a forecast of aerospace jobs to the Workforce Board when it meets Thursday, June 16 in Olympia. Agenda and materials

SPOKANE WORKSHOP WILL FOCUS ON EMPLOYER ENGAGEMENT IN SCHOOLS
Association of Washington Business Institute's Mike Hudson and Workforce Board Executive Director Eleni Papadakis will be conducting a pre-conference workshop highlighting the importance of work-based learning and employer engagement in education at the Summer Conference of the Washington Association of School Administrators and the Association of Washington State Principals, June 25.

INTERVIEW TRAINING TARGETS DISCOURAGED CUSTOMERS
It's not too late for frontline ESD and WorkSource partner staff to sign up for Motivational Interviewing training being offered at six WorkSource locations statewide. These sessions will help staff engage more effectively with discouraged customers.

VETERANS EDUCATION PROGRAM MANAGER TO SPEAK AT CAREER COLLEGES CONFERENCE
Lee Williams, program manager for the Workforce Board's State Approving Agency for veterans education, will talk about recent legislative changes to the Post-9/11 Veteran Educational Improvement Act at the 42nd Annual Northwest Career Colleges Federation conference in Stevenson, Wash on June 17.

PARTNER AGENCY MANAGERS RECOGNIZED FOR LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE
Two managers from partner agencies were honored with the 2011 Governor's Award for Leadership in Management. While interim director of the Benton-Franklin workforce development area for the Employment Security Department, Joe Perez developed a strategic plan to improve service for long-term unemployed. Jan Yoshiwara of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges was instrumental in the Student Achievement Initiative that created incentives to increase certificate and degree completions.

June 2, 2011

SEATTLE TIMES EDITORIAL SUPPORTS BROADER DEFINITION OF "COLLEGE FOR ALL"
This week, the Seattle Times lead editorial writer Lynne Varner proposed that education reform should "broaden 'college for all' to include meaningful post-high-school credentials." Her editorial was inspired by the Harvard Graduate School of Education report, Pathways to Prosperity.   

OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL FEATURES AWARD-WINNING STUDENT DOCUMENTARY
Shorewood High School students won first place in the Washington Board of Education Student Video Contest for their documentary on the Shoreline School District's Career and Technical Education programs. The video is featured on the Workforce Board YouTube channel:

NATIONAL WEBSITE FEATURES  SUCCESS STORIES FROM WASHINGTON STATE
Workforce Investment Works, a campaign by the National Association of Workforce Boards to educate people about the nation's workforce development system, has developed webpages that tell success stories from all over the country. The Washington page

May 26, 2011

LEGISLATURE FINISHES LAST NIGHT BY PASSING 2011-2013 BUDGET
The Washington State Legislature closed out its special session yesterday by approving a two-year operating budget that becomes effective, subject to signature by the Governor, on July 1, 2011. You can review a workforce-related summary of the budget and a list of workforce-related bills that were adopted during both the regular and special sessions.  

WORKFORCE STAFF RESPOND TO SPOKANE VALLEY SCHOOL CLOSURE
Staff of the Workforce Board's Private Career School program were in Spokane Valley this week meeting with students and staff of Alpine College--a private career school that closed suddenly last Friday. Students are encouraged to contact the Workforce Board about their rights.

2011 WAVE SCHOLARS ANNOUNCED

The Workforce Board has announced this year's Washington Award for Vocational Excellence (WAVE) scholars. While the WAVE program did not receive funding for scholarships this year, the current operating budget directs the program to recognize scholars for their achievements. The WAVE program is suspended for 2012 and 2013. See winners listed by legislative district  

BEST PRACTICE PROGRAMS FEATURED IN RECENT CROSSCUT ARTICLE
In a recent article about the importance of aligning training programs with employer needs featured in the online publication Crosscut.com, Workforce Board Executive Director Eleni Papadakis highlighted an online nurse training program (RONE), the new environmental center at Walla Walla Community College and the King County Jobs Initiative.  See:

May 18, 2011

SKILL GAP PROJECTION: CERTAIN JOB OPENINGS WILL EXCEED NEW WORKER SUPPLY
The Workforce Board's annual 2011 Skill Gap Analysis reports that there will be more net job openings in manufacturing, accounting, and installation and maintenance than there will be newly trained Washington workers to fill them. The skill gap analysis compares the most recent data on the number of newly prepared workers with the forecast of future job demand.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE FOCUSES ON WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
The Spring-Summer Conference of the Washington Economic Development Association will be in Vancouver, June 14-15 and will feature presentations by four regional Workforce Development Council executive directors (Mark Mattke, Lisa Nisenfeld, Sue Ambler and Linda Nguyen). Cheryl Fambles, executive director of the Washington Workforce Association will offer welcoming remarks, Workforce Board Chair Cindy Zehnder will be a luncheon speaker and Dan Fey of Seattle-King County Workforce Development Council will close the meeting.

EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT HOSTS ECONOMIC SUMMIT IN SPOKANE, EVERETT
The Labor Market and Economic Analysis branch of the Employment Security Department is hosting the 2011 Spokane Economic Symposium this Friday, May 20. Another session will be held June 21 in Everett.

May 12, 2011

EMPLOYER SURVEY RESULT REPORTS AVAILABLE ONLINE

Complete survey results of the Workforce Board's 2010 Employer Survey are now available online. The reports provide state summaries, comparisons with 2007 results and breakouts by industry and workforce development areas.

ROBO-CALLS EXTEND REACH OF WORKSOURCE SERVICES TO U.I. EXHAUSTEES
The state Employment Security Department is using automatic dialing machines to deliver recorded messages (robo-calls) to the nearly 50,000 people who have run out of unemployment benefits. The calls encourage them to seek job-search assistance from their local WorkSource center. The outreach effort is part of the Retooling Washington's Workforce initiative.

NEW LABOR MEMBERS JOIN THE WORKFORCE BOARD
Governor Chris Gregoire has appointed Lee Newgent, executive secretary of the Seattle Building Trades Council, to the Workforce Board as one of the three members representing labor. Meanwhile, the Senate Labor, Commerce, & Consumer Protection Committee has approved the Governor's Board nomination of Jeff Johnson, president of the Washington State Labor Council. The Workforce Board has equal representation from labor and business.

NEW CAREER BRIDGE INFORMATION CARDS AVAILABLE
Handy, two-sided rack cards have been redesigned with quick tips to make navigating Washington's Career Bridge website even easier. Order yours today. 

Remember the STEM Agenda forum with Harvard's Pathways to Prosperity author Bill Symonds, May 19!

May 2, 2011

WASHINGTON'S COMPETITIVENESS, HIGH-DEMAND OCCUPATIONS, NO DANN-MESSIER
The Workforce Board will hold its regular meeting May 5 in Olympia. The agenda includes presentations on Washington's competitiveness by Department of Commerce's Daniel Malarkey and an analysis of high-demand mid-level occupations by David Pavelchek, the Workforce Board's research director. Brenda Dann-Messier will NOT attend as previously announced. The assistant secretary for Vocational and Adult Education with the U.S. Department of Education had a change in travel plans.

NEW STAFF GRACE THE WORKFORCE BOARD OFFICE

Last week, Katherine Mahoney joined the Workforce Board staff as a management analyst who will be handling, among other things, contracts associated with our Recovery Act grants. This week, Darlene Bartlett stepped in as a secretary to fill in for Destiney Harrison who is on extended leave.

HARVARD PATHWAYS REPORT AUTHOR TO SPEAK AT STEM CONFERENCE
Bill Symonds, author of Pathways to Prosperity, will speak at "Connecting STEM with Workforce Education" put on by the Maufacturing Industrial Council of Seattle. The Workforce Board is one of many sponsors and Executive Director Eleni Papadakis will be on a panel with Seattle Community Colleges Chancellor Jill Wakefield. 

MARINE TECHNOLOGY CAMPUS HOSTS WET LAB WORKSHOP
Congressman Rick Larsen will speak at a free professional development workshop at Skagit Valley College's new marine technology campus in Anacortes on May 20. Sponsored by three Centers of Excellence, the workshop also will feature a demonstration and hands on exercises of the Composites Wet Lab. To register:

LEGISLATIVE WEB PAGES CONTINUED TO TRACK SESSION ACTIVITIES
Keep up with legislation and committee meetings regarding workforce issues during the special session.

April 21, 2011

 LEGISLATIVE SESSION ENDS THIS WEEK
The 2011 regular legislative session ends this week. The House and Senate have each approved an operating budget for the 2011-13 biennium and now are attempting to negotiate a budget that both legislative bodies can support. If a budget is not approved by session's end, the Legislature will need to come back into a special session to approve one. Our legislative page continues to track workforce development issues as it relates to the budget and bills that have passed or are still pending.  

WORKFORCE BOARD WELCOMES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ADMINISTRATOR
Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary for Vocational and Adult Education with the U.S. Department of Education, is scheduled to attend the next Workforce Board meeting in Olympia on May 5.  Agenda and board materials will be available closer to the meeting time.

LATEST JOB-VACANCY SURVEY SHOW JOB OPENINGS UP 31 PERCENT
The Employment Security Department released its fall 2010 job-vacancy survey today. Most of the growth in job openings appears to be coming from smaller firms. 

HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD REPORT TARGETS HIGH DEMAND
The Higher Education Coordinating Board has released a regional analysis of workforce needs which urges the state and its higher education institutions - public and private - to continue to ramp up degree production in high-demand, high-wage fields.

CHAMBER REPORT RECOGNIZES IMPORTANCE OF NON-BACCALAUREATE DEGREES
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report last month that identifies a lack of awareness among business and education leaders regarding the demand for workers with career credentials and associate's degrees. The report urges businesses to work collaboratively with community colleges and similar institutions to ensure they are producing graduates with the competencies they require. 

April 14, 2011

SENATE ROLLS OUT BUDGET AS SESSION END APPROACHES
The Workforce Board's legislative web page now offers a comparison (from a workforce development perspective) between the House, Senate and Governor proposed operating budgets for the upcoming two-year period. You'll also find the latest list of workforce-related bills and their status. The regular session ends Sunday, April 24.

CAREER BRIDGE IMPROVEMENTS MAKE SITE EASIER TO USE
You can now navigate more easily among the more than 5,000 public and private education and training programs on www.CareerBridge.wa.gov. Recent upgrades make it easier to find and print detailed program information and performance results. Users can also search the website's database by location and get all branches of a school in the search results. More improvements to come by the end of this year.

MATCH DEGREES TO MARKETPLACE FOR ECONOMIC SUCCESS
A new National Governors Association report says that higher education "cannot help drive economic growth in their states unless student's academic success is linked to the needs of the marketplace." The report features Washington's experience and cites research from the Workforce Board and State Board for Community and Technical College.

April 7, 2011

HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS BUDGET
The House Ways and Means Committee has approved HB 1087, the state's operating budget for 2011-2013. The Workforce Board has summarized the proposed budget's effects on workforce development programs.

U.I. EXHAUSTEE DATA UPDATED FOR MARCH
The Employment Security Department has updated its statewide and county data on Washington residents who have exhausted their unemployment insurance benefits. As of March 26, almost 47,000 state residents had exhausted their benefits. The occupation group with the most people running out of unemployment insurance is office & administrative workers, followed by construction, management and production workers.

STATE'S STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT INITIATIVE SERVES AS MODEL
A Community College Research Center brief looks at the policy choices Washington's community and technical college system faced when designing and implementing the Student Achievement Initiative across 34 colleges. The paper is titled "Performance Incentives to Improve Community College Completion: Learning from Washington State's Student Achievement Initiative."

EARLY NOTICE ON CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION CONFERENCE
The Washington Association for Career and Technical Education will hold its summer conference August 14-17 at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center.

March 31, 2011  

WORKFORCE BOARD LEGISLATION TRACKING CONTINUES
As the session wears down, the number of bills that survive narrows. See what the Legislature is considering in relation to workforce development.

WORKFORCE BOARD SEEKS TEMPORARY SECRETARY
The Workforce Board has an immediate opening available for a non-permanent secretary to provide temporary clerical support for the Private Vocational Schools Act, as well as other agency programs.

SAVE OCTOBER 6 FOR RETOOLING WASHINGTON FORUM
The Workforce Board will hold a forum featuring speakers and panels highlighting the successes and learnings from Retooling Washington's Workforce initiative. The one-day forum will be held in the Seattle area. Location and agenda will be announced later in the summer. Also, we have made minor corrections and fixed the link on the Workforce and Economic Development directory available on the Retooling webpage.

YOUTH CAREER CAMPS ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
Washington Business Week programs including Business Week, Healthcare Week, Get AMPT (Manufacturing) Week and Energy Week are accepting applications for volunteers and high-school age participants for the week long summer camps. These programs were featured in in the Workforce Board's recent white paper, Help Wanted: Work Experience for Young Adults. For more on Washington Business Week, see: www.wbw.org .

WASHINGTON'S RETURN ON INVESTMENT RESEARCH FEATURED IN CTE REPORT
The National Research Center for Career and Technical Education has a new paper that discusses Washington's calculations for return on investment and net impact for Career and Technical Education participants. The publication is available at: http://www.nrccte.org/

March 23, 2011

STATE WILL SEEK EXTENSION OF CURRENT WIA PLANS
At the invitation of the U. S. Department of Labor, the Employment Security Department is requesting that it be able to extend our state's current Workforce Investment Act and Wagner-Peyser Plan through June 30, 2012. The Employment Security Department is also requesting the renewal of three WIA waivers. Learn more

WORKFORCE BOARD SEEKS POLICY ANALYST/LEGISLATIVE LIAISON

The Workforce Board is looking for a policy analyst/legislative liaison to provide analysis of emerging issues relevant to our state's workforce and to assist in policy development.

NEW DIRECTORY LAYS OUT WDCs, EDCs BY COUNTY
A new, free directory from the Workforce Board lists Workforce Development Councils, Economic Development Councils and Small Business Development Centers by county.

TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE MEETINGS START NEXT WEEK
The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is hosting regional WA-TAA (Trade Adjustment Assistance) Partnership meetings, starting March 30 in Mount Vernon, to share information and increase access to the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. The Labor Council, in partnership with the state's Employment Security Department, received a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide enhanced technical assistance.

BEYOND BASIC SKILLS: NEW REPORT EXPLORES PATHWAYS FOR LOW-INCOME
A new report from CLASP offers state strategies to connect low-skilled students to employer-valued postsecondary education.

March 16, 2011

RETOOLING PAGE FEATURES SURVEY RESULTS OF BUSINESS OUTREACH
The Retooling Washington's Workforce initiative has surveyed business outreach professionals from a wide range of state and local organizations. These results will help guide the Retooling efforts to increase coordination and to share best practices. 

BEST PRACTICE AWARDS RECEPTION CELEBRATES JOB CREATION
Snow slowed us down but did not stop us. We will hold our long awaited Governor's Best Practices Awards reception, Thursday, March 24, 3 -4 p.m. in the Legislative building's State Reception Room. Snow plows stand ready to keep this event open to the public

MANN TAKES OVER AS AREA DIRECTOR
Starting today, Michelle Mann, formerly the executive director of the Benton-Franklin Workforce Development Council, is now Employment Security Department's Area Director for the Benton-Franklin Workforce Development Area.   

NEW STAFF AT THE WORKFORCE BOARD
Jon Agnone has joined the Workforce Board in its research department. Also, Carolyn McKinnon has been back working with the Workforce Board during the legislative session and Michelle Treece-Pang has been brought on temporarily to help the Veterans Program Approval Process.  

SESSION ROLLS ON THROUGH ANOTHER CUTOFF
Legislative deadlines for bills has narrowed the field of legislation. This week and next week, House committees will be reviewing Senate bills and vice versa. Follow what's alive and what's not.

March 10, 2011

EARLY LEARNING REPORT EXTENSIVELY CITES WORKFORCE BOARD'S RESEARCH
America's Edge, a national organization composed of business owners and senior business management, cited the Workforce Board's Skill Gap Analysis and 2010 Employer Survey in its recent report promoting investment in early learning in Washington state.

WORKFORCE BOARD SEEKING PROGRAM MANAGEMENT, ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT
The Workforce Board is seeking quality candidates for an opening on its staff.

SEATTLE ENGINEERING FIRM WINS NATIONAL GREEN JOBS AWARD
McKinstry Co. was honored by the National Association of Workforce Boards for its collaboration on green jobs and skills with the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County.

CENTRALIA COLLEGE'S CENTER OF EXCELLENCE EXPANDS

Centralia College's Center of Excellence for Energy Technology has expanded into a multi-state Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy. The new center includes: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah. Read more in the inaugural issue of the newsletter Smart Energy.

STUDENT VIDEO CONTEST FOCUSES ON ROLE OF CTE AND STEM

The Washington State Board of Education has announced the start of its second annual student video contest. This year's contest will focus on the important role of math, science, technology, and/or Career and Technical Education courses. The contest due date is Monday, May 2.

March 3, 2011

WORKFORCE BOARD MEMBERS GATHER FOR MARCH MEETING
The Workforce Board will meet Thursday, March 10, in Olympia. The agenda includes presentations on green jobs, career and technical education, private career colleges and research on the state's skill needs. Agenda and materials

SEATTLE-KING COUNTY WDC RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF THE TOP URBAN BOARDS

A national report recognizes Seattle-King County Workforce Development Council for its success in helping its clients obtain high earnings compared to other urban workforce boards around the country. The report highlights distinguishing practices and policies of the Seattle-King WDC and other top workforce investment boards.

RETOOLING WEB PAGE OFFERS UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE EXHAUSTEE DATA
Over 41,000 Washington residents had exhausted their unemployment benefits as of mid-February, according to Employment Security Department reports available on the Retooling Washington's Workforce web page. The UI Exhaustee project, which includes county specific reports, is one of three priority projects that comprise the Retooling Washington's Workforce initiative

EARLY DISCOUNT REGISTRATION STILL AVAILABLE FOR RURAL CONFERENCE
Rural Washington Conference 2011 has extended its early bird discount for registrations made by March 7. The Workforce Board is a co-sponsor of "Pathways to Prosperity" to be held March 18-19 in Moses Lake. Conference agenda:  

FOLLOW WORKFORCE-RELATED LEGISLATION AND ACTIVITIES

February 24, 2011  

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS STATE'S LEADERSHIP IN MONITORING TRAINING RESULTS

Washington state already monitors training programs in a manner recommended by a recent GAO report, says Eleni Papadakis, Workforce Board executive director, in a Crosscut article published this week.

BEST PRACTICE AWARD RECEPTION POSTPONED
Snow and ice forced us to cancel today's reception for recipients of the Best Practice Awards in Workforce and Economic Development. We will reschedule in March.

FEDERAL BUDGET PROPOSALS TAKING SHAPE
The President's 2012 budget information
The U.S. House of Representatives summary of its budget proposal (HCR 1)

NEW NAVIGATION 101 REPORT SHOWCASES PROGRESS
OSPI has released a new report on Nav 101, outlining current initiatives and recommendations for this comprehensive career and college readiness program. 

PATHWAYS TO PROSPERITY REPORT: GO BEYOND COLLEGE
A Harvard Graduate School of Education reports college is not necessarily for everyone. The Pathways to Prosperity Report contends that the U.S. needs new pathways for our young adults to succeed, including more program options that link work and learning.

February 17, 2011

CAPITOL RECEPTION PLANNED FOR BEST PRACTICE PROGRAMS
The Governor's Best Practices in Workforce & Economic Development award program will honor winners at a reception in the Legislative Building, Thursday, Feb. 24, 3-4 p.m.

COMMERCE SEEKS WORKFIRST PROGRAM CONTRACTORS

The state Department of Commerce has issued a Request for Applications for those interested in becoming a Commerce WorkFirst Programs contractor. Deadline is February 24.

LEGISLATIVE PACE QUICKENS AS COMMITTEE DEADLINE LOOMS
The Legislature's self-imposed deadline for committee bills is next week. After February 25, activity shifts from committee rooms to the full Senate and House bodies. Track workforce-related legislation

STATE CHAMBER HONORS EMPLOYERS FOR WORKPLACE EXCELLENCE

The Association of Washington Business recognized four employers for providing their employees training and advancement opportunities.

TEMPORARY LAYOFF, HOLIDAY CLOSES WORKFORCE BOARD OFFICE
Because of a state holiday and a budget mandated-temporary layoff, the Workforce Board's office will be closed Monday and Tuesday. Normal office hours return February 23.

February 10, 2011

EDUCATION REFORM BILL CLEARS INITIAL COMMITTEE

The House Education Committee this morning approved HB 1443 which adopts recommendations by the Quality Education Council, including a requirement that school districts develop a policy defining a high school credit and authorizes the State Board of Education to repeal a seat-time based definition. Learn more about education and workforce bills being considered by the Legislature

WAVE APPLICATION DEADLINE IS NEXT WEEK

The Washington Award for Vocational Excellence applications need to be submitted by school coordinators no later than February 18, 2011. Learn more about this scholar recognition program

WORKFORCE BOARD MEMBER TO CHAIR REHABILITATION COUNCIL

Mike Hudson, a business representative on the Workforce Board, was elected last month to serve as the 2011 Chair of the Washington State Rehabilitation Council. Hudson, a project manager for the Association of Washington Business Institute, has represented business and industry on the State Council for a year and a half.

RURAL WASHINGTON CONFERENCE WILL FEATURE WORKFORCE SESSIONS

A conference that focuses on Washington's small, rural communities and how to create opportunities to grow their economy and advance their workforce will include presentations by executive directors of two Workforce Development Councils and an Economic Development Council regarding health care access, industry clusters, youth employment and our Retooling Washington's Workforce initiative. Early bird registration still available

CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION
(CTE) PROGRAM EARNS NATIONAL RECOGNITION
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan highlighted the ShopGirls team at Granite Falls High School in a recent speech, praising the program as an example of the new CTE. In 2010, the all-female group built the Iron Maiden, a vehicle that went 470 miles per gallon and placed first in a national competition.

February 3, 2011  

EDUCATION REORGANIZATION BILLS INTRODUCED
Bills that change the administration and planning of the state's education system are being considered by legislators. For instance, the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee hearing received testimony from Governor Gregoire and the Superintendent of Public Instruction regarding Senate Bill 5522 which would make the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction a part of a new department of education under the Governor. You can follow the progress of these bills at our legislative web page

U.S. LABOR DEPARTMENT UPGRADES RE-EMPLOYMENT PORTAL
The U.S. Department of Labor has updated its re-employment website, creating a single source for information on jobs, career training, unemployment benefits and food, housing, health care and utility payment assistance.  

NATIONAL EMERGENCY GRANT TO HELP MILITARY SPOUSES, OTHERS
The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a National Emergency Grant of around $4.8 million to WorkForce Central and the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council to help 825 displaced military spouses and civilian defense workers in Pierce and Thurston Counties gain skills and find employment. Grant partners include the state's Employment Security Department, Thurston County Economic Development Council and the City of Lakewood.

January 27, 2011

WORKFORCE-RELATED BILLS INTRODUCED IN OLYMPIA
Legislation centralizing community college financial aid information, modifying unemployment insurance and fostering prior learning credit are just some of the workforce-related bills you will find detailed on our legislative web page.

ANNUAL REPORT DETAILS STRATEGIC PLAN PROGRESS
The Workforce Board released its Annual Progress Report to the Legislature regarding the state's comprehensive plan on workforce development, High Skills, High Wages, in November. You can now get printed copies of this 16-page report by request or download an electronic copy at: http://www.wtb.wa.gov/Activities_HighSkills.asp

HIGH SCHOOL COMPLETION WORKGROUP RELEASES LEGISLATIVE REPORT
The Building Bridges workgroup yesterday released its latest set of recommendations to the Legislature for the development of a comprehensive K-12 dropout reduction initiative.

U.S. LABOR DEPARTMENT UPGRADES RE-EMPLOYMENT PORTAL
The U.S. Department of Labor has revamped its re-employment website, creating a single source for information on jobs, career training, unemployment benefits and food, housing, health care and utility payment assistance. The site is aimed at recently laid-off workers, those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and those seeking to change careers.

January 20, 2011

WORKFORCE BOARD TO REVIEW NET IMPACTS, AEROSPACE APPRENTICESHIPS
The Workforce Board will meet January 27 in Olympia for its regular meeting. Agenda items include a review of the net impact study of workforce training programs, a presentation on aerospace apprenticeship programs and proposed action on a recommendation regarding local area strategic plans. Agenda and materials

NEW REPORT CALLS FOR MORE WORK OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG ADULTS

Washington young adults, 18 through 24, chronically suffer from unemployment at rates double that experienced by other workers. But in a down economy, an unemployment rate of 22 percent is frightening, and is heading Washington and the nation towards an unanticipated crisis. View the Workforce Board's legislative report, Wanted: Work Experience for Young Adults

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEES REVIEW WORKER RETRAINING, INDUSTRY CLUSTERS
Legislators continue their busy pace next week with committee sessions on the worker retraining program, Industry Cluster strategy and programs, a proposed Puget Sound Corps and the Workforce Board's net impact study on selected workforce programs. Get a complete workforce-related committee schedule.

COMMUNITY COLLEGE RECOGNIZED FOR IMPROVING RETENTION
Yakima Valley Community College has been recognized by Achieving the Dream, a national nonprofit organization, for its success in improving student retention rates. The college increased the percentage of students who stay in school from fall to winter to 81 percent from 75 percent.

EARLY REGISTRATION DISCOUNT FOR WEDA WINTER CONFERENCE
The Washington Economic Development Association will hold its winter conference, February 14-15 in Olympia. Early registration discounts end January 30.

January 13, 2011  

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE REVIEWS WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT
The House Labor and Workforce Development Committee will hear an overview of the Workforce Investment Act and the Worker Retraining Program Tuesday, January 18 in Olympia. For more information on bills and hearings related to workforce issues, visit our 2011 legislative page

NEW REPORT CALLS FOR MORE WORK OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG ADULTS
Washington young adults, 18 to 25, chronically suffer from unemployment at rates double that experienced by other workers. This edition of the Workforce Board's legislative report is Wanted: Work Experience for Young Adults.

NATIONAL JOURNAL FEATURES STATE'S OPEN COURSE LIBRARY
The Chronicle of Higher Education features the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges' pioneering work in providing instructional materials online. Fueled by two legislatively created task forces, this initiative is helping lower the cost of attending school.  

HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD LAUNCHES BLOG
The Higher Education Coordinating Board has launched a new blog to provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas by members of the higher education community and the general public. http://hecbwashington.blogspot.com/

January 6, 2011

NEW SESSION MEANS MORE LEGISLATIVE NEWS
With the 2011 legislative session starting Monday, we continue our tradition of providing timely information on workforce-related legislative activities. You can view next week's calendar of relevant committee hearings now on our legislative page.

GOVERNOR PROPOSES CREATING CABINET LEVEL EDUCATION POSITION
This week, Governor Chris Gregoire proposed to consolidate education administration under a cabinet-level administrator. Governor's announcement.

FIRST GROUP OF BEST PRACTICE NURSES GRADUATE, GET PINNED
The first group of graduates of the Rural Outreach Nursing Education (RONE) program of Lower Columbia College were honored at pinning ceremonies in Longview and Republic. RONE, a winner of a 2009 Best Practices Award in Workforce and Economic Development, provides nursing education through classes delivered over the web. See article

COUNCIL OF STATE GOVERNMENTS SHOWCASES CAREER BRIDGE

Career Bridge, the state's award-winning career guidance website, is featured in an article on the Council of State Governments' website. http://tinyurl.com/csgaward
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