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Governor's 2010 Best Practices Awards

Governor Chris Gregoire announced the Best Practices Awards in Workforce and Economic Development on December 1.

Two programs were were recognized as models of success in workforce and economic development while two others were identified as programs to watch.

King County Jobs Initiative
Walla Walla Community College's Water and Environmental Center
Seeking Opportunities Developing Occupations
Highline Community College StartZone Program


Best Practices Winner - King County Jobs Initiative

The King County Jobs Initiative is a long-standing program with a proven track record. Previously, the program served a general population of low-income adults, in South King County, helping them become certified workers in toxic and hazardous clean up work through an Environmental Protection Agency funded Environmental Job Training grant. The program now serves almost exclusively participants with recent criminal records. This program has combined careful attention to employer needs with a comprehensive approach to supporting program participants.

TRAC Associates
Center For Career Alternatives
Refugee Resettlement Office
King County Housing Authority
Environmental Coalitions of South Seattle
King County Solid Waste Program
King County Work Training Program
King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention
Seattle-King County Workforce Development Council
 Department of Social and Health Services
South Seattle Community and Technical College
Worker Center, AFL-CIO
Carolyn Bledsoe
Full description of program


Best Practices Winner - Walla Walla Community College's Water and Environmental Center.

The Water and Environmental Center illustrates the vital role that collaboration and partnership plays in addressing issues essential to the sustainability of eastern Washington’s water-dependent agriculture, salmon runs and overall economy. By combining research and development that leads to innovative new ideas, while providing hands-on education that trains new workers, the Center has the potential to both generate environmental solutions and spur economic growth that results in family-wage jobs.

Walla Walla Watershed Management Partnership
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
Walla Walla Watershed Alliance
Washington State Department of Ecology
The Sustainable Living Center Walla Walla Community College
Snake River Salmon Recovery Board
Steven L. VanAusdle
Full description of program


Program to Watch - Seeking Opportunities Developing Occupations (SODO)

SODOspecializes in recruiting, training, placing and retaining disadvantaged youth ages 18-24 in manufacturing while also introducing the participants to emerging green trends and apprenticeship opportunities. Students are paid for their training and treated as employee. Successful students go on to internships with local manufacturers, and the prospect of employment.

King County Work Training Program
Manufacturing Industrial Council
South Seattle Community College Apprenticeship and Education Center
Puget Sound Industrial Excellence Center
Seattle-King County Workforce Development Council
Joe Hauth

Full description of program



Program to Watch - Highline Community College's StartZone

The Highline Community College StartZone program helps south King County residents from a variety of disadvantaged backgrounds start and grow businesses through no-cost training, technical assistance and other business supports.  As a result, the program has been recognized as one to watch by a statewide team that reviews best practices in workforce and economic development

Full description of program

SW King County Economic Development Initiative
Highline Community College
Highline’s Small Business Development Center
Highline’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center
Referral Partners:
African Chamber of Commerce of Pacific Northwest
Airport Jobs
Asian Counseling and Referral Services
Burst for Prosperity
Community Capital Development
Diocese of Olympia JumpStart Fund
Express Advantage
Filipino Chamber of Commerce
Green River Small Business Assistance Center
Kenyan Women Association
Metropolitan Development Council
Multi Service Center
OUR Washington
Para Los Ninos
Washington CASH
Washington Access Fund
Washington Initiative for Supported Employment
White Center Community Development Association
Mike Skinner

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The Governor’s Economic and Workforce Development Conference is organized by the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board and Washingtonstate Department of Commerce. Commerce is the lead state agency charged with enhancing and promoting sustainable community and economic vitality in Washington. The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board is a partnership of labor, business and government, dedicated to helping Washington state residents obtain and succeed in family-wage jobs, while meeting employers’ needs for skilled workers.

Previous Best Practice Winners

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