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Governor's 2011 Best Practices Awards

The Governor has announced the 2011 Best Practices Awards for Workforce and Economic Development, the only award in the nation that recognize programs and projects that demonstrate excellence and achievement in both workforce development and economic development. The key to these awards is that it recognizes a program that directly benefits both the economy and local workers.

This award program is a collaboration between the Office of the Governor, the Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board and the Department of Commerce.

Governor's Award Page


Program helps unemployed land aerospace jobs

This partnership has helped a growing aerospace manufacturer meet demand for exports while making sure to the greatest extent possible that jobs are filled from laid off workers with the ability to contribute. More on the Heath Tecna project


  • Heath Tecna
  • Northwest Workforce Council
  • Washington Department of Commerce
  • Northwest Economic Council
  • Impact Washington
  • Bellingham Technical College
  • WorkSource Whatcom Career Center
  • Employment Security Department
  • Manpower
  • Kelly Services
  • Bellingham Waterfront Innovation Partnership

From left: Cindy Zehnder (Workforce Board Chair) ,Kiera Berghof (Kelly Services) Leslie Goldstein (Governor's office), Rob Costello (Bellingham Technical College), John Michener (Northwest Economic Council), Bob Uptagrafft (Impact Washington), Laura Henderson (HeathTecna), John Vicklund (Impact Washington) ,CJ Seitz (Employment Security), Sally Harris (Commerce), Gary Smith (Northwest Workforce Council), and Kori Olsen (WorkSource Whatcom)


Youth program nurtures Seattle's manufacturing pipeline

SODO, Inc. combines manufacturing-related certifications and other job readiness training with internships with area industries and other employers, providing valuable work experience for disadvantaged young adults. More on SODO, Inc.


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

From left: Michael Davie (Program Manager, King County Work Training Program), Leslie Goldstein (Executive Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Chris Gregoire), George Dignan (Workforce Development Services Administrator, King County Work Training Program), Holly Moore (Executive Dean, Georgetown Campus, SSCC), Jennifer Hill (Youth Programs Manager, King County Work Training), Carla Dean (Program Manager, Manufacturing Industrial Council of Seattle), Dave Gering (Executive Director, Manufacturing Industrial Council of Seattle), Lauren Hadley (Program Administrator, Puget Sound Industrial Excellence Center, SSCC), Kurt Buttleman (Chief Financial/Information Officer, South Seattle Community College), Joe Hauth (Director, Puget Sound Industrial Excellence Center, SSCC), Christine Jones (Workforce Education Program Manager, Manufacturing Industrial Council of Seattle), Cindy Zehnder (Workforce Board Chair)

Assessments improve employer-jobseeker matching

Spokane is using a national assesment test to build stronger ties between the region's employers and its jobseekers. The goal is to have a comprehensive picture of Spokane's work readiness that can serve as a business recruitment tool.More on Spokane WorkReady


  • Spokane Area Workforce Development Council
  • Greater Spokane Incorporated
  • Triumph Composite Systems
  • Goodrich Corporation
  • Kaiser Aluminum
  • Community Colleges of Spokane
  • Spokane Public Schools
  • Medical Lake High School
  • WorkSource Spokane
  • Next Generation Zone

From left: Cindy Zehnder (Workforce Board Chair), Mark Mattke (Executive Director, Spokane Area Workforce Development Council), Brian Burrow, (Project Manager, Spokane Area Workforce Development Council), John Dickson, (Area Director, Employment Security Department), Shelly O’Quin (Director of Education and Workforce, Greater Spokane Incorporated), State Rep. Kevin Parker,(6th District), Leslie Goldstein (Executive Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Chris Gregoire).

College program upskills rural workers into key jobs

Big Bend Community College makes it possible for low-skilled workers to learn how to operate large trucks and acquire a Commercial Driver's License, helping to meet the transportation demands of the region's agribusinesses. More on Big Bend's CDL I-BEST program


  • Big Bend Community College
  • State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
  • North Central Washington Workforce Development Council
  • The Opportunity Industrialization Center of Washington

From left: Leslie Goldstein (Executive Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Chris Gregoire).Sandy Cheek (Director of Basic Skills & Japanese Agriculture Training Program), Guillermo Garza (Commercial Driver License faculty) and his wife Erica Garza, Dr. William Bonaudi (President, Big Bend Community College), Bob Mohrbacher, Vice-President for Instruction and Student Services), and Cindy Zehnder (Workforce Board Chair)
Local story on award winner



Other Nominees

Sadly, not every nominee received an award. Take a look at the many exciting projects in Washington:

Bright Futures
Career Coaching Program
Community Energy Challenge
Composite Training
Computer Literacy Instruction
Experience Work Project
High Angle Training
High School Shipyard project
Kalispel Career Training Center
Nurse Transition Program
TCC Career Pipeline
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