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2008-10 High Skills, High Wages Strategic Fund

A Strategic Fund to Move Toward the Next Washington

View Washington's new state stategic workforce development plan, Talent and Prosperity for All.

The High Skills, High Wages Strategic Fund advances the ability of workforce and economic development partners to meet industry cluster needs and increase employment opportunities for low-income populations.


Check out grant recipient:
The Intracoastal Alliance


In particular, the Strategic Fund is nurturing a second-generation of Industry Skill Panels. The Workforce Board is pleased to announce the following High Skills High Wage Strategic Fund grants.

Implementation Grants:
Manufacturing Skills Initiative, Eastern Washington, $194,800
Workforce development activities will be boosted in a nine-county region in Eastern Washington and include on-the-job training for entry-level workers, financial support for formal vocational training, work experience, and career and technical training for K-12 students. The nine counties are Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla and Whitman.
Contact: Tom O’Brien, Eastern Washington Partnership Workforce Development Council, 509- 685-6129

Washington Intracoastal Marine and Manufacturing Industry Alliance, Northwest Washington,
- One page handout on Alliance
This project aims to increase the size and quality of the work force in marine and advanced manufacturing industries in the 12-county area of Clallam, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, San Juan, Skagit, Thurston and Whatcom counties. The project focuses on English-as-a-Second Language workers, low-skilled adults and at-risk youth.
Contact: Gay Dubigk, Northwest Workforce Council, 360-676-3206

Planning grants:
Maritime Transportation Cluster, Seattle-King County, $75,000
An industry-led team will assess employers’ middle-skill jobs and the training needed to fill them,. Other parts of the project include creating a maritime transportation career pathways map, designing outreach strategies to connect with disadvantaged and other youth, and setting up a maritime careers program in K-12 schools.
Contact: Marlena Sessions, Seattle-King County Workforce Development Council, 206-448-0474

Interactive Media, Seattle-King County, $75,000
Grant partners will convene an industry-led panel to focus on interactive media skill needs, such as video game development, animation, and video, in Seattle, Redmond, Bellevue and Kirkland. The project will survey employers to determine their work force needs, identify educational strategies to meet those needs and assess career ladders to determine how to attract more workers to this emerging field.
Contact: Marlena Sessions, Seattle-King County Workforce Development Council, 206-448-0474

Central Washington Renewable Energy Planning Initiative, South Central Washington $75,000
This project will establish a regional partnership of business and industry representatives, education providers, local elected officials and work force and economic development professionals to identify industry niches for renewable and alternative energy. The project will identify regional training needs and opportunities for renewable industry development. Contact: David Gonzales, South Central Workforce Development Council, 509-574-1950.


Technical Bulletin: Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 13-07- Use of Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds for workforce development activities in support of economic development.

Regional Cluster Analyses - Detailed industry data to define regional specialties, develop maps of industry clusters and prioritize clusters for regional development purposes.

Industry Clusters: Reshaping our Region's Economy - A presentation at the Governor's Economic and Workforce Development Conference by Joe Cortright, vice president and economist, Impresa.

Partnering for Success: The High Skills-High Wages Strategic Fund – Presentation to the Washington Economic Development Association, October 9, 2008.

Skills for the Next Washington – Washington’s framework for coordinating workforce and economic development with a particular focus on regional industry clusters.

Application of Industry Cluster-Based and Sector-Focused Strategies to Rural Economies  - A detailed analysis of how (and when) clusters strategies work in rural areas conducted by the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce.  

Staff Contacts

Mike Brennan – Economic Development Program Specialist
mike.brennan@wtb.wa.gov, (360) 709-4616







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