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July 2007

What's Inside

Pacific Mountain WDC Wins a $5 million WIRED Grant

Washington Welcomes Eleni Papadakis

New Members on the Workforce Board

Legislature 2007: A Great Session for Workforce Issues

Mark Your Calendars!  Fall Conference Set For November 13-15, 2007!

Private Career Schools: New Advisory Committee Members and WAC Hearing

Private Career Schools: Scholarships Awarded

Call for Feedback on Consumer Reports Websites

Briefly

Pacific Mountain WDC Wins a $5 million WIRED Grant
On June 20, 2007, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao announced that Washington’s Pacific Mountain region (Grays Harbor, Mason, Pacific, Lewis, and Thurston counties) is one of 13 regions in the country to win a $5 million grant from the U.S Department of Labor for Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED).

“The WIRED program recognizes that local economies often transcend geographical boundaries,” said Secretary Chao. The WIRED Grant will assist the Pacific Mountain region to:

  • Create a flexible and technologically perceptive workforce.
  • Promote innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Create an Enterprise Network to accelerate regional economic growth.
  • Harness the synergy of the Alliance for Innovation to leverage resources and promote a Pacific Mountain identity.

“We expect that this grant will be a catalyst in forging a new way of doing business within our region,” said Mike Kennedy, Executive Director of the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council, sponsor of the regional Alliance. He added,“This investment will allow the region to implement a number of innovative initiatives through the collaborative efforts of business, labor, education, and economic and workforce development professionals. Industry will drive our problem-solving processes to ensure that we are meeting businesses’ needs.”

Other regions receiving the grant are located in Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon, Virginia, and Wisconsin. For more information contact Mike Kennedy at MHKennedy@PacificMountainWorkSource.org.

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Washington Welcomes Eleni Papadakis
Governor Chris Gregoire appointed Eleni Papadakis as Executive Director of the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (Workforce Board) in March 2007.

“Eleni has outstanding knowledge of every aspect of workforce policy and programs, and an exceptional record of building partnerships,” said Governor Gregoire. “I look forward to working with her to bring about the Next Washington, built upon a strong, highly-skilled workforce, to make sure we keep good jobs in Washington so that our companies continue to be competitive in the global economy.”

Eleni most recently served as the Vice President for Planning and Advancement with the Commonwealth Corporation, an organization in Massachusetts that conducts research and program development for the Massachusetts workforce development system. She led or helped to facilitate the implementation and administration of many components of the Workforce Investment Act and Welfare to Work programs for Massachusetts and has developed programs to support economically, socially and physically disadvantaged youth and adults.

In her first few months Eleni has been working with staff, Board members, and stakeholders to understand the complexities of Washington’s workforce development system and to advance the state’s strategic plan for workforce development. “High Skills, High Wages is an incredibly comprehensive plan, made more powerful by the addition of new state funds. The plan emphasizes the importance of resource alignment and system integration, which will continue to be a priority of the Workforce Board moving forward.”

Eleni is looking forward to meeting more of the system’s stakeholders and continued learning. Eleni’s resume is posted on the Workforce Board web site at www.wtb.wa.gov/Documents/EleniPapadakis.doc.

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New Members on the Workforce Board
The Workforce Board announces two new representatives:

• Troy Hutson, Executive Director of the Health Workforce Institute, an affiliate of the Washington State Hospital Association has been appointed to the Workforce Board as a member representing business.
• Kris Stadelman, Executive Director of the Seattle-King County WDC has been appointed to represent local government.

The Board would like to thank outgoing members Julianne Hanner and Asbury Lockett for their time, dedication and expertise. They will be missed.

For information on Board members, go to www.wtb.wa.gov/AboutUs.asp.

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Legislature 2007: A Great Session for Workforce Issues
The 2007 Legislative session was highly successful in advancing the strategic opportunities identified in High Skill, High Wages, our state strategic plan for workforce development. Here are the highlights:

Initiatives Serving Youth:

Dropouts - E2SHB 1573 created the Building Bridges Program that provides grants to local partnerships for comprehensive dropout prevention and retrieval. The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) was given $5 million to implement the program.

Skills Centers - 2SSB 5790 implements the recommendations of the skills centers study conducted by the Workforce Board, including expansion of student FTE to allow high schools and skill centers to receive funding for all classes up to a 1.6 FTE. The bill directs OSPI to review skills center policy guidelines to relax limitations on serving rural students by means of satellite programs, branch campuses or distance learning.

Pre-Apprenticeship - $350,000 was provided for grants for school districts to develop additional pre-apprenticeship programs.

Initiatives Serving Adults:

Opportunity Grant Program - 2SHB 1096 directs the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) to develop and implement the Opportunity Grant Program. This financial aid program provides tuition and other wrap-around services to low-income students enrolled in workforce education programs that are in high employer demand. $23 million was provided to SBCTC to support this program.

High Demand Enrollments - High demand enrollments in community and technical colleges were expanded by 650 student FTEs in 2008 and 650 student FTEs in 2009.

General Enrollments – The 2007-2009 budget expanded community and technical college general enrollments by 900 student FTEs in 2008 and an additional 1,050 student FTEs in 2009.

Private Career Schools - SB 5402 requires a private vocational school to demonstrate that it is fiscally viable and able to fulfill its commitments to students. It also allows the Workforce Board to require private vocational schools to take corrective action if they are identified as “at risk of closure or termination” due to a pattern of student complaints or a history of failure in meeting minimum licensure requirements.

Apprenticeship Training - Apprenticeship training programs were expanded by 150 student FTEs in each year.

Part-Time Students Financial Aid - ESHB 1179 allows a student who is enrolled between three quarter credits (or the equivalent semester credits) and half-time at an institution of higher education in Washington may be eligible for a prorated portion of the State Need Grant if they meet the other eligibility requirements. Any child support payments received by students who are parents attending less than half-time will not be used in calculating financial need. Also, the minimum number of credits required to receive a loan or aid from an institution's institutional financial aid fund is changed from six credits per term to three.

Integrated ABE and Training – The Integrated Basic Education, Skills, and Training (I-BEST) program was expanded by 250 student FTEs per year.

Initiatives Serving Industry:

Workforce and Economic Development - SHB 1091 directs the Economic Development Commission and the Workforce Board to jointly convene a working group to develop the process and criteria for identifying strategic clusters which are important to economic prosperity in the state.

Industry Skill Panels - $680,000 was provided to the Workforce Board to allocate grants to establish and support industry skill panels and to establish industry skill panel standards that identify the expectations for industry skill panel products and services.

Customized Training - $500,000 in additional funds were provided to SBCTC for the Job Skills Program.

High Skills, High Wages – The legislature passed SCR 8804, approving the 2006 update to High Skills, High Wages, the state comprehensive plan for workforce development.

For more information, contact Wes Pruitt at WPruitt@wtb.wa.gov.

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Mark Your Calendars!  Fall Conference Set For November 13-15, 2007!
The Workforce Board is hosting the 2007 Workforce and Economic Development Leadership Conference, Sector Strategies: Building Washington’s Workforce, Industry by Industry, at the Sheraton Hotel in Tacoma, Washington on November 13-15, 2007. This year’s event promises to be another high quality learning and networking opportunity. The conference begins at 8:30 am on Wednesday, November 14 and ends on Thursday, November 15 at 2:00 pm (after the Governor’s Award Luncheon). In addition, two exciting pre-conference workshops are scheduled for Tuesday, November 13.

The conference will continue exploring the intersection between economic and workforce development, emphasizing services and activities with demonstrated benefits to people and businesses. It will explore effective workforce and economic development strategies, share promising and “tested” best practices, and examine national and state policies on the horizon. Topics include:

• Sector Strategies
• Asset Mapping
• Legislative Perspectives
• Building the Pipeline
• Military Transition
• Dropout Prevention
• Policy on the Horizon
• Diversity

and much more.

Attend the conference and learn how to influence state and federal policy, maximize your training budgets, see what’s working in organizations around the state, get the facts you need to make informed workforce development decisions, and share your ideas and experience with colleagues!

Registration begins in August. Fee is $249 by October 31, 2007 and $299 after October 31, 2007. Lodging is available at the Sheraton Tacoma, Courtyard by Marriot, and the Best Western Tacoma Dome Hotel. Go to www.wtb.wa.gov/Conference2007.asp for more details or contact Patricia Spencer at PSpencer@wtb.wa.gov.

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Private Career Schools: New Advisory Committee Members and WAC Hearings
The Private Vocational School Advisory Committee met on May 10 at the Workforce Board’s office in Olympia. The committee welcomed new members Nancy Gale of the New Horizons Computer Learning Centers of Western Washington, and Jeffrey Smith of Checkride Driver Training Services.

The committee elected officers for 2007. They are Chair - David Wilson of Interface College, Vice Chair - John Paul Johnston of Divers Institute of Technology, and Secretary - Nancy Gale of New Horizons. Other members are listed at www.wtb.wa.gov/PCS_AdvisoryCommittee_Members.asp.

The Committee’s next meeting will be August 16, 2007, location to be announced.

Workforce Board staff is working with the Advisory Committee and the Northwest Career Colleges Federation to develop Washington Administrative Code (WAC) regulations to support Senate Bill 5402 which revised the Private Vocational School Act. The Workforce Board will conduct public hearings later this summer to get input from stakeholders on the proposed regulations, with plans to adopt the new regulations this fall.

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Private Career Schools: Scholarships Awarded
Washington high schools have selected 359 graduating students to receive a $1,000 tuition scholarship to attend a private career college. Since the program was first offered by the Northwest Career Colleges Federation in 1999, the Careers That Work! scholarship has assisted hundreds of graduating seniors and their families with meeting the costs of attending college. Almost one third of all high schools in the State awarded a senior the scholarship. The list of awardees is available at www.nwcareercolleges.org/scholarships. For more information, contact Gena Wikstrom, Executive Director, Northwest Career Colleges Federation, exec@NWCareerColleges.org.

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Young People Get Hands-On Learning Opportunities in Construction
Washington’s construction industry needs to recruit people now and well into the foreseeable future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to add one million new construction jobs nationwide by the year 2012. Here are two examples of programs that offer young people opportunities to explore their interest in careers in construction:

  • WorkSource Summer Teen Challenge in Richland: Forty youth, ages 16 to 21, participated in the Summer Teen Challenge, June 11-13, 2007, organized by WorkSource Columbia Basin. The goal of the program is to provide hands-on learning experiences and exploration to help young people find jobs and learn skills needed to succeed in the workforce. Students learned math and teamwork skills by building an 8 by 11 foot house complete with windows, a door and roof. Local business shared with students about the qualities they seek in their job applicants and employees.


Photo: Teresa Salavar of Pasco, left, and Elizabeth Herrera of Kennewick, both 17, team up Tuesday to connect the framing for a wall of a small building they built as an exercise at WorkSource Columbia Basin's Summer Teen Challenge program. About 40 local teens signed up for the three-day program. (Photo courtesy of Bob Brawdy, Tri-Cities Herald Wednesday, June 13th, 2007.)

See a full article in the Tri-City Herald: http://www.tricityherald.com/tch/local/story/8972554p-8888263c.html.

  • Recruiting Girls for High Paying Jobs in Construction: In its third year about 400 eighth grade girls from Spokane Public Schools, East Valley, West Valley, Central Valley, Riverside and Cheney School districts  participated in Pizza, Pop, and Power Tools. The program provides girls with an opportunity to learn about construction career opportunities. Over two days girls worked with local tradeswomen, assisting in hands-on demonstrations of welding, heavy equipment operation, conduit bending, carpentry, plumbing, painting, brick laying, cement masonry and safety. The annual event is organized by the Apprenticeship Training Coordinators of Spokane, Community Colleges of Spokane, the Spokane Workforce Development Council, Spokane Public Schools, Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and local businesses. Contact Lisa White, director of Career and Technical Education, at 509.354.7335.

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Call for Feedback on Consumer Reports Websites
The Workforce Board has begun redesigning the two consumer report web sites for job training programs—the Eligible Training Provider (ETP) List and Job Training Results (JTR) (www.wtb.wa.gov/etp and www.jobtrainingresults.org). Changes include combining the two sites into one and adding the ability to search by occupation. Contact Karen Pyle with feedback and suggestions for changes, at kpyle@wtb.wa.gov or 360.664.4622.

Briefly

Workforce Board Represented on P-20 Council
The Governor has established the P-20 Council by executive order “to hold state government accountable and measure progress toward ten long-term goals for a world-class education system.” David Harrison (Workforce Board Chair) will represent the Board on the Council. For more information on the P-20 Council visit: http://www.governor.wa.gov/news/news-view.asp?pressRelease=584&newsType=1.

Calling For Skill Panel Applications
Following the allocation of the Governor’s 10 percent funds and the state legislative allocations, the Workforce Board will issue a skill panel Request for Proposal (RFP) in early August. Skill panel RFP’s are aimed at enhancing existing skill panels or creating new skill panels. Further information will be posted on the Workforce Board web site.

Internal Reorganization at the Board
As a first step to improving the effectiveness of the Board, Eleni Papadakis has promoted Bryan Wilson, formerly Associate Director of Policy and Research to the new position of Deputy Director. Walt Wong, formerly the Manager of Program Administration, is now Chief Operating Officer. Julie Anderson is Board Secretary and Administrative Assistant to Walt Wong and Cathy Hollingsworth has joined the agency as the receptionist. Welcome Cathy and congratulations to all.

Workforce Board Staff Selected for Sector Skills Academy
Mike Brennan has been selected to participate in the Aspen Institute’s Sector Skills Academy. The Academy selects experienced practitioners from across the country to explore best practices in the area of sector-based workforce development programming. This year, the Academy will extend its reach internationally with two participants from the United Kingdom.

Health Care Task Force Members Learn About Youth/Hospital Partnership
At the June 14, 2007 meeting of the state’s Health Care Personnel Shortage Task Force, John Aultman, Director of the New Market Skills Center, presented with St Peter Hospital staff, and students on the Health Careers Pathway program. The program is unique because of its close relationship with the hospital. The hospital supports staff for the program and provides extensive job shadows. Students complete the program ready to enter health care programs, and with college credits under their belt. For more information contact Judy Burchett at jburchet@nmvsc.com.

For more information about the Health Care Personnel Shortage Task Force go to www.wtb.wa.gov/HCTFIntro2.asp, or contact Maddy Thompson at mthompson@wtb.wa.gov.

WAVE Poster Winner
Congratulations to Josh Gillis, graduating senior from the Mill Creek High school, who submitted the winning design in the 2008 WAVE Scholarship Poster Contest. His artwork will be used for all of the 2008 WAVE Scholarship materials.

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