Worker Retraining Program
Contact: Katherine Mahoney
State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
P.O. Box 42495
Olympia, WA 98504-2495
State Website: http://www.sbctc.edu/college/_e-wkforceworkerretraining.aspx
Participation: 16,601 participants were served by the Worker Retraining Program between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012.
Who is Served: The program serves unemployed people and those who have been notified they are about to be laid off. To qualify, a person must be eligible for or have exhausted his or her unemployment compensation benefits within the last 24 months. Dislocated workers and long-term unemployed people have priority access to the program’s training and support services. Displaced homemakers, those formerly self-employed, and unemployed veterans recently separated from service may also qualify. Vulnerable workers (those who are employed but in declining occupations and have less than one year of college education plus a credential) may qualify.
Program Description: The program serves the unemployed or those facing imminent layoffs. Community and technical colleges provide training in basic skills and literacy, occupational skills, vocational education, and related or supplemental instruction for apprentices. Qualified students may receive financial assistance to help with tuition, as well as the costs of child care and transportation. The program is administered by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.
Other Program Characteristics: Annual plans focus on training programs that prepare students for occupations with demonstrated demand for qualified workers and lead to jobs providing a living wage. Program plans actively involve business, government, and labor as they determine the employment demand and content of the training program. There is flexibility as to the length of participant training and program of study.
Program History: The Employment and Training Trust Fund was established in 1993 to fund training and related support services for the unemployed and to fund improvements in the state’s employment security system. After sunsetting in 1997, the fund was reauthorized as the Worker Retraining Program with the passage of SB 5909 in 1999. Funding comes from the State General Fund. Since 1993, more than 116,000 workers who lost their jobs have been trained through the Worker Retraining Program. In 2009 and 2010, the economic downturn resulted in a dramatic increase in demand for worker retraining funds.
Planning Cycle: Annual
State Core Measures: See Workforce Training Results at http://www.wtb.wa.gov/WashingtonStateCoreMeasures.asp
Other Outcome Measures: Include completion of an educational program, employment, and wages in jobs closely approximating pre-layoff conditions.
Funding and Regional Division: 2011-12 funds are allocated as follows:
- Enrollment: 8,406 full-time equivalents (FTEs)
- Enrollment Support: $3,311 per FTE
- Financial Aid/Training Completion Aid: $1,300 per FTE
- Private Career Schools and Colleges: Funding FTEs varies depending upon demand and availability.
Each college is required to submit a one-year plan. The plans must be developed in cooperation with and endorsed by the college’s worker retraining advisory committee. The plans are reviewed by State Board for Community and Technical Colleges staff.
State Funding: $39,759,100 (July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013), State General Fund
Federal Funding: None.
Statutory Authority: State-RCW 28C.04.410 and .420. Administered by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.