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Career Connected Washington Task Force


The Task Force is a public-private partnership to accelerate career connected learning.
It culminates an 18-month National Governors Association Policy Academy on Work-Based Learning co-led by the Office of the Governor and the Workforce Board.

What is Career Connected Learning?

Career connected learning can be as simple as a business person visiting a classroom, talking about what they do. Or a job shadow where a young person learns more about an occupation or business.Or in some cases it can be an internship, or a registered apprenticeship, where youth are paid while they learn hands-on skills.


Goal: Connect 100,000 Washington youth during the next five years with career-connected learning opportunities that prepare them for high-demand, high wage jobs.


"We are going to stop telling our kids that a four-year degree is the only path to success. Most of them will require education and training after high school, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a four-year college degree. Through registered apprenticeships, technical training programs, and other career connected learning opportunities, we’ll give students all kinds of ways to fulfill their dreams of helping build airplanes, cure diseases, or design innovative new software."


-Governor Jay Inslee

“As a business person and Chair of the Workforce Board, I’m committed to strengthening the connection between Washington employers and our young people. We need business and industry at the table to make this work. We need business to be engaged and truly excited about helping create these opportunities."


-Workforce Board Chair Perry England

"A career connected learning system that includes apprenticeships, mentorships, job shadows, and hands-on learning will allow businesses to meet their workforce needs and youth in our state to be prepared for great careers."

-Brad Smith, President of Microsoft


Governor's Career Connected Learning Summit

In May 2017, the Workforce Board co-hosted the Governor's Summit on Career Connected Learning, where the Career Connect Washington Task Force was announced by Gov. Inslee. This Task Force is expected to accelerate career connected learning. The Summit, held at the Microsoft campus, brought together industry, policy, and education leaders to discuss how to create more career-related opportunities for Washington young people. More than two dozen regional sites hosted locally driven meetings across the state and connected to the central site through a live feed. The Summit drew over 1,300 participants, generating significant momentum.

View the recording of the live feed.

View new Career Connect Washington recommendations (PDF)

Career Connect Washington recommendations (non-booklet easy print PDF)

Read the news release on Medium.

The Task Force released four recommendations to bring career-connected learning to scale.

  1. Ensure education puts all our students on a pathway to career success, including career exploration that starts in middle school.

  2. Ensure all teachers, counselors, other partners get the training they need.

  3. Expand registered apprenticeships, "earn while you learn" model that leads to high-wage careers.

  4. Develop a strategic plan, starting with an inventory of programs already working across the state.

Get more details by reviewing the above PDF.

Task Force responsibilities:

  • Create policies and incentives to bring career connected learning to scale.

  • Recommend investment goals, priorities.

  • Participate in a high-level delegation to
    Switzerland in November 2017 to learn more about youth apprenticeship and employer-engagement models.

Why Career Connected Learning is Important

Washington's young adults, ages 18-24, experience the highest unemployment and the greatest difficulty of any age group in getting a job, and keeping it . Unemployment routinely runs twice as great for this age group, than for others.

Unfilled job opportunities

Meanwhile, as Washington's youth scramble for employment, thousands of Washington employers report leaving positions unfilled for lack of qualified candidates who have needed education or skills.

Lack of work experience

Lack of work experience, or simply exposure to the work world, is a key reason why young people lack these employability skills. Internships, job shadows, and other forms of work experience can help young people gain these unwritten but critical skills.


Read more here:


Staff contact: Nova Gattman, Workforce Board Legislative Director, (360) 709-4612




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