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Retooling Washington's Workforce Initiative


In its 2010 annual retreat, the Workforce Board agreed to undertake a public process designed to answer these two questions:

1) How do we work together to help the unemployed who need to have their skills retooled for jobs now and in the future?

2) How do we work together to respond to needs of employers when they come to us to help them have the workforce they need now and in the future?  

After conducting three forums (Spokane, Des Moines and Everett) in September and October and soliciting ideas via an online questionnaire, the opportunities were narrowed down and three work groups formed around them.

These three priorities and their workplans were adopted by the Workforce Board in November 2010. For each workplan, there will be a state support committee as well as regional committees. The Workforce Board's Interagency Committee, with expanded membership, will oversee overall progress of the Retooling Washington's Workforce initiative.

1) Coordinated outreach to Unemployment Insurance exhaustees - This issue emerged as a key need to address what will be a dramatic increase in the number of unemployed Washington residents who have exhausted, or are about to exhaust their unemployment benefits.The state work group leader is Amy Leneker of the Employment Security Department. Work plan

2) On the Job Training - This issue is focused on ways to expand the use of On the Job Training to increase job hires. Work plan.

3) Coordinated employer outreach combined with Improved job referral/skills matching - These two issues have been combined because they involved two sides of the same operation. This work group has identified methods to improve job referrals and develop ways to make the most out of the state's outreach to employers. Work group leader is Bryan Wilson , Deputy Director of the Workforce Board. Work plan.

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October 2011 Forum Notes



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