WA Governor’s Office
Jan 11 · 3 min read

Ensuring Washington’s students have multiple pathways to a quality education and career training

In the next five years, there will be hundreds of thousands of job openings in Washington state. Unfortunately, many young people do not have access to adequate education and training opportunities or the high-impact experiences that develop the skills necessary to be competitive for those jobs.

Last year, Gov. Jay Inslee launched the Career Connect Washington initiative to help more students find a pathway to high-quality job training and education. Career Connect Washington is a public-private partnership with the goal of connecting 100,000 young people with employer internships, registered apprenticeships, career exploration programs and other learning opportunities. Today, he detailed new investments in his 2019–21 budget for this statewide program. The $110 million will ensure every student in Washington has meaningful hands-on career experiences and pathways to economic self-sufficiency.

“No matter which educational pathway a student chooses, it takes persistence and hard work. Career Connect Washington is working to expand the opportunities for young people to explore and prepare for high-demand, high-wage jobs,” said Inslee. “There are examples of programs developed by educators and employers across Washington that give students on-the-job learning opportunities. What is needed is a way to turn these excellent local programs into a broader set of opportunities for students and employers.”

Gov. Jay Inslee visits Puget Sound Skills Center in Burien, January 11, 2019 (Office of the Governor photo)

Funding Washington’s future work force

The governor created the Career Connect Washington Task Force to determine how to better align education programs with career opportunities. Last year, the task force — composed of leaders from business, labor, state government, nonprofit organizations and education — delivered recommendations for improving Washington’s registered apprenticeship and career-connected learning programs.

Based on the task force’s recommendations, Inslee proposed $93 million in new investments through to support the Career Connect Washington initiative. Inslee also includes over $16 million for other career-connected learning efforts such as customized worker training, health care apprenticeships and information technology apprenticeships.

Building strong career-connected programs: $33 million
The Career Connect Washington proposal sets up a competitive grant program designed to help communities develop regional networks and new career-connected learning programs. This will build high-quality programs that support the needs of business and industry across Washington and give young adults multiple pathways to a great career.

Expanding student enrollment efforts: $30 million
Inslee proposes expanding career-connected learning programs across Washington. This includes funding K-12 and higher education partners to support student enrollment in dual credit, dual career and technical education courses, as well as registered apprenticeships, state work study and career launch programs.

Better equipping career and technical education: $18 million
Students need access to the latest tools and equipment to prepare for the careers of today and the future. The governor’s capital budget includes a competitive grant program for high schools, skill centers and community colleges to purchase and install equipment for career-connected learning programs.

Supporting customized workforce initiatives: $16 million
The proposal includes funding for customized worker training for current and future employees and creates new apprenticeship opportunities in health care, information technology, aerospace and construction trades.

Strengthening system infrastructure: $13 million
A coordinated approach across state agencies and education systems is key to successfully offering career-connected learning opportunities, as are student recruitment campaigns and robust data systems. The proposal funds credit equivalencies and portability for career-connected programs, ensuring students can transfer their credits between schools. It also funds outreach to help students, families and educators better understand what career-connected learning is, and data systems to measure and report on student outcomes.

Inslee’s 2019–21 budget highlights for Career Connect Washington.+

Gov. Jay Inslee visits Puget Sound Skills Center in Burien, January 11, 2019 (Office of the Governor photo)

Washington State Governor's Office

News and updates from Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee and his administration.

WA Governor’s Office

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News and updates from Gov. Jay Inslee and his administration.

Washington State Governor's Office

News and updates from Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee and his administration.

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