As Governor Jay Inslee released his supplemental budget proposal this week, we were very pleased to see the commitment to continue building the Career Connect Washington system. This statewide career connected learning system is vital to helping young people explore and prepare for high-skill, high-wage jobs in our state.
We’ve already made significant progress since the last legislative session. The establishment of our nine Regional Networks and ten intermediaries, as well as the Career Connected Learning Coordinators who support connections to the K-12 system, was an essential first step in turning a statewide vision into a regional reality. The funding the Governor proposes will strengthen the statewide system to ensure success, accountability and equity. The Governor’s budget funds:
- Grants to support the program intermediary organizations as they develop more curricula and ensure students are truly prepared to step into their careers ($875,000);
- A tribal liaison dedicated to increasing access to career-connected learning opportunities for tribal students at all levels (Career Explore, Prep and Launch – $150,000);
- An online program directory of all the career connected learning programs in the state, and a marketing program to ensure students and families know about their options ($1.1 million);
- Data reports to understand student demand and guide future program investments ($286,000).
We look forward to continuing our work with the Governor and legislators to increase career connected learning opportunities for students in all parts of Washington state.