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Community Leaders

What People Are Saying About Career Connect Washington

“We must change the script on how young people plan for their futures. The jobs of today and tomorrow are going to need a workforce with an advanced level of preparation, and it is essential that young people get exposed to that earlier in life.

“A variety of opportunities including job shadows, apprenticeships and internships can help young people make the most of their next steps, whether it’s higher education, advanced training, employment or a combination of all three. Career-connected learning gives students practical work experiences that help them move forward with determination and purpose, no matter what path they choose.”

Governor Jay Inslee

“Career-connected learning opportunities are essential to advancing equity in all Washington state communities. By exposing young people to a broad variety of careers, by showing them the path forward, and by supporting their education and training needs, we can connect young people of color to high-quality jobs across industries. Education and training options give youth and families needed ways to explore the future. Equally important is the fact that these exploratory programs don’t take away any opportunities—young people can earn while they learn in an apprenticeship program and continue to advance themselves through training and higher education.”

Michelle Merriweather – President & CEO, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

“We must help our students see their high school diploma as a ticket to the future of their choice. This means helping them see the connections between school and career by providing them with real-world, work-based learning experiences. Career-connected learning is the key to making this happen.”

Susan Enfield – Superintendent of Highline Public Schools

“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.”

Perry England – Workforce Board Chair

“It’s crucial that this generation of young people open their eyes to all the opportunities that can be pursued. Many people don’t know advanced manufacturing exists or the opportunities it offers for complex and interesting work with opportunity for advancement. Through Career Launch, students will get to see firsthand how their classroom learning is relevant in the real world. This will get them excited about both a career with us AND advancing their education. Students need support plotting their course forward, and when they connect early with careers—they suddenly have their own motivation for doing well in school.”

Ben Bagherpour –Vice President, SEH America

Brad Smith – President of Microsoft

“For more than a century, Washington state has led the world in creativity and business ingenuity. Our companies, universities, and government have redefined how we live and work in the 21st Century. In that spirit, WTIA created a national registered tech apprenticeship to help women, people of color, and veterans access thousands of new jobs. We are proud to play an active role in this new statewide career-connected learning system that ensures every high school student can learn about emerging fields and prepare to be leaders in them. We are confident the next generation will build a better world.”

Michael Schutzler– CEO at Washington Technology Industry Association

“We are creating an exciting opportunity to leverage our existing facilities and teachers to help high school students discover an energy career path. Avista can reach into high schools and show how the math and science they are learning in the classroom becomes real when they help design an electrical or natural gas system for a neighborhood and work with a crew to implement it. It’s a win-win for our employees who are proud of what they do, and they can share their craft with the next generation.”

Scott Morris – Chair, President, and CEO, Avista Corp.

“We saw first-hand, when living in Switzerland, a culture of career – where everyone can look forward to being prepared for and having great jobs throughout their lives. We also saw that valuing work starts from a very young age and benefits every aspect of society. Citizens have a higher quality of life and businesses have the talent they need to succeed. We are optimistic that, with the efforts of Career Connect Washington, Washington State will have its own culture of career that enables every young person to access a brighter future with multiple pathways that match how they learn and grow.”

Eric LeVine– CEO & Founder, CellarTracker, LLC
Suzi LeVine– United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein (Ret.) and Commissioner, Washington State Employment Security Department

“I did an internship because seemed like it would help me get into school and maybe get more scholarship money. Internships really matter because the colleges want to know that you’re really committed. And it was really good work experience that I never would have gotten any other way.”

Grace Garmire, student, Clark County

“The economy offers fewer good-paying jobs for people with only a high school diploma, but get a certificate, credential or degree that is aligned with an in-demand job and the possibilities open up. Completing a 4-year degree right out of high school is one way to get a good job—but it is not the only way. Career Launch opportunities tie together advanced education and on-the job-learning so that you can explore career paths. In my view, the sooner you start exploring the possible career choices around you, the better off you’ll be.”

Ardine Williams– VP Worldwide People Operations, Amazon

“Once you realize the things it can give you, I think honestly all the work I put in was 100% worth it. It changed the way I viewed what I wanted to do.”

Jack Brachman, student, Clark County

“I would recommend that people have the experience (of doing an internship) and it teaches you a lot. How to be professional. If your only experience is fast food, I don’t think you’d be as prepared for moving into a different kind of job and work environment. But this really gives you the step up, and I thought that was super helpful. No job I could get right now would get me the experience that I need. What’s the point of paying for college if you don’t know what you want to do with it? So it was important to me to get an internship to give me that kind of experience.”

Hannah O’Meara, student, Clark County

Please use the form below to contact us. You do not need to submit a message; however, please do fill in the “Subject” field to give us a better idea of your interest in Career Connect Washington. Thank you!

Please use the form below to contact us. You do not need to submit a message; however, please do fill in the “Subject” field to give us a better idea of your interest in Career Connect Washington. Thank you!