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What People Are Saying About Career Connect Washington
Inslee’s education initiative progresses with added programs, expanded local networks across state

Gov. Jay Inslee’s Office, November 15, 2019

“Gov. Jay Inslee, business and labor leaders gathered in Olympia this week to hear the progress behind the governor’s Career Connect Washington education initiative, months after experts implemented key components from the recent Workforce Education Investment Act.

“The act, which expands the Career Connect Washington initiative, was signed into law by the governor earlier this year.

” ‘We have more enthusiasm today than the day we started this,’ Inslee said. ‘We haven’t lost our momentum. We’ve opened a lot of doors because we know there are major skill gaps in today’s economy and this program will help fill those gaps. That’s why expanding this program will serve our state well.’ ”

Read the whole story here.

State sends $200k to expand student career opportunities

The Wenatchee World, October 30, 2019

“The North Central Educational Service District has been awarded $200,000 from Career Connect Washington to create a regional network designed to match more young people with high-demand, high-wage careers.

“It is one of nine regional networks being funded by the state Employment Security Department to bring together and manage regional, cross-industry partnerships that, in turn, will create more youth career opportunities and help businesses recruit a new generation of workers.

“The goal is to have programs that support at least 60% of the graduating students in Washington each year with a Career Launch by the year 2030,” said Sue Kane, NCESD’s director for STEM Initiatives and Strategic Partnerships. “We believe that all youth should have opportunities to learn about incredible career opportunities in our own backyard.”

Read the whole story here.

Summer camp provides job experience and industry insight

KXLY, Spokane, July 31, 2019

“Digging gas lines and installing transformers may not sound like the most glamorous way to spend your summer vacation, but a dozen of Inland Northwest students signed up to do just that this month. …

“The biggest lesson they’re digging up? It’s never too late to try something new, because you never know what it might bring you. Take soon-to-be senior Riley Olmstead for example.

” ‘I actually was not familiar at all with engineering, I haven’t taken any high school classes that relate to it at all, so this has just been kind of an eye opener,” said Riley. “If you want to try something, they like encourage that and push you in that direction so that you can know what you love to do.’ ”

Read the whole story here.

In WA, State Leaders and the Business Community Work Together to Develop the Workforce

Education Commission of the States, July 29, 2019

“In his 2019 State of the State address, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was one of several governors to stress the importance of state and community investment in workforce development — and particularly, improving access to postsecondary education and other training that would lead to better-qualified candidates for jobs in high-demand, technical fields.

“From there, the Legislature took on Inslee’s charge, ultimately passing the Workforce Education Investment Act, which includes:

  • The new Washington College Grant
  • Expansion of Career Connect Washington
  • Expansion of the Guided Pathways program.”

Read the whole story here.

Op-Ed: Steer our students to the many paths for productive lives

by Lisa Wellman and Vandana Slatter
Seattle Times, July 17, 2019

“Last month, we joined dozens of students, community leaders and lawmakers to celebrate Gov. Jay Inslee’s signing of legislation that will help our education system evolve to provide our kids with sound pathways to economic self-sufficiency in a 21st-century economy. …

“Regional networks will coordinate among school districts, employers, colleges and other community partners. This is where we expect to see the most innovation, as every region aligns pathway opportunities with the real jobs in the local economy. They will work on curriculum building for new programs, transferring and scaling existing strong programs, and evaluating and bringing forward “Career Launch” programs for endorsement that are already effective, providing a “quality seal of approval” that families can count on.

“No one is wasting a moment, and it’s been thrilling to see so many partners already at work.”

Read the whole story here.

Funding for Regional Networks Now Available

Strong regional networks are essential for connecting schools, students and employers in meaningful ways.

These networks will convene and manage cross-industry, cross-sector partnerships in order to develop and expand the career connected learning opportunities that are needed in that region. That work includes serving as primary point-of-contact for career connected learning within their region. They will also gather regional data and share important learnings with the Career Connect Washington Work Group (a full list of responsibilities is included in the RFP).

We have now begun an request for proposals (RFP) process to provide this funding.

For more information on the RFP, click here.

July 16 Update: Bidders’ Conference webinar recording and slides

Funding for Program Intermediaries Now Available

Developing a strong approach to career connected learning in Washington depends upon a network of program intermediaries who help connect employers, educators, employers, and others.

Intermediaries bridge connections between industry and educators to help create and scale programs. They work with industry and educators to develop curricula and expand access to career connected learning programs, such as youth- and adult- registered apprenticeship programs. They also work to inform young adults and families of available programs, and to generally align the needs of both employers and young people.

Program intermediaries must form partnerships with employers and education institutions and apply jointly (a full list of responsibilities is included in the RFP).

We have now begun an request for proposals (RFP) process to provide this funding.

For more information about the RFP, click here.

July 16 Update: Bidders’ Conference webinar recording and slides.

Inslee signs package of education bills, ushers in one of the most progressive education investments nationwide

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a major education bill Tuesday that establishes one of the most progressive higher education investments in the country. The Workforce Education Investment Act is a comprehensive package of major proposals that include two governor-priority policies.

The act guarantees financial aid for more than 110,000 qualified students in Washington to attend college for free or at a discounted rate. The law also expands the governor’s Career Connect Washington Initiative. It establishes a study-and-work approach so students can get real life work experience and high school or college credit at the same time.

Read more on the Governor’s Medium page here.

Career Connect Washington team speaks at Western Pathways Conference

Maud Daudon spoke about Career Connect Washington at this year’s Western Pathways Conference. With her was:

  • Eric LeVine
  • Jiquanda Nelson, Sr. Manager, Equity, Inclusion & Diversity and Workforce Development, Kaiser Permanente Washington
  • Ben Bagherpour, VP of Site Services and Government Affairs, SEH America
  • Ted Feller, Regional Network Leader/ SW Washington STEM leader
  • Jeff Snell, Superintendent, Camas School District

The Conference focuses on identifying and highlighting innovative and effective solutions to one of the most pressing challenges in our society…how to develop a better education and workforce development system, one that adequately prepares young adults for careers leading to economic independence. Great job, team!

State must make changes to connect students with jobs of the future

The Olympian, April 26, 2019

“Career and Technical Education, or CTE … has been a welcome but slow-moving adaptation to the contemporary job market, where about 75 percent of jobs require training and education beyond high school.

“Now our state is poised to take another, hopefully bigger, step forward with the advent of Career Connected Learning, an initiative of Gov. Jay Inslee’s, led by an alliance of educators, employers, unions, nonprofits and government agencies.”

Full article

Maud Daudon: Expand career connected learning across the state

The Seattle Times, April 3, 2019

“If you’re a Washington business owner or manager wondering where to find skilled workers, you’re not alone. And if you’re a Washington parent or high school student, wondering how to get from school to a great job, you’re not alone either.

“You may also be the solution to each other’s problem.

“Last summer, the Career Connect Washington initiative convened groups of parents to discuss education and career preparation in Washington state. As part of a 10-year effort, we are learning how to better help students connect to both jobs and advanced education so they will be well positioned to step into the state’s job market. Business, labor and education organizations are all stepping up; we need the Legislature to act as well.”

Full article

Todd Mielke: Career Connected Learning strengthens employer-educator partnerships

The Spokesman Review, March 22, 2019

“It’s no secret that talent is a main driver in growing and retaining business in our region. However, preparing students to meet the needs of Washington employers is a challenge when, in the next five years, approximately 225,500 family-sustaining-wage jobs will require credentials, certificates or two- and four-year degrees in STEM fields.

“Part of the answer? Career Connect Washington, a system of programs that enables businesses to partner with education in developing a talent pipeline that provides awareness of, exploration in and preparation for the real business world.”

Full article

Voters agree the state should do more to expand career-connected learning opportunities

Tacoma Daily Index, March 21, 2019

“Ninety-four percent of Washington state voters agree students at every level should have access to career-connected learning opportunities like internships and youth apprenticeships and 90 percent say every child should have access to high-quality STEM education, according to a new statewide survey.

” ‘Washington voters embrace a comprehensive approach to preparing our students in STEM, from career-connected learning to early education,’ said Caroline King, chief executive officer at Washington STEM. ‘With leadership from Governor Inslee and bipartisan lawmakers, the legislature has the historic chance to take action this session to ensure all Washington state students, especially those furthest from opportunity, are prepared for the economic opportunities in our state.’ ”

Full article

Soapbox: Combining career and classroom learning is the path to go

The Yakima Herald, March 1, 2019

“As business leaders and teachers, we know that people learn differently and work differently. And just as businesses need a diversity of skill sets, students need more than one career pathway after high school. In a recent public survey, 75 percent of Washington residents believe students need more exposure to on-the-job learning opportunities.

“Students and families are eager to combine classroom learning with work-based experiences that will help them explore their options for life after high school. Students who are provided the opportunity to “test drive” multiple careers are better able to identify the path that fits them.”

Full article

In Our View: Start today building workforce of tomorrow

The (Vancouver) Columbian, February 28, 2019

“That represents a changing reality of education in the United States. There is strong evidence that a college degree, on average, results in lifelong financial benefits. And there is strong evidence that a post-secondary degree is particularly essential in this state’s competitive job market. Seattle recently was acknowledged as the most educated of all big cities in the United States — and 8 of 10 newcomers have a college degree.

“But it is essential to note that there are various methods for receiving the necessary education. The traditional path of leaving high school for a four-year college and sitting in class while working toward a degree does not work for everybody. Neither does beginning an entry-level job while hoping to eventually work your way up in a burgeoning industry.”

Full article

Preparing for Workforce of Tomorrow by linking education, business

The (Vancouver) Columbian, February 15, 2019

“The manufacturing technician ‘Career Launch’ pilot … offers a $12- to $14-an-hour paid apprenticeship at SEH of 25 to 28 hours a week and Clark College tuition covered by the company en route to a technician certification.

“If the apprentice successfully completes the program, a likely position awaits as a full-time SEH technician with median pay of $27 an hour. The company also offers a tuition reimbursement program for an associate degree and other post-secondary education pursuits.

“This is the type of corporate and education behavior that would be encouraged and rewarded under legislation being considered in Olympia and backed by Gov. Jay Inslee’s administration. Called “career-connected learning,” the legislation would offer financial incentives for schools to increase enrollment in career launch programs, create career-connected learning programs and hire people who would work as coordinators between companies and community colleges to ensure students are leaving with job-ready skills.”

Full article

Scott Morris and Mike Brown: How do you get there from here? Career Connect Washington

The Spokesman Review, February 3, 2019

“It’s sometimes hard to remember how hard the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” question is. The follow-up question is even harder: “How are you going to get there?”

“We know that young people don’t always have the answers, but they are curious and eager to explore their options. They want to learn about different careers and what mix of experience and classroom learning is needed to do those jobs. They are excited about their next steps, but also cautious about challenges like educational debt.

“We’ve spent time getting to know the young people in our community, while they spent time getting to know Avista and what it takes to keep the lights on.”

Full article

Student Perspective: Career-connected learning: Finding a path to the future without fear

Wenatchee World, January 25, 2019

“The Career & Technical Education (CTE) clubs that incorporate career-connected learning have given me a picture of what I need to do to get where I want to be and connected me with people in the community that can help me meet my goals….

“I’m interested in pursuing a career in corporate law and connecting with college admissions representatives and ambassadors helped me to understand the undergrad degree I should seek.

“Career-connected learning has given me the opportunity to explore both business and legal fields. The Wenatchee High School Mock Trial team has linked me to members of the legal community. Being surrounded by fellow driven students that value their futures and career possibilities is another benefit of career-connected learning.”

Kody Richards is a sophomore at Wenatchee High School and has a passion for Career and Technical Education and related student leadership organizations.

Full article

Education: Future needs, lingering gaps open 2019 session

The Lens, January 23, 2019

“More than 70 percent of jobs created by businesses in Washington require post-secondary credentials of all kinds, yet only 40 percent of Washington students go on to receive post-secondary credentials.

“‘We have a mismatch going on,” said Maud Daudon, project leader for Career Connect Washington, in the Early Learning and K-12 Committee on Wednesday. “We have people who need opportunity … and somehow we need to bring this together.'”

Full article

Vocational education is worth Inslee’s $110 million request

Tri-City Herald, January 18, 2019

“Gov. Jay Inslee and state education officials are trying to help by designating $110 million to promote vocational and technical education.

The money is worth it, and lawmakers should not hesitate to support this part of Inslee’s proposed state budget.

It will fund programs designed to connect students of all ages to careers they probably don’t know exist. The money will help boost apprenticeship programs at the high school level, and give students a chance to gain experience in a technical field before they graduate.

We’re talking hands-on experience with employers who are looking to fill jobs.”

Full article

Career-connected learning programs help students prepare for their futures

Wenatchee World, January 18, 2019

“Gov. Jay Inslee included $110 million in his budget for career-connected learning, — from K-12 through higher education and incumbent worker training. This kind of investment will allow younger children to learn about and explore the different jobs there are in the world; as they get older, they get more opportunities to spend time in work settings, helping them understand what kind of learning and preparation they need to achieve their own goals.

The budget investments will support school districts, businesses, community colleges and others who are working to help our young people get hands-on experience. Experts estimate that about 70 percent of the jobs that will open in the next five years will need qualifications beyond a high school diploma. We can help all our students be ready for these high-skill, high-paying jobs by giving them the chance to start their learning early.”

Full article

Governor features Career Connect Washington in State of the State

Columbia Basin Herald, January 16, 2019

“The Career Connect Washington initiative’s goal is to help connect students to a variety of pathways, including apprenticeships, certificates and degrees, and is a key part of Inslee’s education plan. ”

Full article

Editorial: How to fill 740,000 job openings in the state

Everett Herald, December 16, 2018

“Dwarfed by bigger-ticket items in Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed $54.4 billion budget for the 2019-21 biennium released last week — including K-12 education, mental health services and environmental work — it would be easy to overlook some $110 million in spending.

“But that $110 million represents an investment that is key to the state’s continued strong economy, an investment that can help connect the state’s young adults in high school and after with the education, training and experience needed for fulfilling and well-paid careers.”

Full article

Inslee visits LWTech students in Kirkland to learn how Career Connect Washington has supported students

Kirkland Reporter, December 7, 2018

“Washington Gov. Jay Inslee visited the Lake Washington Institute of Technology … to meet with students and faculty and learn how Career Connect Washington has supported the school and students.

“Career Connect Washington is an initiative started by the governor to create a 10-year vision and strategic plan for a nation-leading career connected learning and apprenticeship system.”

Full article

‘Yes, it’s possible’: The time is now for the Legislature to better fund higher education

Seattle Times, November 30, 2018

“Recently, Gov. Jay Inslee’s Career Connect Washington Task Force unveiled a plan to expand work-based learning opportunities so students get real-world experience before graduating. This makes the case for higher-education funding even stronger.”

Full article

Washington voters don’t think schools prepare kids for careers. The state is trying to change that.

Seattle Times, October 31, 2018

“Four out of five voters say Washington state’s high schools and colleges are failing to teach students real-world skills, or truly prepare them for the workplace, according to a recent state poll.

“To try to better connect students with jobs, the state launched a public-private initiative in March called Career Connect Washington that aims to link high-school and college classes to jobs. One of the ideas: Allowing more high-school students to leave campus for paid internships at local businesses and in exchange, receive high-school credit.”

Full article

Apprenticeship program helps high schoolers learn vital skills for high-paying jobs

Marysville Globe, August 10, 2018

“Schools are finally listening to what local employers have been saying for years.

“That they need workers.

“Acro Machining Inc. of Marysville is working with the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee, or AJAC, to provide those workers.”

Full article

Avista provides Energy Pathways for students to explore career in energy industry

KXLY, July 17, 2018

“Eighteen Spokane area high school juniors and seniors are spending July discovering if a career in the energy field could be their pathway to a successful future. Through Avista’s inaugural Energy Pathways student career experience, the students are in classroom sessions with Avista experts from various technical and skilled trade fields, then the students are putting their learning into practice with hands-on activities including designing, planning and performing actual utility tasks.

“Part of the month long experience includes the students identifying positions of interest to them within Avista for job shadowing in the fields of alternative and emerging energy including wind, solar and battery technologies; energy efficiency and sustainability; engineering; and maintenance and operations of the energy system.”

Full article

Task force outlines next steps for bolstering apprenticeships, career-connected learning in Washington

WA Governor’s Office – Medium, February 20, 2018

“The task force’s recommendations come at a pivotal time for the Career Connect Washington initiative, a public-private partnership Inslee launched with the five-year goal of connecting 100,000 young people with employer internships, registered apprenticeships and other learning opportunities …”

Full article

Inslee awards $6 million to create apprenticeship and career connections for 29,000 youth in 11 communities

WA Governor’s Office – Medium, December 8, 2017

“Job shadowing, internships and apprenticeships are just a few of the career connections that will become available to 29,000 students thanks to $6.4 million in new Career Connect Washington grant funding…”

Full article

Governor Inslee announces new Career Connect Washington Task Force

Eastside Business Journal, June 3, 2017

“The first ever Governor’s Summit on Career Connected Learning in Redmond drew over 1,200 participants Wednesday as business, industry, education, and community leaders came together to discuss next steps to help more Washington young people prepare for high-demand careers…”

Full article

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!