Washingtonians Seeking Good Jobs to Get Help From New Federally-Funded Program

$23.5 million grant will help prepare workers for jobs in high-paying industries

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, (D-WA) Chair of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, announced that the Washington Student Achievement Council in Olympia will receive a $23.5 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant. The grant, awarded by the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), is one of just 32 awarded from a competitive pool of 509 nationwide applicants.

The grant will be used to create the Washington Jobs Initiative, a partnership with businesses, labor unions, and other stakeholders to prepare workers for good jobs in six key industries.

“Providing Washingtonians more opportunities to train for 21st century jobs is critical to growing our economy. This $23.5 million grant will do this by making a significant investment in career-based learning,” said Senator Cantwell. “This helps job seekers acquire new job skills that are in-demand in advanced manufacturing, cyber, health care, clean-energy technology and all the growing industries in Washington state. Employers have workforce shortages and providing this funding to train people means Washington state’s workforce will be ready to fill skilled jobs quickly.”

“The American Rescue Plan helped us recover all of the jobs we’ve lost since the pandemic began to get people back to work. But importantly, it also helped us invest in workers and give them an opportunity to succeed,” said Senator Murray. “With this grant, the Washington Student Achievement Council will do just that – create opportunity by connecting people in Washington state who are looking for work with local, quality jobs. Ensuring our workforce can access these good, in-demand jobs will not just bolster our state’s economy, but put more workers on an upward trajectory and help them create a better life for their families.”

The Washington Jobs Initiative program will help jobseekers prepare for and get good jobs through its existing Career Connect Washington Strategy (CCW), a coalition of industry, organized labor, state government and other stakeholders. This program has resulted in nine active and strong regional networks, over 40 program-building partners, and nearly 100 new registered apprenticeships and workforce programs in every sector of the State’s economy.

The Washington Jobs Initiative will capitalize on this success and build partnerships in six high-demand sectors:

  • Advanced manufacturing and aerospace
  • Construction
  • Energy and clean technology
  • Financial services
  • Healthcare
  • Information technology and cybersecurity

This grant is funded through the American Rescue Plan’s $500 million Good Jobs Challenge. The program is expanding opportunities for more Americans to access and secure good-paying jobs. Grants are being awarded to 32 worker-centered, industry-led workforce training partnerships across the country.

The Good Jobs Challenge is part of a suite of American Rescue Plan programs developed by EDA to equitably distribute its $3 billion allocation to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build a better America by accelerating economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be more resilient to future economic shocks.

More information on the Good Jobs Challenge is available HERE.

The Dept. of Commerce grant award announcement for the Washington Student Achievement Council is available HERE.