Governor Inslee announces new training and support for long-term unemployed workers

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Nearly 1,100 long-term unemployed will receive training and support to help them land jobs in high-demand fields through a new $6 million National Emergency Grant, Gov. Jay Inslee and the Employment Security Department announced today.

The new two-year grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor, adds to $4 million in federal funds recently allocated to address long-term unemployment in the state. Together, some 2,400 Washingtonians will return to work through these initiatives.

“Thousands of smart, motivated Washington workers are still struggling to find jobs during this period of slow recovery,” said Inslee. “We’ve got employers in need of skilled workers and skilled workers in need of jobs – this grant helps us link the two and get people back to work.”

Washington was one of 32 states to receive the Job-Driven National Emergency Grant. Employment Security will distribute the funds to 12 workforce development councils throughout the state (details below). The councils will deliver services to the long-term unemployed through WorkSource career centers.

Services offered will include intensive job-readiness workshops and counseling, on-the-job training and apprenticeships, customized training and support for attaining credentials and certificates in high-demand industries.

In each community, workforce development councils will partner with local employment and training providers to recruit and organize employers and coordinate worker participation. Targeted industries for employment are healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, clean technology, renewable energy, warehousing, construction, finance and insurance, logistics and life science.

“Lots of highly skilled and well-educated workers are among Washington’s long-term unemployed,” said Dale Peinecke, Employment Security Commissioner. “We’re going to help connect them to the many Washington employers who struggle to find good workers.”

Eligible participants must be unemployed for 27 weeks or more, be targeted as likely to exhaust their unemployment benefits or be a foreign-trained worker having difficulty finding work in their field.

The WorkSource system is a statewide partnership of state, local and nonprofit agencies that deliver a wide array of employment and training services for job seekers and employers. The work is coordinated at the local level by workforce development councils, whose boards include local leaders from business and labor.

Last year, WorkSource delivered employment and training assistance to more than 240,000 job seekers and served nearly 5,600 Washington employers. Each year, about 140,000 WorkSource customers find jobs.

Studies have shown that people who use WorkSource job-search services tend to find work faster and earn more money than those who don’t. WorkSource locations can be found on

Fund allocations for each workforce development council
REPORTERS: To learn more about how the initiative works in your area, please contact the local coordinators listed below.

Olympic Workforce Development Council (Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap counties) ~ $289,000. Local contact: Doug Washburn, director, 360-337-4526

Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council (Grays Harbor, Lewis Mason, Pacific and Thurston counties) ~ $482,000. Local contact: Cheryl Fambles, chief executive officer, 360-570-4240

Northwest Workforce Council (Island, San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom counties) ~ $346,000. Local contact: Gay Dubigk, director, 360-676-3206

Workforce Snohomish ~ $573,000. Local contact: Sue Ambler, chief executive officer, 425-921-3423

Workforce Development Council of Seattle/King County ~ $1,245,000. Local contact: Marlena Sessions, chief executive officer, 206-448-0474

Tacoma-Pierce County Workforce Development Council ~ $792,000. Local contact: Linda Nguyen, chief executive officer, 253-472-8094

Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council (Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties) ~ $493,000. Local contact: Jeanne Bennett, executive director, 360-567-1070

North-Central Washington Workforce Development Council (Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan counties) ~ $289,000. Local contact: Dave Petersen, director, 509-663-3091, ext. 228

South-Central Washington Workforce Development Council (Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania and Yakima counties) ~ $387,000. Local contact: Patrick Baldoz, director, 509-574-1950

Eastern Washington Partnership Workforce Development Council (offices in Clarkson, Colville, Newport, Pullman, Republic and Walla Walla) ~ 142,000. Local contact: Tom O’Brien, director, 509-685-6129

Benton-Franklin Workforce Development Council (Benton and Franklin counties) ~ $340,000. Local contact: Cos Edwards, executive director, 509-734-5984

Spokane-Area Workforce Development Council ~ $454,000. Local contact: Mark Mattke, chief executive officer, 509-533-8470

Media Contacts

Office of the Governor
Jaime Smith