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GOV. INSLEE, WORKFORCE BOARD, WASHINGTON STEM ANNOUNCE GRANTS TO HIGHLIGHT CAREER CONNECTED LEARNING

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GOVERNOR INSLEE, WORKFORCE BOARD, WASHINGTON STEM ANNOUNCE GRANTS TO HIGHLIGHT PROMISING PRACTICES IN CAREER CONNECTED LEARNING

For Immediate Release
September 27, 2016
 
Contact:         
Jesse Gilliam, 206.218.7980, jesse@washingtonstem.org
 
Washington – Governor Jay Inslee, Washington STEM, and the Workforce Board identified twenty one career related programs across the state to explore best practices in Career Connected Learning. The selected programs (the Learning Labs) will receive a $15,000 grant to participate in an assessment of high-quality Career Connected Learning and identification of best practices. The Learning Labs program will ultimately create more work experience opportunities for young people throughout Washington. Funding for the grants comes from Governor Inslee’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity (WIOA) discretionary funding. The Learning Labs program is a component of the National Governors Association Policy Academy on Work-Based Learning.
 
Learning Labs across the state highlight programs that serve young people ages 16-29 engaged in STEM-focused Career Connected Learning. Career Connected Learning is a continuum of awareness, exploration, preparation, and work experiences defined through strong public and private partnerships.
 
In May 2017, the Learning Lab programs will meet at the Governor’s Summit on Work-Based Learning to share successes and develop strategies to expand exemplary programs throughout the state.
 
“STEM education is critical to maintain a competitive, world-class workforce. These programs will help prepare Washington’s young people for great careers and help determine how we can expand STEM education and training across the state,” Governor Jay Inslee said.
 
“We’ll be learning what works for STEM career connected learning in rural and urban areas, for youth in middle school through young adulthood, and with diverse groups from foster youth to vets to Tribal youth,” said Patrick D’Amelio, CEO of Washington STEM. “The Learning Labs will help us understand how to effectively support young people’s STEM career pathways.”
 
"Far too few Washington young people have the opportunity to make connections between education and careers - leaving them uninspired and disconnected from the work world and from school. These Learning Labs can be a game changer, with youth immersing themselves in meaningful work experience that gives them hands-on experience in a variety of career pathways, all while learning valuable workplace skills," said Workforce Board Executive Director Eleni Papadakis. "Washington's Workforce Board supports these pilot projects, and we hope to replicate promising best practices in other places around the state."

Recipients of the Learning Labs Grants include: 
 
Bellingham
Northwest Youth Services - Vocational Readiness Program engages at-risk, runaway, and homeless youth and young adults with appealing and interactive activities that promote social and practical employment skills.
 
Bremerton
West Sound STEM Network, Workforce Development Council, and Olympic Educational Service District 114 – YouthWorks Pathways to Success offers job training services, career counseling, and work experience jobs for underrepresented youth.
 
Federal Way
Technology Access Foundation – TAF Academy College and Career Readiness Program provides in-class curriculum, classroom speakers, field trips, job shadows, mentorships, and internships for TAF Academy middle and high school students.
 
Nespelem
Nespelem Middle School brings in electric linemen, foresters, and Tribal Council members into the school to present career lessons.
 
Olympia
Evergreen State College/WSDOT Partnership – Wetlands Monitoring Internship provides hands-on field and laboratory experience collecting and analyzing environmental data gathered from WSDOT wetland mitigation sites.
 
Pacific Education Institute – FieldSTEM Career Connected Learning is piloting a new program that supports teachers to integrate locally relevant FieldSTEM work-based learning opportunities into their biology, chemistry, and CTE courses.
 
Ocean Shores
Grays Harbor Youth Works – YouthWorks: Grays Harbor engages high school students in college-level internships with local businesses to develop “soft skills” that increase the likelihood of success in postsecondary and job pursuits.
 
Renton / Tacoma
ANEW (Apprenticeship & Non-traditional Employment for Women) addresses gender diversity in the construction workforce and provides programs that tackle the challenges faced in a male dominated industry. They do this through a pre-apprenticeship program focused on proven strategies for improving the pipeline into construction jobs for women and people of color.
 
Spokane
Greater Spokane Incorporated/Spokane STEM Network – Business AfterSchool helps students in our region gain STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), through skills-focused workshops hosted by area businesses for students, educators, parents, and community organizations.

Spokane Area Workforce Development Council – Next Generation Zone brings together education, career skills training, and community and employment resources in one place to provide wrap-around support to inspire young adults in their career goals.
 
Seattle
Educurious – Career Connection Program provides career connected learning through the development of interest-driven, work-based problems with students, teachers, and industry professionals.
 
Seattle Goodwill- Youth Green Corps Program combines Seattle Parks apprenticeship opportunities with educational planning and skills training for young adults that are neither in school or working.
 
Boeing – Core Plus is a two-year standardized high school curriculum recognized by the manufacturing industry throughout Washington state to prepare high school graduates for an entry-level career in manufacturing.
 
Tacoma
City of Tacoma Neighborhood and Community Services Department – Summer Jobs 253 is a paid internship program designed to provide incoming high school juniors and seniors with the opportunity to acquire life skills, work experience, and required high school credits they need for high school graduation.

Tacoma Public Schools – Work Site Learning provides required high school credits and support for students in a variety of worksite learning and external paid internships, as well as internal paid internships through the Tacoma Public Schools CTE department.
 
Tri-Cities
Mid-Columbia STEM Network – STEM Like Me! is a series of interactive personal encounters between STEM professionals and middle school students on the cusp of understanding who they can be in the future.  
 
Vancouver
Southwest Washington STEM Network – Instructional Worksite Learning Program for Advanced Manufacturing Careers involves highly-structured, time-limited learning experiences for 11th and 12th grade students interested in exploring careers in advanced manufacturing as well as developing their foundational technical skills, soft skills, and career readiness skills.
 
 
Wenatchee
Wenatchee School District – Wenatchee Learns provides a system of career connected events, paid business internships, and career-related resources to expand opportunities for Wenatchee youth.
 
Yakima
South Central Workforce Development Council – Youth Works: South Central Washington will work as a catalyst to strengthen existing partnerships and develop employer connections for youth in order to maximize the number of youths accessing mentors and work-based learning to increase graduation, job entry, and career success.
 
Statewide   
Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) – Skills that Shine connects WSOS scholars with local one-to-one industry mentors that will coach scholars on resume writing, interviewing, networking, and professionalism.
 
WaTech – Washington Technology Solutions Internship Program places postsecondary students in technology-focused internships in a range of state agencies and has a strong percentage of participants from the local military community.
 
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About Washington STEM
 
Washington STEM is a statewide nonprofit advancing excellence, equity, and innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. For more information, go to www.washingtonstem.org.
 
About the Workforce Board
The Workforce Board is a state agency that monitors and evaluates the state's key workforce programs and also provides leadership on policies that help all Washington residents get the education and training they need to obtain living-wage jobs. The Workforce Board is also the state licensing agency for private career schools.

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