CAREER CONNECT WASHINGTON EXPANDS STUDENT OPPORTUNITY
Business, education, and government leaders in 12 communities across the state are teaming up to create over 29,000 career connected learning experiences, and at least 1,500 internships and apprenticeships by September 2019.
These communities are part of the Career Connect Washington regional grants program, coordinated by the Employment Security Department, Washington STEM, and OSPI and funded through federal WIOA dollars, JPMorgan Chase, and local funds.
Communities are building career connected learning experiences such as internships, apprenticeships, job shadowing opportunities, hands-on STEM learning experiences, and more for area youth and young adults.
The regional coalitions are currently halfway through the first year of their grants, and they’ve already made huge leaps – building an infrastructure designed to support young people in their connection to career connected learning opportunities and then moving the work forward.
At the end of six months, coalitions have blown through their full year goal, with 34,704 career connected learning experiences created for young people in Washington. Those experiences include 930 internships and 13 registered youth apprenticeships, on track to exceed the goal of 1,500 by September, 2019. Registered youth apprenticeship consist of paid, on-the-job workforce training that will allow participants to enter high-demand, family-sustaining careers like advanced manufacturing, IT, or healthcare.
A few highlights from each program:
- Career Connect Olympic Consortium members are building employer and youth connections to build pathways to careers. They have established a youth internship with Housing Kitsap.
- Career Connect Pacific Mountain, led by Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council and Capital Region STEAM Network, is working with AJAC to place youth and adults into aerospace & advanced manufacturing apprenticeships.
- As part of efforts with Career Connect Northwest, co-coordinated by the Northwest Workforce Council and Skagit STEM Network, Skagit STEM Network connected 340 middle and HS girls with STEM professionals to explore STEM careers at the Skagit Girls Tech Event. Career Connect Northwest partnered with eight apprenticeship programs for Washington Apprenticeship Vocational Training (WAVE) Tour that exposed 354 high school students to careers in the building trades hosted at three Apprenticeship Technical Training Centers. With the Career Connect partnership with Nichols Brothers Boat Builders and with Pacific NW Ironworkers Apprenticeship JATC 86, 28 new youth and adults have already entered apprenticeships.
- Career Connect Snohomish, led by Workforce Snohomish and Snohomish STEM Network, is working with Western Washington Sheet Metal JATC to open up 50 new sheet metal apprenticeships.
- Career Connect Pierce County, led by Workforce Central and Tacoma STEAM Learning Network, have set up their infrastructure and are beginning engagement to create career pathways for youth and young adults.
- Career Connect Seattle/King County, supported by the Seattle Region Partnership and Workforce Development Council of Seattle/King County, partners with Jumato to deliver a series of job readiness trainings to develop professional skills and prepare for career success.
- Career Connect Southwest, supported by Workforce Southwest and SW WA STEM Network, participated in the Youth Employment Summit, serving 40 employers and roughly 600 high school students. They’ve also supported a manufacturing hiring fair, developed curriculum for the Next Workforce class and piloted an eight-week summer internship with the Boys and Girls Club.
- Career Connect North Central has demonstrated an abundance of innovation with the support of SkillSource and the Apple STEM Network. They’ve developed 353 job shadow opportunities, nine 90-hour internships and multiple career connected learning opportunities facilitated by Wenatchee Learns Connect, like “Guys and Guts,” a hands-on health care career exploration experience for 305 eighth-grade boys, and “Pizza, Pop and Power Tools,” where 278 eighth-grade girls learned to weld, operate heavy equipment and more. Out-of-school youth across the 5-county region are engaged in intensive career exploration and preparation activities such as a 4-day introduction to manufacturing class, eco-stewardship work experiences, and connections with local business leaders through service clubs.
- Career Connect South Central exposed more than 60 students in Toppenish High School’s Tech Start class to virtual reality and the career paths associated with this technology, thanks to the support of the South Central Workforce Development Council and the South Central STEM Network. The team has also hosted career awareness events for more than 100 local ninth-graders.
- Career Connect Eastern Washington, led by the Eastern Washington Partnership Workforce Development Council and the Spokane STEM Network, held its Rural Pathways to Prosperity Conference in May, and more than 40 youth reached out for information on the team’s forestry internship program.
- Spokane regional educators can now directly contact local business professionals to create career connected learning experiences for youth on the refreshed access2experience platform, thanks to the work of Career Connect Spokane and its leaders from theSpokane STEM Network and the Spokane Workforce Council. This unique platform gives professionals the opportunity to inspire the next generation and gives educators the opportunity to see their students thrive.