In Case You Missed It: Washington State Wins Federal Good Jobs Challenge Grant to Support Career-Related Training for Thousands of Students

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration today announced that Washington has won a $23.5 million Good Jobs Challenge grant to support Washington’s strong job training system, which serves thousands of students across the state. These apprenticeship and technical training programs are an important part of the state’s efforts to connect students to work-based learning programs that lead to paid work experience and well-paying jobs.

The state’s Washington Student Achievement Council, in conjunction with Career Connect Washington, was among 32 grant recipients selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants. The Good Jobs Challenge grant will help CCW and its partners immediately serve 5,000 workers whose jobs have been impacted by COVID-19 and fill at least 3,000 jobs.

Their Washington Jobs Initiative proposal builds on CCW’s efforts in six high-demand sectors:

  • Advanced Manufacturing and Aerospace
  • Construction
  • Energy and clean technologies
  • Financial services
  • Health care
  • Information technology and cybersecurity

Many of the sectors include training for union jobs. Examples of jobs in the program include software developer, machinist, power engineer, nursing assistant, and construction manager.

The Washington Jobs Initiative also includes a detailed focus on equity and diversity. Through targeted outreach in partnership with 200 community organizations, the Washington Jobs Initiative hopes to achieve more equitable outcomes for workers of color, Indigenous workers, low-income workers, rural workers, homeless workers, learners of English and disabled workers. Their goal is for turnout rates to match or exceed each group’s representation in the state’s population.

State leaders estimate that more than 70% of jobs created in Washington state require some sort of post-secondary degree, but only about 40% of young people have one. Inslee started CCW in 2017 to help more students pursue high-paying jobs after high school by enrolling in registered apprenticeship and technical training programs. Since its launch, CCW has created more than 100 registered career and apprenticeship programs for more than 21,000 students in every region of the state. CCW plans to expand its program to serve approximately 60,000 students each year. The program is supported by state and federal funding, philanthropy, and employer investment.

Students or employers interested in the Career Launch program can visit for more information.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Contact person: John Atwood

U.S. Department of Commerce invests $23.5 million to develop multi-sector workforce training program in Washington state as part of U.S. bailout Good Jobs Challenge

Competition provides one-time, one-generation funding to diverse, locally-led partnerships to create and grow workforce training programs that support local economies

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $23.5 million grant from the U.S. Good Jobs Challenge rescue program to the Washington Student Achievement Council, Olympia, Washington, to create the Washington Jobs Initiative, a multi-sector workforce training program covering health care, energy, information technology, financial services and professionals, manufacturing and construction.

This program will connect job seekers to quality local jobs through its Career Pathway Project, which supports the state’s largest industries through a coalition of industry, labor, government the state and other stakeholders. The Washington Jobs Initiative will build industry partnerships in six high-demand sectors: advanced manufacturing and aerospace, construction, energy and clean technology, financial services, healthcare, information technology and cybersecurity.

“Funding President Biden’s US bailout through the Good Jobs Challenge is a necessary investment to boost regional economies and help Americans secure quality jobs,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said. “This funding will provide a range of opportunities to create innovative workforce systems that will support many major sectors of the state while building Washington’s economic resilience.”

“The Good Jobs Challenge supports initiatives that will create lasting positive change in communities across America, said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The Washington Jobs Initiative will bolster the state’s and nation’s economic recovery by providing well-paying jobs in industries critical to the economy and national security.”

“Career-focused pathways are hugely popular, include communities that are underrepresented in the traditional talent pool, and are one of the most effective methods of meeting today’s workforce needs, especially in the continued wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Across all sectors of the state’s economy, employers need to find talent, especially in high-demand fields, and the Good Jobs Challenge grant will significantly enhance our ongoing efforts through Career Connect,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “This will support our progress on inclusiveness and equity in the workforce, giving Washingtonians from underrepresented communities a pathway to thousands of great jobs, placing those furthest from opportunities in good jobs and helping Washington’s economy continue its strong recovery.”

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

“Thanks to the US bailout, the economy is no longer on the mend – it’s on the move,” said Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-02). “This critical investment will connect talented Washingtonians to well-paying jobs in in-demand sectors such as advanced manufacturing and aerospace, clean technology and cybersecurity, supporting long-term economic growth in the Pacific Northwest. and strengthening the region’s global competitiveness.”

“Even before this pandemic, people were feeling the effects of disruptive economic changes. We need to ensure that workers in our region are empowered to navigate this change – not be victimized by it,” said Congressman Derek Kilmer (WA-06). “I am thrilled that due to the U.S. bailout passed by Congress, the Economic Development Administration is providing a crucial investment to help launch the Washington Jobs Initiative. This new partnership will help ensure that workers in our region own the skills they need to land new jobs, earn bigger salaries and improve the lives of their families – all while providing employers in our region with workers ready to meet the challenges of a 21st century economy. is a big win for Washington.

“Workers are the backbone of our economy. Ensuring they can find well-paying jobs is critical to the well-being of our society and economic recovery,” said MP Pramila Jayapal (WA-07). “The Washington Jobs Initiative will provide countless workers in my state of Washington with jobs in critically needed industries. I am grateful for Secretary Raimondo’s partnership in this crucial endeavor and our shared commitment to continue to elevate our workers.

This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge. The program has awarded grants to 32 worker-focused, industry-led workforce training partnerships across the country. $500 million program expands opportunities for more Americans to access and secure well-paying jobs by investing in innovative approaches to advance workforce training partnerships worker-centred and industry-led.

The 32 winning projects were selected from a competitive pool of 509 applicants. By partnering with stakeholders such as unions, community colleges and industry, these projects will meet local talent needs, increase the supply of skilled workers and help workers secure jobs in 15 key industries that are essential to US supply chains, global competitiveness and regional development. Through a holistic and integrated partnership approach, these projects will provide tangible opportunity and security for American workers, focusing on serving and supporting a wide range of underserved communities and connecting workers with training, the skills and support services needed to successfully secure a good job. . For more information on beneficiaries, please see our fact sheet. (PDF)

The Good Jobs Challenge is part of a suite of US bailout programs developed by the EDA to fairly distribute its $3 billion allocation to help communities nationwide in their efforts to build a better America by accelerating economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that better withstand future economic shocks.

About the United States Economic Development Administration ( The mission of the United States Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing regions across the country for growth and success in the global economy. An agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration to create jobs for American workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.


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