February 25, 2019
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SEH America helps pilot career-connected learning program as Legislature looks at expansion

The Columbian last week highlighted an innovative path into high-paying jobs offered by SEH America. Telling the story of Thomus Cherry, they noted that this Clark College student has a clear path to a $27 per hour job at SEH American if he so chooses.

Cherry, age 19, is one of five students taking part in the "manufacturing technician career launch pilot" program at SEH to create a pipeline of trained talent.

“We’re integrating work and school,” said Natalie Pacholl, the SEH training and development specialist overseeing the program. “So what they do on the job is reinforced at college and vice versa.”

That program would be encouraged and rewarded under legislation for career-connected learning that is being considered in Olympia. The legislation, supported by AWB, would "offer financial incentives for schools to increase enrollment in career launch programs, create career-connected learning programs and hire people who would work as coordinators between companies and community colleges to ensure students are leaving with job-ready skills," The Columbian reports.

This type of jobs-based training is overdue, especially as skilled members of the workforce retire, said Ted Feller, executive director of the Southwest Washington STEM Network.

“Kids in this region know how to go to Running Start,” Feller said of the program that offers high school students an early introduction to college courses. “They know how to go to a four-year institution. That pathway Thomus has chosen? We need to make that as clear as the others.”

Senate Bill 5327 and House Bill 1336 will help implement career-connected learning. Contact AWB's Amy Anderson to learn more.

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Workforce Summit
Attack on the Dams

Inslee's proposed Snake River dam task force will be a waste of money

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

State legislators looking to trim the budget this session can save $750,000 straight off if they don't fund a proposed Snake River dams task force.

A new state committee is not going to be able to compete with the federal team that has been studying this same issue since September 2016, so trying to duplicate the effort is absurd.

The Snake River dams are critical to the economy of Eastern Washington and the Northwest. They play an important role in providing irrigation, hydropower and navigation.

Community leaders note that barging on the inland Columbia Snake River system moves, on average, about 9 million tons of cargo valued at more than $3 billion each year. The dams are part of the lifeblood of the region.

But anti-dam activists want to see them gone, and the plight of the Puget Sound orcas are fueling their efforts...

Read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
Practical Education

Career Link seeks to pair students, employers

By The Herald Editorial Board

A new partnership between the Everett School District and the City of Everett -- Everett Career Link -- is looking to pair local employers with Everett high school juniors and seniors in internships that provide career-connected experience to the students as they explore their interests and prepare plans for the future.

The school district is providing employers with training and guidance in setting up the internships and matching students to internships, paperwork regarding state Labor and Industries compliance and liability and ongoing support during the internships.

While it's at the employer's discretion to offer interns a stipend, the program is intended as an outgrowth of the classroom; students -- for their 90 hours of participation -- will earn half of the Career and Technical Education credit they need toward their high school graduation requirement.

More than the students benefit. The time spent with local students can help employers develop deeper ties in the community, get a better understanding of the work underway in schools and appreciation for the pool of talent that exists in their own community.

We've repeated the forecast often, first made by Washington Roundtable, that employers in Washington state expect some 740,000 new jobs to be available by 2021. And nearly 80 percent of those jobs will be either career jobs that require a college degree or career-pathway jobs that require at least some level of post-high school training and certification...

Read the full editorial in The Herald
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