FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Spokane Workforce Council Secures Over $4.8 Million in Grants to Break Down Barriers and Connect More Residents to Quality Jobs
Spokane, WA – November 9, 2023 – Spokane Workforce Council is pleased to announce the award of four substantial grants, totaling $4.8 million, that will bolster workforce development efforts in various sectors across the Spokane community. These crucial programs are set to launch in early 2024.
As the local workforce development board, Spokane Workforce Council oversees the operations of WorkSource Spokane, Talent Solutions by WorkSource Spokane, Next Generation Zone, and Resource Center of Spokane County, offering a wide array of employment, business, and social services to our community members.
“This funding provides an influx of much needed resources to help us address many critical needs head on. Support, stabilization, and helping people achieve self-sufficiency is core to our mission, and we look forward to working with our employer partners and service providers in strengthening our community.” said Jessica Clayton, Spokane Workforce Council’s Division Executive of Programs & Development
Combating the Opioid Crisis
Spokane Workforce Council (SWC) was awarded $879,363 from the U.S. Department of Labor through the Washington State Employment Security Department to address the ongoing opioid crisis in Spokane County. These grant resources equip the Spokane WorkSource System to offer individuals impacted by the opioid epidemic access to peer navigator support, training, and employment resources to assist with reintegration into the local workforce and economy. SWC will join forces with partner organizations at the WorkSource Spokane One-Stop Campus to deliver direct assistance to individuals and businesses. SWC will also collaborate with Pioneer Human Services’ successful Peer Navigator program, which leverages firsthand experiences with justice involvement to offer recovery-oriented support services. This award marks year-one of a three-year transformative project, offering substantial benefits for Spokane area residents and employers and promoting long-term stability for those affected by the opioid crisis.
Community Reinvestment Plan Funds
Spokane Workforce Council is honored to be among the recipients of the Washington State Department of Commerce’s recently unveiled Community Reinvestment Plan funds, with an award totaling $1.35 million. The funds are intended to address racial, social, and economic disparities within our local communities and will be used to assist local residents in our poverty reduction initiative and focus upon serving BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color)-owned businesses and employees. SWC looks forward to building stronger partnerships with BIPOC-owned businesses in our region, and we are committed to assisting with their hiring, retention, and training needs.
Washington Jobs Initiative – Healthcare Talent Pipeline Development
In an exciting bi-regional partnership with Workforce Southwest Washington in Vancouver, WA, Spokane Workforce Council has been awarded $2 million as part of Washington state’s Good Jobs Challenge plan. Both regions are currently facing a critical shortage of patient-facing healthcare workers. Under this program, we’ll partner with local employers and training providers to enhance the healthcare talent pipeline. A key emphasis will be on serving 18–30-year-old young adults and those in the early stages of their career development, particularly individuals from historically underrepresented communities in the healthcare field. In the Spokane area, vital institutions including CHAS Health, Providence Healthcare, and Eastern State Hospital will be collaborating in this joint effort and leveraging their training programs. The grant funding will facilitate the success of program participants, ultimately leading them to promising career opportunities in the healthcare industry.
Washington Jobs Initiative – Pierce-Spokane Construction Works
In partnership with WorkForce Central, the local workforce development board in Pierce County, Spokane Workforce Council has been awarded $432,000 in support of its TradeUp to Construction initiative. This project will provide coordinated assistance to help fill labor shortages in the construction trades and create a pipeline of workers to sustain this industry in our regional economy. In partnership with Association of General Contractors of the Inland Northwest and Spokane Home Builders Association, the SWC will offer hands on learning events to promote career pathways and direct support into apprenticeships and quality jobs in construction. This additional funding is instrumental in prioritizing opportunities for individuals who have encountered barriers in establishing their careers within the trade industry. With a commitment to fostering skill growth and offering robust support, this initiative is set to create lasting impacts, ensuring that the benefits of the construction sector extend to a diverse range of individuals in our community.
Spokane Workforce Council is committed to its mission of strengthening the workforce, addressing critical community challenges, and fostering a resilient and inclusive Spokane. These grants represent a significant step towards achieving these goals. We are excited about the positive impact they will have on our community and are dedicated to continuing our work in the service of our residents, businesses, and stakeholders. For further information, please visit our website at www.spokaneworkforce.org or contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spokane Workforce Council (SWC) and its WorkSource Spokane Campus (WorkSource Spokane, Next Generation Zone, Spokane Resource Center, and Talent Solutions by WorkSource Spokane) are the local workforce development authorities and provide assistance to the community through employment resources and support. As a proud partner of the American Job Center Network, SWC and its WorkSource Spokane Campus are equal opportunity employers/programs. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Washington Relay 711.