Hundreds of thousands of dollars will come to Southwest Washington to expand work opportunities for young people, Gov. Jay Inslee’s office announced Friday.
Career Connect Southwest will receive $740,000 to develop on-the-job training programs, internships and apprenticeships in Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties. The local grant is part of a $6.4 million investment statewide that Washington estimates will put about 1,800 people into apprenticeships in the science and technology fields.
“A four-year degree isn’t the only path to a fulfilling career,” Inslee said in the announcement. “Business leaders have told us they are looking for talent in everything from information technology to health care. And that’s what this initiative is all about: connecting students to great employers and high-quality job training.”
The two-year grant locally will help pay for apprenticeships in the medical field at PeaceHealth, Rebound Orthopedics, Kaiser Permanente and Great Rivers Behavioral Health.
Jeanne Bennett, chief executive officer of Workforce Southwest Washington, said the program will target unemployed teenagers and young adults who have, in some cases, dropped out of high school. Career Connect Southwest will work with nonprofit organization Partners in Careers to find those who would most benefit from the training opportunity.
“When you connect young people to opportunities at a young age, you can turn them around easily,” Bennett said.