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The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.
News / Opinion / Letters to the Editor

Letter: Help business, workers

By Miriam Halliday, CEO, Workforce Southwest Washington
Published: March 28, 2023, 6:00am

Businesses struggle to find candidates, leaving significant job openings locally and in critical industries like health care, education, manufacturing and food processing.

Workers, especially women and people of color, are finding it difficult to return to the labor force due to lack of child care and inflation. Companies and job seekers also find it challenging to match training and job-skills programs to fill the area’s jobs. That’s why local workforce development boards — like Workforce Southwest Washington — are critical.

Washington’s 12 local workforce boards are an important piece of the economic ecosystem, serving almost 80,000 individuals annually and helping nearly 20,000 businesses.

To boost our capacity to serve more companies and residents, we hope you’ll join us in supporting an ongoing state investment in the expanded Economic Security for All, or EcSA, program outlined in the governor’s budget. EcSA expansion will provide funding for local solutions to aid in poverty prevention, expand skills-based training, focus on at-risk and underserved populations, support earn-to-learn opportunities and expand business engagement.

The EcSA expansion is one solution to aid businesses and get Washingtonians into good jobs and support them as they move toward financial independence.

By investing in a local workforce solution like this, legislators can foster economic opportunity for all.

We encourage readers to express their views about public issues. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for brevity and clarity. Limit letters to 200 words (100 words if endorsing or opposing a political candidate or ballot measure) and allow 30 days between submissions. Send Us a Letter