Spokane Journal of Business

State workforce programs said showing good results

Annual report shows high satisfaction level

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Washington state’s workforce development services are performing well overall, says a report released earlier this year by a state agency called the Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board.

Most of the state’s workforce training programs show high employer and participant satisfaction, a high rate of credential attainment and employment after program completion, and a significant return on taxpayer dollars, the report says.  

The workforce board publishes the Workforce Training Results report annually, measuring the performance of 12 of the state’s largest workforce programs. 

These programs, it says, account for about 98 percent of the federal and state dollars spent on the state’s workforce training system, and involve participants ranging from high school career and technical education students, to workers with disabilities, to workers who recently have lost their jobs or are struggling to find their first one.  

A highlight of the study, the board says, was the performance of state apprenticeship programs, which had an 84 percent employment rate and average annual earnings of $63,869 for those who completed the program. These programs also come at a low cost to the public because the bulk of costs are covered by trust funds established by employers and workers, it says.   

State community and technical college professional-technical education programs also are thriving, the board says. 

After completing the program, 70 percent of students were employed during the third quarter after exit. Students reported a 91 percent satisfaction rate after leaving the program, and employers reported a 96 percent satisfaction rate with new employees who had completed the program.   

The workforce board is a state agency that monitors and evaluates the state’s key workforce programs and also provides leadership on policies designed to help residents get the education and training they need to obtain living-wage jobs. The board is also the state licensing agency for private career schools.

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