The Office of Economic Development is proud to support Mayor Mike McGinn’s Youth and Families Initiative by ensuring that low-income parents receive the career and technical education they need to compete for jobs in an increasingly competitive global economy.
We have long understood that educational attainment affects income. However, the difference in economic outcomes for those with the most education and those with the least education has never been starker. In 2008 and 2009, unemployment figures for those without a college degree have increased on average almost three times as fast as those with at least a college degree.
Turns out, increasing the rates of postsecondary attainment for low-income parents is also one of the best ways to help their children succeed. Recent research from the Gates Foundation suggests that parental education levels are the single most important driver of a child’s future – and that postsecondary education is the critical pathway that leads individuals and their families out of poverty.
OED invests in several partnerships that help adults attain the education and skills they need to attain living wage jobs. These are just few of our 2010 partners:
- Seattle Jobs Initiative – to provide job skills training and support services for up to 1200 low-income clients with approximately 400 of them obtaining jobs;
- SkillUp Washington – a new partnership encompassing leaders in philanthropy, government, education, and industry, to design new ways for working adults to obtain postsecondary degrees and credentials that have genuine labor market value; and,
- The Manufacturing and Industrial Council – to place Seattle youth aged 16-24 in short term, paid work experience internships – a partnership that not only drives real living-wage careers, but makes sure that workers’ skills can meet changing industry demands.
The changing economy requires increasingly sophisticated workers who have access to ongoing education and training opportunities while they are working to support their families. The Office of Economic Development is leading this effort to bring vital post-secondary education and training to the workers who need it most – workers who will pass on the benefits, and knowledge, to their children.