Recently Opportunity Nation, a cross-sector campaign aimed at helping close the opportunity gap in the U.S., helped facilitate a conversation about workforce development successes and strategies. The conversation was hosted by Office of Economic Development Director Steve Johnson, Seattle Community Colleges Chancellor Jill Wakefield, Bryan Wilson from the Washington State Workforce Board, Remy Turpin from the Washington State Budget and Policy Center, and State Rep. Drew Hansen.
OED Director Steve Johnson and SCC Chancellor Jill Wakefield spoke about the Pathways to Careers program, giving an overview of the work done to increase the opportunities of working adults here in Seattle. The Pathways to Careers program helps prepare people to work in Business Information Technology, Healthcare, Manufacturing and Industrial Skills, and International Trade, Transportation and Logistics fields.
A few of the other topics covered in the community conversation were the newly-signed House Bill 1257 that will expand Washington’s Job Skills Program for small businesses and community colleges working jointly on training, and the Opportunity Index, an online tool that measures access to economic mobility by state and county. Students involved in local workforce development programs also spoke about how they became better prepared thanks to the Year Up and the Union Gospel Mission’s 118 Program.