SkillUp Washington− a workforce funders collaborative based at The Seattle Foundation− has been awarded $900,000 to launch a multi-partner job training initiative for workers in green construction and utilities.
“This three-year initiative, called Washington GreenForce, will open doors to groups who have been excluded from construction trades in the past or don’t know how to enter the sector,” said Norman Rice, President and CEO of The Seattle Foundation.
The Greenforce Initiative bolsters our Seattle Jobs Plan, and the Youth and Family Initiative, by creating training pathways for our residents to get good, family-sustaining wages in demand occupations. The City, OED, and Seattle City Light are proud to be a partner in the implementation of these training programs to help meet the needs of our utility’s quality workforce.
“Jobs are a priority for my administration, and green jobs are a priority for our future,” said Mayor McGinn. “We’re proud to partner in the GreenForce Initiative to help our residents get training for high quality jobs.”
The initiative involves a number of partners, including apprenticeship and trade organizations that will recruit and prepare participants for future career opportunities. Participants will go through a flexible eight-week program designed for people working in entry-level jobs who cannot afford to leave work for a full-time program. Sellen Sustainability (a division of Sellen Construction) will provide its Green Collar Workforce training to women recruited by the nonprofit organization Apprenticeship and Non-Traditional Employment for Women (ANEW). ANEW will also provide support services and co-enroll participants in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) system.
“ANEW has been offering comprehensive trades training to low-income women living in King County for more than 30 years,” said Heather Winfrey, ANEW’s Executive Director. “This initiative will allow us to reach more people and help them launch family-supporting careers.”
Veterans in Construction Electrical (VICE) – a program that offers electrical training to veterans- will fast track veterans into the residential, low voltage (sound and communications) and commercial career tracks.
The Vocational Outside Line Training Academy(VOLTA), which provides comprehensive training for experienced line workers who are advancing toward their outside electrical construction industry Journeyman status, will prepare students for line worker, power line clearance, and power ground worker positions and entrance into utilities apprenticeships.
South Seattle Community College Georgetown campus will deliver accredited courses for incumbent construction workers who are looking to skill-up for green construction jobs.
Seattle is one of seven sites selected to receive sub-grants from Jobs for the Future (JFF), a leading nonprofit education and workforce development organization, which received $8 million from the Department of Labor.
“This grant is the result of unprecedented collaboration at the local level,” said Susan Crane, SkillUp Washington’s Executive Director. “Jobs for the Future recognized that fact, and now we have a golden opportunity to influence the career paths of nearly 250 people. We look forward to starting the beginning phase of the initiative this summer and into the fall.”