Good Jobs Challenge Grant Supports Regional Career Connections

Published On: January 25th, 2024|Categories: News|
Good Jobs Challenge Grant Supports Regional Career Connections

Computing for All (CFA) was awarded the Good Jobs Challenge Grant, a Washington Jobs Initiative Sectoral Partnerships being organized by The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), Employment Security Department, and Career Connect Washington (CCW).

WSAC and CCW secured a remarkable $23 million in support from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration’s Good Jobs Challenge grant to establish the Washington Jobs Initiative (WJI). This groundbreaking initiative aims to facilitate Washington residents in connecting to promising career opportunities through registered apprenticeships and various technical training programs. Leveraging CCW’s existing system, WJI ensures coordinated efforts across the state with a dedicated focus on equity and diversity.

Computing for All, receiving a portion of the $23 million, will partner with the North Central Career Connected Washington Network to serve the IT and Technology Sector in North Central Washington. The grant will be managed by the North Central Educational Service District (NCESD) on behalf of multiple partners such as Wenatchee Valley College (WVC), Big Bend Community College (BBCC) and SkillSource.

The Good Jobs Grant anticipates achieving a total of 173 job placements, encompassing diverse opportunities such as paid internships, apprenticeships, contracts, and permanent positions. This goal is set to be accomplished across the entire consortia, covering Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties, with a target completion date of September 30, 2025. The initiative aims to contribute significantly to the region’s workforce development by facilitating a range of employment options for individuals within the specified counties. The following is the projected deliverables that the network aims to achieve:

  • Services: The network proposes to offer various services to support the GJC grant, such as employer engagement, candidate outreach and recruitment, career navigation, soft skills and career readiness training, and WIOA and other wraparound services.
  • Training: The network offers technology degree and certificate programs through Big Bend Community College and Wenatchee Valley College, as well as career launch endorsements and CompTIA industry certifications.
  • Placement: The network has a strategy for engaging with industry partners, such as Microsoft, Sabey, NTT, and Vantage, to place candidates in tech sector jobs. The network also provides career services and job placement support to students.
  • Wraparound Services: The network provides comprehensive wraparound services to ensure the success and well-being of students, such as workforce preparation activities, supportive services, case management, and referral to other community and agency partners.
  • Staffing: Grant funding will add staffing capacity to SkillSource, NCESD, BBCC and WVC to support this project.
  • Target: youth, disengaged and out of school youth, unemployed, underemployed and workers seeking new opportunities.

The Good Jobs Challenge, characterized by once-in-a-generation investments, is empowering locally led workforce systems. This program is not only broadening career horizons for local students but also contributing to the creation of a skilled workforce, crucial for Washington state to excel in the 21st Century global economy. For more information, please visit the career connected learning website or contact Tami McBride at

About Career Connect Washington

Career Connect Washington was created by Governor Jay Inslee, with support and funding provided by the Washington State Legislature, to provide our state’s young people with expanded opportunities to gain real-world experience through a fully integrated career-connected learning system. Businesses, labor, educators, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and many others have come together to create a strategy for making these opportunities available in every part of our state to every student as part of their academic journey.

About North Central Career Connect Washington (CCW) Network:

The North Central Career Connect Washington (CCW) Network is a collaborative partnership between the Apple STEM Network (represented by the North Central Educational Services District) and the SkillSource Regional Workforce Board. The North Central CCW Network believes that all students in Washington deserve a future of purpose and prosperity, and the support necessary to achieve it.

The regional network serves as a hub for all the labor, business groups, employers, the K-12 system, the community and technical colleges, the universities and all other apprentice programs in each of the nine regions across the state. Regional networks serve to connect the work of critical stakeholders, identify opportunities and gaps, and create regional strategies for developing more career connected programs. Regional Networks support the development of all levels of programs, from exploration to preparation to Career Launch. For additional information visit the Career Connected Learning website.

About the Apple STEM Network

The Apple STEM Network is a three-dimensional alliance of K-12, Higher Ed, and community partners in North Central Washington. We represent a diverse region with tremendous potential for STEM industry in agriculture, energy, and innovation. With our collective effort, we intend to: provide a constructive support system for educators who aim to meet the rising challenge for all students to develop 21st-century skills and STEM literacy, to integrate community mentorship, and promote authentic project-based learning and field experiences for all levels of education, and engage students in exploring the world of opportunities on the horizon through STEM. For more information visit the Apple STEM Network website.

About the North Central Educational Service District

The North Central Educational Service District is a resource to the 29 districts within the four-county service area, providing professional and timely tools to meet the needs of individual schools and districts and a reliable point of education-related information for the communities served. The NCESD is a respected resource to other ESDs throughout Washington State.

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Good Jobs Challenge Grant Supports Regional Career Connections