Contact:    Kristin Alexander, 360-902-9540, kalexander@esd.wa.gov

OLYMPIA – For many Washington residents, moving out of poverty to self-sufficiency is especially challenging. Washington WorkSource centers are participating in a new pilot project to ease that transition.

WorkSource centers in four Washington counties, King, Pierce, Spokane and Yakima, will provide life skills and soft skills training under a three-year pilot project called Strategies for Success that seeks to remove employment barriers for 3,500 low-income people. Target populations include homeless individuals, those with limited English proficiency, long-term unemployed, veterans and non-custodial parents.

“These classes have never been offered through WorkSource and we’re excited to help financially strapped individuals on their path to securing jobs they need to support themselves and their families,” said Dale Peinecke, commissioner of the state Employment Security Department.

Participants will attend classes for 16 hours a week over six weeks. Lessons will include balancing work and life, stress management, communication and self-esteem, money management, health and well-being, appropriate work attire, conflict resolution, developing good work habits and teambuilding, among others.

The training will be offered as a component of the Resources to Initiate Successful Employment (RISE) program administered by the state Department of Social and Health Services and funded through a $22 million federal grant. RISE will offer comprehensive case management and work-based learning to food assistance recipients. DSHS will contract with community and technical colleges and community-based organizations that will then make referrals to WorkSource. Workforce Development Councils will develop employer relationships that will allow RISE participants greater success through work-based learning activities, including mentoring, job-shadowing, on-the-job training and internships.

Employment Security is hiring seven instructors to teach the classes. Interested candidates can apply online at https://esd.wa.gov/esdjobs by searching for “Strategies for Success.”

Washington’s WorkSource system is a statewide partnership of state, local and nonprofit agencies that deliver a wide array of employment and training services for job seekers and employers.

In 2014, staff at 68 WorkSource centers, affiliates and connections sites helped roughly 169,500 workers and nearly 5,600 Washington employers.

Studies have shown that people who use WorkSource services tend to find work faster and earn more money than those who don’t. WorkSource locations can be found on go2worksource.com.


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