BILL REQ. #:  Z-0321.1 


State of Washington61st Legislature2009 Regular Session

By Senators Kilmer, Jarrett, Hewitt, Delvin, Jacobsen, Shin, and Pflug; by request of Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board

Read first time 01/20/09.   Referred to Committee on Higher Education & Workforce Development.

     WHEREAS, Chapter 238, Laws of 1991 created the workforce training and education coordinating board to provide planning, coordination, evaluation, monitoring, and policy analysis for the state training system as a whole and advice to the governor and legislature concerning the training system, in cooperation with the agencies that comprise the state training system and the higher education coordinating board; and
     WHEREAS, Section 2, chapter 130, Laws of 1995 requires the board to update the state comprehensive plan for workforce training and education and requires the legislature, following public hearings, to approve or make changes to the updates; and
     WHEREAS, The state faces the workforce challenges of: (1) Ensuring all Washington youth receive the education, training, and support they need for success in postsecondary education and/or work; (2) providing Washington adults, including those with barriers to education and employment, with access to lifelong education, training, and employment services; and (3) meeting the workforce needs of industry by preparing students, current workers, and dislocated workers with the skills employers need; and
     WHEREAS, The state comprehensive plan for 2008 has a ten-year horizon through 2018 and the following eight strategic opportunities on which to focus:
     (1) Increase high school graduation rates and ensure youth are prepared for further education and/or work;
     (2) Expand the availability of career pathways that span secondary and postsecondary education and training;
     (3) Increase postsecondary education and training capacity to close the gap between the need of employers for skilled workers and the supply of Washington residents prepared to meet that need;
     (4) Increase financial aid and support services for workforce education students to provide greater access to training and boost retention and completion;
     (5) Increase adult basic skills and English language instruction that is integrated with occupational skills training to assist illiterate populations, immigrants, low-income workers, and unemployed individuals to improve their employment opportunities;
     (6) Improve coordination between workforce and economic development in key economic clusters through initiatives such as Industry Skill Panels and Centers of Excellence;
     (7) Meet employee education and training needs through customized training, workplace-based learning, flexible methods of education delivery, and new ways of funding employee training; and
     (8) Identify barriers for improving and expanding employment, education, and training services and remove those barriers; and
     WHEREAS, The state comprehensive plan includes: Assessments of our state's employment opportunities and skills needs, the present and future workforce, three goals, and more than sixty strategies for meeting the workforce challenges; and identifies entities responsible for carrying out the strategies; and
     WHEREAS, The workforce training and education coordinating board used an inclusive process of work groups and public hearings and contact with approximately 3,500 individuals to develop consensus on the strategies identified in the plan and has secured the unanimous endorsement of critical constituencies, including business, labor, and the agencies delivering workforce services; and
     WHEREAS, The provisions of the comprehensive plan and its updates that are approved by the legislature become the state's workforce policy unless legislation is enacted to alter the policies set forth therein;
     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Senate of the state of Washington, the House of Representatives concurring, hereby approve the 2008-2018 state comprehensive plan for workforce training, "High Skills, High Wages."

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