State of Washington
64th Legislature
2016 Regular Session
By Representatives Sells, Haler, Reykdal, Manweller, Ormsby, Wylie, Ryu, Moscoso, Hayes, Zeiger, Condotta, Johnson, Kilduff, and Santos; by request of Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board
Read first time 01/18/16. Referred to Committee on Higher Education.
WHEREAS, Chapter 238, Laws of 1991 created the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (Workforce Board) to provide planning, coordinating, evaluation, and policy analysis for the state training system as a whole and to provide advice to the Governor and the Legislature concerning the training system in cooperation with the agencies that comprise the state training system and the Washington Student Achievement Council; and
WHEREAS, The Workforce Board is a unique partnership of business, labor, education, and training organizations dedicated to creating a highly skilled workforce that meets the needs of Washington businesses and workers; and
WHEREAS, The state faces the workforce challenges of: (1) Not enough workers with the education and training to fill key openings, hampering the ability of Washington's businesses to remain competitive in an increasingly global economy, and (2) a workforce that is growing older and increasingly diverse, bringing with it falling workforce participation rates and lower education and skill attainment among many target populations that are needed to fill new job openings; and
WHEREAS, RCW 28C.18.080 requires the Workforce Board to update the state comprehensive plan for workforce training and education every four years, and the plan was last updated in 2012; and
WHEREAS, Students, workers, and employers have wide ranging education and training needs; and
WHEREAS, By viewing the workforce system as a series of interconnected pathways, with multiple options for workers, jobseekers, and students to advance, the Workforce Board is able to outline strategies to strengthen these pathways so more Washington residents become economically self-sufficient, while also helping Washington businesses find the skilled workers they depend on; and
WHEREAS, The purpose of the 2016 state comprehensive plan for training and education is to provide direction to the workforce development system; and
WHEREAS, To meet the challenges of the next ten years workforce partners must work together as a seamless, customer-focused system; and
WHEREAS, This edition of the state comprehensive plan for workforce development represents the first time the Workforce Board will also submit a combined plan for workforce development to the federal Departments of Labor and Education, in accordance with the requirements of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014; and
WHEREAS, The Workforce Board coordinated an inclusive process of work groups and public forums to reach agreement on the strategies identified in the 2016 state strategic plan for workforce development, under the leadership of the Workforce Board's labor and business representatives; and
WHEREAS, The strategies identified in the 2016 state strategic plan for workforce development represent the consensus of critical constituencies across the workforce system, including business, labor, and the agencies delivering workforce services; and
WHEREAS, The 2016 state comprehensive plan, titled Talent and Prosperity for All, emphasizes the following four strategic priorities:
(1) Achieving a more welcoming, streamlined customer experience in the workforce system by blending and braiding the delivery of services more effectively;
(2) Strengthening the breadth and quality of the workforce system's engagement with the business community, emphasizing sector strategies and a focus on in-demand industries;
(3) Ensuring a workforce system that is universally accessible for all customers, leveraging technology and other tools to identify and remove barriers to access; and
(4) Refining Washington's performance accountability system to inform a process of continual, data-driven improvement; and
WHEREAS, The provisions of the comprehensive plan and updates 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 2016 state comprehensive plan for workforce training and education.
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