2SHB 1176
C 231 L 23
Synopsis as Enacted
Brief Description: Developing opportunities for service and workforce programs to support climate-ready communities.
Sponsors: House Committee on Appropriations (originally sponsored by Representatives Slatter, Fitzgibbon, Berry, Walen, Ramel, Leavitt, Taylor, Callan, Macri, Ryu, Reeves, Reed, Mena, Chopp, Duerr, Thai, Wylie, Ortiz-Self, Stonier, Pollet and Tharinger; by request of Office of the Governor).
House Committee on Postsecondary Education & Workforce
House Committee on Appropriations
Senate Committee on Higher Education & Workforce Development
Senate Committee on Ways & Means

Serve Washington.

The federal National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 required the governor of each state to establish a state commission on service in order to be eligible for federal support of national service efforts.  In 1994 the Washington Commission on National and Community Service was created by executive order to:

  • comply with federal requirements under the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993;
  • seek additional sources of nonfederal funds, especially private funds, to meet matching requirements and build upon existing service initiatives; 
  • provide recommendations to the Governor pertaining to legislative or policy initiatives that promote the ethic of service;
  • identify existing and new policies or practices that lead to the expansion of national service opportunities in Washington and support federal programs and efforts that expand national service; and
  • provide the leadership and vision, alongside local volunteer organizations, civic and community groups, and units of government, to make service a part of the lives of all Washingtonians.


In 2014 the Washington Commission on National and Community Service was renamed Serve Washington.  A commission of 20 members was appointed by the Governor for three-year terms to advise Serve Washington.  The Commission members function as Ambassadors of Service within their sector and in their local communities to promote service opportunities to encourage volunteerism by all Washingtonians.  The Office of Financial Management (OFM) administers federal grants and provides state resources for the staffing and support of Serve Washington.  The Director of the OFM appoints the Executive Director of Serve Washington.


Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board.
The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (Workforce Board) provides planning, coordination, evaluation, monitoring, and policy analysis for the state workforce training system as a whole, and to advise the Governor and the Legislature concerning the training system.  It is a tripartite partnership of business, labor, and government with a Governor-appointed board of 11 members.


Career Connect Washington.
The Career Connect Washington Task Force develops strategies for expanding career connected learning.  Career connected learning focuses on combining classroom learning with work-based learning.


Overburdened Communities.
Overburdened communities are vulnerable populations in a geographic area facing combined, multiple environmental harms and health impacts, and include but are not limited to highly impacted communities.  Highly impacted communities are impacted by fossil fuel pollution and climate change in Washington, as identified by the Department of Health in its cumulative impact analysis, or are located in census tracts that are fully or partially on Indian country.


Climate Corps Network and Clean Energy Technology Workforce Advisory Committee Establishment.

Subject to appropriations, the Washington Climate Corps Network (Network) is enacted.  Serve Washington establishes and operates the Network with administrative support from the Office of Financial Management (OFM).  The Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (Workforce Board) must establish a Clean Energy Technology Workforce Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee). 


Climate Corps Network
The purpose of the Network, and duty of Serve Washington, is to support and grow climate-related service opportunities for young adults and veterans with the objective of building clean energy, low-carbon, and climate-resilient communities, ecosystems, and economies while providing education, workforce development, and career pathways with a focus on overburdened communities.


In operating the Network, Serve Washington must:

  1. consider the findings and recommendations from the Advisory Committee, and the needs and recommendations for forest sector workforce development;
  2. establish participation rules for Network service members;
  3. in coordination with the Workforce Board and other entities, and by leveraging training opportunities offered by Career Connect Washington and the Department of Natural Resources, develop and administer a Service-learning Program to provide Network service members training, which may not supplant or replace state registered apprenticeship programs, and learning opportunities on leadership, environmental stewardship, civic engagement, and climate-related professional and educational opportunities;
  4. administer grants to support and broaden access to climate-related service programs with priority on overburdened communities;
  5. support equitable access to participation in the Network and reduce financial barriers for Network service members;
  6. reduce the cost of the Network service programs to host service members; and 
  7. support the development of new service programs in geographic and topical areas that lack robust climate-related services programs.


In administering the Network, Serve Washington and OFM may:

  1. adopt rules necessary to implement the purpose of the Network;
  2. receive gifts, grants, and endowments to benefit the Network;
  3. establish a transparent process for establishing priorities and selection criteria for dispersing grants; and
  4. establish relationships with various public and private entities to promote and enable climate action through service.


Clean Energy Technology Workforce Advisory Committee

Established by the Workforce Board, the Advisory Committee advises the Network and policymakers on efforts to expand the clean energy technology workforce by prioritizing transition of the existing workforce, providing training opportunities, and mitigating the impact of climate change policy transitions to the workforce.  Advisory Committee membership is open to all interested parties and must reflect a balance of employer and worker perspectives.  The Advisory Committee selects a cochair representing business and a cochair representing workers to lead it.  The Advisory Committee must:

  1. review workforce and business issues in the energy sector, its supply chain, and the impacts of the energy transition to dependent sectors; and
  2. recommend strategies to prevent workforce displacement, support job creation in clean energy technology sectors, and provide support for workforce-related changes to business and for adversely impacted workers.


Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board.
Each biennium, the Workforce Board must consult with the Advisory Committee, the Department of Commerce, and the Employment Security Department to evaluate the workforce impact of Washington's climate policies, including:

  • labor market trends;
  • current and projected workforce demand in traditional and clean energy technology professions;
  • restructuring of jobs and adjusted skillsets associated with climate change mitigation policies;
  • the wage and benefits range of jobs within the clean energy sector;
  • demographics of the traditional and clean energy technology sectors;
  • an inventory of skills needed in clean energy technology jobs, an analysis of how the skills and training of the existing workforce can fill those needs, and identification of additional workforce development needs in the sector; and
  • potential key challenges in advancing a clean energy technology workforce.


The Workforce Board must also consult with Career Connect to conduct a literature review of the existing models, data, and findings related to the workforce impact evaluation to avoid duplication of efforts.


Each biennium, the Workforce Board must consult with impacted postsecondary training partners to analyze and develop recommendations for necessary steps to support workforce training required for clean energy technology occupations.  The Workforce Board must also conduct a study, or contract it out, of the feasibility of a transition to retirement program to preserve income, medical, and retirement benefits for workers close to retirement who face job loss or transition because of energy technology sector changes. 


Beginning November 1, 2023, and every two years thereafter, the Workforce Board must report to the Governor and the Legislature recommendations on how the state can support worker and employer needs in response to changing workforce requirements for clean energy technology.  The report must include:

  • recommendations from the Advisory Committee;
  • the Workforce Board's biennial evaluation of the workforce impact of Washington's climate policies; and
  • the Workforce Board's biennial clean energy technology workforce training recommendations.
Votes on Final Passage:
House 59 37
Senate 31 18

July 23, 2023