2SHB 1176
As of March 21, 2023
Title: An act relating to developing opportunities for service and workforce programs to support climate-ready communities.
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).
Brief History: Passed House: 3/1/23, 59-37.
Committee Activity: Higher Education & Workforce Development: 3/15/23 [DP-WM].
Ways & Means: 3/21/23.
Brief Summary of Bill
  • Creates the Washington Climate Corps Network to provide climate-related service opportunities for young adults and veterans.
  • Establishes a Clean Energy Technology Workforce Advisory Committee to review workforce and business issues within the clean energy technology sector and make recommendations to prevent workforce displacement and support job creation.
  • Directs the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board to evaluate clean energy technology workforce needs and make recommendations to the Governor and Legislature.
Majority Report: Do pass and be referred to Committee on Ways & Means.
Signed by Senators Randall, Chair; Nobles, Vice Chair; Holy, Ranking Member; Hawkins and Liias.
Staff: Alicia Kinne-Clawson (786-7407)
Staff: Sarian Scott (786-7729)

Serve Washington.  Serve Washington, formerly the Washington Commission for National and Community Service, was established under Governor Executive Order 16-08 to:

  • comply with federal requirements pertaining to state commissions on national and community service;
  • seek additional sources of non-federal 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 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 to make service a part of the lives of all Washingtonians.

Serve Washington is made up of 20 members appointed by the Governor for three-year terms. The Office of Financial Management administers federal grants and provides state resources for staffing and supporting Serve Washington.
Green Economy Jobs Growth Initiative.  In 2008, the Legislature established the Green Economy Jobs Growth Initiative with a goal of increasing the number of clean energy jobs in the state to 25,000 by 2020. Specific actions related to the green economy were to be carried out by a number of state agencies.
Evergreen Jobs Act.  In 2009, the Legislature established the Evergreen Jobs Initiative with a goal of creating 15,000 new green economy jobs by 2020 and other goals related to employment, job training, investment, and exports. Under that act, the Employment Security Department is required to conduct and update labor market research on the green economy. The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board is required to create and pilot green industry skill panels to conduct labor market and industry analyses and recommend strategies to meet the recruitment and training needs of the green economy workforce.


Career Connect Washington. In 2017, the Governor created the Career Connect Washington Task Force to develop strategies for expanding career connected learning.  Career connected learning focuses on combining classroom learning with work-based learning.

Summary of Bill:

Washington Climate Corps Network.  Subject to appropriations, the Washington Climate Corps Network is established to provide climate-related service opportunities for young adults and veterans. The program shall be administered by Serve Washington. Serve Washington is responsible for:

  • growing climate-related opportunities, including those identified by the Clean Energy Technology Workforce Advisory Committee (advisory committee);
  • establishing common requirements for participation in service programs;
  • developing and administering a service-learning program that provides training to climate corps service members and leverages training offered by career connect and the Department of Natural Resources; and
  • administering grants to support and broaden access to climate-related service programs.

Serve Washington may provide grants to support equitable access to participation in the Washington Climate Corps Network, reduce the cost of programs to host service members, and support the development of new programs.
The Office of Financial Management, in consultation with Serve Washington, may adopt rules for administering the Washington Climate Corps Network.
Clean Energy Technology Workforce Advisory Committee.  The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (board) must establish an advisory committee. The advisory committee must be co-chaired by a member representing business and a member representing workers. The advisory committee's responsibilities include:

  • reviewing workforce and business issues in the energy sector and the impacts of the energy transition to dependent sectors; and
  • recommending strategies to prevent workforce displacement and to support job creation in clean energy technology.

Each biennium the advisory committee, in consultation with the Department of Commerce and the Employment Security Department, must evaluate the workforce impact of Washington's climate policies. This includes an examination of labor market trends, wages and benefits in the clean energy technology sector, demographics of traditional and clean energy technology sectors, inventory of skills needed in clean energy technology jobs; and key challenges. The board must consult with career connect Washington and conduct a literature review of existing evaluations of workforce impacts to ensure a duplication of efforts does not exist.
Each biennium, the board must develop recommendations for necessary steps to support workforce training required for clean energy technologies. The board must conduct a study 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 clean energy technology sector changes.

Beginning November 1, 2023, and at least once every two years, the board must report to the Governor and the appropriate committees of the Legislature, recommendations on how the state can support worker and employer needs in response to the changing workforce requirements for clean energy technology. The report must include the recommendations of the advisory committee and the board's recommendations to support workforce training for the clean energy technology sector.
The Green Economy Jobs Growth Initiative requirement that the Employment Security Department conduct labor market research on the green economy, and pilot green industry skill panels are repealed.

Appropriation: The bill contains a null and void clause requiring specific funding be provided in an omnibus appropriation act.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Higher Education & Workforce Development):

No public hearing was held.

Persons Testifying (Higher Education & Workforce Development): N/A
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Higher Education & Workforce Development): N/A
Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Ways & Means):

PRO: Essential to plan and prepare our workforce. Engage a new generation of climate leaders. This bill is for your kids and grandkids.  Allow members to earn a living wage. Types of work would include natural resource projects in riparian areas and local community home weatherization projects. This would augment and build on existing veteran corps jobs. Many programs are already changing their curriculum for the future clean energy workforce.  The state is experiencing downfalls of not planning well now for this workforce. Crucial step in implementing the Climate Citizen Assembly recommendations. This is about aligning Washington State climate policies with our youth and veterans. Demand is outpacing the skill sets available now.  Set this generational power house in motion.

Persons Testifying (Ways & Means): PRO: Erin Frasier, Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council; Maya Gillett, WA BlueGreen Alliance; Johanna Lundahl, Peoples Voice on Climate; Aaron Everett, Self; Carrie Sessions, Governor’s Office; Joshua Rubenstein, The Nature Conservancy.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Ways & Means): No one.