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Our Mission: Lead a dynamic, demand-driven workforce system.
November 2013
Career Readiness Project Launched to Engage Students


The Spokane Area Workforce Development Council and Spokane Public Schools are teaming up for a new pilot project to help guide local high school students into careers.


Career Readiness for a Working Washington will match students with mentorships, internships and other work-based learning activities.The funding comes from the state's Employment Security Department (ESD) and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.The initial funding will be used to hire a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) navigator who will work with students and businesses to help the students make connections. 


Spokane is one of five regions in the state selected to launch the project. 


"The health of our economy is closely tied to the quality of our workforce," said ESD Commissioner Dale Peinecke. "We need to do more to help students see the connection between their book learning and their future careers and help them make smart choices about the courses they take."


WDC CEO Mark Mattke added, "This innovative project will add to the strong programming in place at Spokane Public Schools and result in students being better prepared for postsecondary success."

Washington to Become Work Ready State


Washington was recently selected to become a Work Ready State by the ACT company. The program works to certify states or regions as Work Ready based on the number of individuals who earn a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) and number of businesses who utilize the NCRC as a hiring tool.


The NCRC assesses three essential workplace skills - reading for information, applied math and critical thinking. Spokane has been offering these tools for both job seekers and businesses since 2011. 


Washington has joined ACT's Certified Work Ready Communities Academy, a 12-month program to help initiate, deploy and drive statewide efforts. The initiative has support from Governor Insless and key agencies that include the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Employment Security Department, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and Department of Commerce.


"We are excited to help grow this initiative across the state," said Dawn Karber, chief operating officer for the WDC. "Becoming a Work Ready State will be a valuable economic development tool as well as help to identify and close the skills gap."


Washington is one of 17 states working to become Work Ready. Learn more about the project.

WDC/CCS Partnership Highlighted at National Meeting 


CEO Mark Mattke recently presented on the WDC's successful partnership with Community Colleges of Spokane at a special meeting convened by the American Association of Community Colleges and U.S. Conference of Mayors Workforce Development Council in early November in Washington, D.C.  It was one of four case studies selected from across the nation to provide leaders from workforce boards and community colleges an opportunity to learn how new collaborations are changing business practices and improving efficiencies and outcomes for their communities.


The WDC/CCS partnership is one of the most innovative in the country. The WDC is located on one of the campuses, and the organizations share staff, data and tools. The two have also aligned strategic priorities to better serve job seekers and the business community. The meeting was featured in the Community College Times.

WDC Hires Workforce Program Manager

The WDC recently hired Kyle West to fill the role of workforce program manager for the organization.

West brings a varied background in program development, grant writing and community relations. Most recently West was the development manager at Mobius Spokane, and he previously operated his own business as a development consultant. He holds a bachelor's degree from Saint Norbert College in De Pere, Wisc. and a master's degree in health policy and administration from Washington State University.


In his new role, West will oversee youth employment programs, manage multiple projects and grants and develop labor market reports for the WDC.
In This Issue
Washington to Become Work Ready State
WDC/CCS Partnership Highlighted at Natl. Meeting

Upcoming Events 


WDC Youth Council

December 5

Next Generation Zone

901 E Second Street Spokane, WA 99202



WDC Board Retreat

December 12

1 - 6 p.m.

Lincoln Center

1316 N Lincoln
Spokane, WA 99201



Meet the Employers

December 18

3 p.m.

WorkSource Spokane

130 S Arthur

Spokane, WA 99202


WDC member Craig Dias was recently awarded the 2013 Spirit the Red Cross Award. As president of Haskins Steel, Dias is a leader in hiring veterans and was instrumental in bringing a national Hiring Our Heroes military career fair to Spokane. The award celebrates individuals that exemplify selflessness, compassion and commitment to community by helping those in need.

In the News

Spokane Public Radio

Quick Links




Next Generation Zone





CCS Center for Workforce & Continuing education




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The Spokane Area Workforce Development Council is an equal opportunity employer and provider of employment and training services.  Auxiliary aids are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Washington Relay Service (TTY) 1-800-833-6388 or 711.