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The WDC helps prepare the workforce in Spokane County to support economic growth and ensure a strong talent pipeline. 

May 2014

Entrepreneurship Program Success at WorkSource Spokane  


Richard came to the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program at WorkSource to see if starting his own business was something he should even consider. "Could I succeed where so many others have failed? After Ice House, the answer is 'Yes, I can,'" he said. 


Richard is one of our first local job seekers to go through the new program. With funding from the Kauffman Foundation and the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, the WDC began offering the Ice House curriculum at WorkSource in March.


The program consists of 24 hours of instruction over four weeks. It teaches an entrepreneurial mindset and helps develop skills needed to succeed in starting a business. 


Richard recently started a full-time position, but he will still be working on starting his own photography and design business in his spare time using the skills he learned in the class. "It was challenging, made me think and was just an all-around valuable class," he said.


So far 10% of participants have found full-time employment, and 60% have gone on to more training to help start their businesses. One business has opened and several others are expected to within the next month.   


To learn more, contact Dirk Vastrick at WorkSource Spokane, 532-3038. 
WDC Awarded Grant to Assist Skilled Individuals Struggling to Connect to Employment


The WDC was recently awarded $282,000 to assist individuals who are experiencing challenges reconnecting to the workforce. From July 2008 through March 2014, Spokane County had 7,100 long-term unemployed, many of whom are still looking for work.


The new funds will be used to provide workshops geared toward reframing the job search process, including modules on the entrepreneurial mindset, professional networking opportunities and other unique services through WorkSource Spokane.


The Employment Security Department was able to award funds to all 12 workforce development councils in Washington by redirecting $4 million in federal mass-layoff funds. There are more than 118,000 long-term unemployed individuals in the state.


"Thousands of workers with good work histories have been left behind in our economic recovery," Gov. Jay Inslee said. "It's exciting to advance our partnership with our local workforce development councils to start turning that around."

WDC Sponsors Pathways to Apprenticeship


High school counselors, teachers and students had a chance to experience apprenticeship firsthand on April 30. 

The WDC was a sponsor of the daylong event that provided career guidance tools and academic resources, in-depth knowledge of the apprenticeship system, connections to apprenticeship programs across industries and a tour of the apprenticeship training center and hands-on experience in multiple trades.

The construction industry is beginning to experience difficulties filling positions in the skilled trades, and this is expected to continue as retirements accelerate. Increasing the awareness among youth people of career pathways via apprenticeship will benefit both our business partners needing talent and the workforce of the future who will enter these occupations and help build our infrastructure.

The event was presented by the Construction Center of Excellence
In This Issue
WDC Awarded Grant to Assist Long-Term Unemployed
WDC Sponsors Pathways to Apprenticeship

Upcoming Events 



June 5
3:30 - 5 p.m.
Next Generation Zone 
901 E Second #100
Spokane, WA 99202




 SAWDC Board Meeting

June 11

7:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Lincoln Center
1316 N Lincoln
Spokane, WA 99201



June 18
3 - 5 p.m.
WorkSource Spokane
103 S Arthur
Spokane, WA 99202

Quick Links




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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 711.