$10-million U.S. Dept. of Labor TAACCCT grant led by state’s top industries

A dynamic consortium guided by three of the state’s leading industries – energy, advanced manufacturing and construction – with support from organized labor, workforce development and eight community and technical colleges, has been awarded nearly $10-million from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) round 4 grant. The project, called Washington Integrated Sector Employment (WISE), has been supported by the three industry sectors since the grant application process began in 2014. Industry representatives from Puget Sound Energy, Avista, CIMTech, McKinstry, Abscher Construction, the City of Seattle, WSU Energy Program, IBEW Local 77, Northwest Laborers Training Trust, Spokane Area Workforce Development Council, and Washington State Labor Council make up the 11-member Executive Leadership Team that will continue to support and guide WISE and its projects to improve Washington’s workforce. The team, chaired by Troy Nutter, Manager of Operational Training at Puget Sound Energy, will serve as a resource for partners to ensure grant goals are achieved. WISE will assist 1,992 adults including dislocated workers, veterans and spouses, women, and minorities. It will prepare participants for employment in entry level, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship occupations within the cluster. It will address the unique needs of unemployed and under-employed workers using innovative and sophisticated strategies – such as navigators, programs to skill-up workers, and enhanced educational programs, to name a few. “The three industry sectors form a cluster which requires common skill sets among the trades,” Barbara Hins-Turner, Executive Director of the Center of Excellence for Clean Energy, said. “The WISE programs will articulate to pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, leadership in the trades and two applied bachelor programs offered within our community and technical college system.”

View the entire Spring 2015 Smart Energy Newsletter