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Washington Workforce Explorer

Program Goals and Emphasis

The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board is responsible for the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan for workforce education and training. This plan, entitled High Skills, High Wages, contains a number of goals, objectives and strategies. There are three key strategies related to career planning and guidance: 1) high quality labor market information, 2) development of individual career plans that are integrated with a range of school programs, and 3) increasing mentor and work-based learning opportunities for all students.

State Economic Profile

Economic and Environmental Profile

Despite some volatility in the monthly numbers, employment in Washington remains on a solid upward trend. Government, retail trade, professional and business services, health care and social assistance and manufacturing provide the most employment. Major industries include farming, lumber, tourism, hydroelectric power, computer software, aircraft, and aluminum refining.

The January 2006 unemployment rate was 4.6%, as compared to 5.5% in April 2005.
Key Economic Sectors

• Government
• Health Care & Social Assistance
• Leisure & Hospitality
• Manufacturing
• Professional & Business Services
• Retail Trade

State Career Resource Activities

Highlighted Activities

• Navigation, a comprehensive guidance program, has been or is being implemented in high schools and middle schools within 33 districts. Early adopters have developed a comprehensive curriculum that has been instrumental in helping a school replicate the step-by-step, monthly lesson plans and tools that make Navigation a success. As the curriculum matures, continuous improvement includes refining the tools, based on user feedback. Navigation’s success is demonstrated by a high degree of parental involvement, increased academic attainment, and increased demand for higher level academic course offerings.

• The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges is an active ACRN partner and has co-location sites with the State Department of Employment Security to provide materials and information for postsecondary students.
Primary Activities and Trainings

Washington has conducted the following activities and trainings:
• Applying Workforce Explorer
• Career Clusters
• Career Information Delivery Systems
• Career Pathways
• Career Videos
• Hot Jobs
• Improved Career Decision-Making in a Changing World
• Pilot Schools
• Using Labor Market Information
• Student Portal
• Workforce Explorer
Career Information Delivery Systems (CIDS)

CIDS are computer-based systems providing local, state, and national information about careers and employment opportunities. State sites for CIDS include:

Elementary Schools3
Middle Schools 86
High Schools 291
Community Colleges 47
4-Year Colleges/Universities 6
Other 350

Primary Resources

Washington has published the following resources:
• Career Tabloids
• Career Development Portfolios
• Entry Points
• Facilitating Career Development
• Jobs for the Sidewalk Economist
• State Occupational Outlook Handbook
• Workforce Explorer Website

Program Funding and Partnerships

Other Funding Sources

The program does not report any additional funding sources.
Significant Program Partnerships

• State Department of Employment Security
• Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
• State Board for Community and Technical College Education
• Washington Occupational Information System

Resource Allocation

Contact Information

State Contact

Contact Person
Walt Wong
Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board
P.O. Box 43105
128 10th Avenue, SW
Olympia, WA 98504-3105
Phone: (360) 753-5676
Fax: (360) 586-5862
Web Site:
State Administrative Location

Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board

Regional Contact Information