The Spokane Area Workforce Development Council is a business-led board that works to identify and fill gaps in our local workforce. We bring together businesses, government, labor, education, economic development, and community-based organizations to create a vibrant economy by preparing a skilled workforce to meet regional business needs.
We have a budget of approximately $6 million per year, and we actively seek out additional grant funding for our region. We operate a service delivery system that consists of two career centers and 17 affiliated sites across Spokane County.
Our one-stop employment center, WorkSource Spokane, typically serves 65,000 visitors each year.
We provide funding and oversight for the only youth career and employment center in the Spokane Area, the Next Generation Zone, which serves approximately 3,500 visitors each year.
We offer exceptional services to area businesses, including recruiting assistance, job postings, WorkKeys testing, employee training assistance, labor market information, and more.
We assist in hosting three community-wide career fairs each year: the KHQ Job Fair, our largest job event; the Next Gen Job Fair, targeted for young job seekers; and the Access Spokane Job Fair, designed to help businesses connect with workers wtih disabilities.
We have a unique partnership with the Community Colleges of Spokane, allowing us to inform worker training and other curriculum decisions to help ensure students are on track to graduate with the credentials needed for in-demand careers.
Awards and Recognition:
Machelle Johnson, SAWDC Board Memeber and Youth Employment and Career Readiness Network Chair, was the recipient of the 2016 Champion of Youth Award from the Chase Youth Commission.
The Next Generation Zone was the recipient of the 2015 Champion of Youth Award from the Chase Youth Commission.
The SAWDC has been awarded two Governor's Best Practice Awards: One for Work Ready Spokane, an initiative to measure the strengths of our region's workforce and match those strengths with the needs of employers; and the other for Pizza, Pop & Power Tools, an event that introduced middle school girls to career opportunities in the construction trades.
The SAWDC was nominated for the 2016 National Association of Workforce Boards Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Trailblazer Award.
In June of 2015, staff members Dawn Karber and Jessica Clayton co-presented Enough is Known for Action: Making the Shift - Successfully Leveraging In-School Youth and Out-of-School Youth Resources and Services on a national webinar hosted by the Employment and Training Administration.
Jessica Clayton highlighted the Next Generation Zone at the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals 2016 Youth Development Symposium with the presentation Beyond Performance: One Program's Design Transformation Captures More than Numbers.
To learn more about recent activity and publications in which we have been highlighted, visit our news page.