Spokane, Wash. – The Spokane Area Workforce Development Council (SAWDC) will become a stand-alone nonprofit organization, separating from its 38-year relationship with the City of Spokane, and it will establish a new partnership with Community Colleges of Spokane (CCS) to streamline management and increase efficiency.
The SAWDC board, City of Spokane administration, the Board of Spokane County Commissioners and CCS support the move for a number of reasons:
As a nonprofit, the SAWDC will have the opportunity to attract funding from a more diverse array of sources in addition to federal and other grant monies it receives.
The City is working to streamline its administrative structure and focus on the delivery of core services that benefit its businesses and citizens.
The SAWDC provides services to the entire county.
The SAWDC and CCS already have a well-established partnership. They routinely collaborate to develop additional capacity and provide access to education and training for the region.
The move is not unprecedented, said SAWDC Executive Director Mark Mattke. Of the 12 workforce development councils in Washington, nine are already nonprofit organizations. Additionally, the majority of workforce boards in the nation operate as nonprofit organizations.
"This transition will allow us to become more flexible, efficient and entrepreneurial," said Mattke. "We look forward to finding new ways to bring resources to our region to strengthen our workforce and ultimately our business community."
"The economic times demand all sectors of government work closely together to reduce costs, improve service and expand reach. This re-alignment preserves SAWDC's distinctive role in meeting employer needs, while at the same time connecting CCS, a regional training and education provider, to employers who are seeking the skills CCS students are learning in a wide variety of career and technical programs. Spokane and the entire region win," said Christine Johnson, CCS Chancellor.
As a shared executive director for the SAWDC and CCS’ Workforce and Continuing Education division, Mattke will coordinate and leverage the strengths of each organization to focus on targeted industry sectors and delivery of customized training, said Johnson. The SAWDC offices will be re-located to the Spokane Community College campus this summer.
“We are excited to enter into a new collaborative effort with CCS,” said Brian Read, chairman of the SAWDC board of directors and executive vice president at Sterling Bank. “We look forward to working together to align our strategic planning and improve services to our community.”
“Workforce development is critical to the success of our region’s economy,” said Mayor David Condon. “The City of Spokane will help with the transition and ensure the SAWDC continues to carry out its mission to respond to the needs of business and improve the skills of our workforce.”
In addition, the SAWDC will work closely with the Spokane County Board of Commissioners to enhance its service delivery footprint throughout the county.
The Spokane Area Workforce Development Council leads a demand-driven workforce system in Spokane County. We make strategic public and private investments to ensure a skilled local workforce that meets the needs of our employers and creates a vibrant economy for the entire region.