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Posts tagged: Spokane Area Workforce Development Council

City and county transfer WorkForce Council to Spokane CCS

UPDATED:  At 1 p.m., we learned that the city and county don't provide money to the Workforce Development Council. Which means this was a politically necessary system that involved some overview by city and county officials, but without any skin in the game.

City Communications Manager Marlene Feist said: “For the first time, SAWDC did get a County grant this year—an outside agency grant for $20,000.

“The SAWDC funding primarily comes from federal and state grants,” Feist noted.

The Spokane Area Workforce Development Council, a joint effort between the City of Spokane and Spokane County, will be relocated as an operation of Community Colleges of Spokane.

The transferl is part of efforts top align workforce services more efficiently and to let Workforce work more closely with the community colleges. 

The SAWDC will continue as a nonprofit agency. Its goals are: closing the skills gap, helping workers gain new skills, helping workers and companies improve productivity and reduce poverty in the region.

A press release said the new plan should make it easier for the agency to find money  from a more sources and streamline management.

An interlocal agreement between the city and county allowed the SAWDC to operate as a city department for nearly four decades.

The release said:  “But as the city and county have looked for ways to improve services for citizens, moving the SAWDC to a non-profit made sense.  Workforce development agencies across the state and nation have thrived using a similar approach.

“This change reflects another model of collaboration between the city and county,” says Mayor David Condon.  “At the city, we are making changes to focus our efforts on what we do best and allow others to operate services that are outside our area of expertise.”

Area companies encouraged to look for ways to hire young workers

Mayor Mary Verner and the Spokane Area Workforce Development Council have declared June to be “Hire a Youth” Month.  The proponents hope it only takes a mere month to inspire many employers to open their doors and bring young people into the workforce.

Two years ago, many area teens could get summer, entry-level jobs without superhuman effort. That’s changed and has made getting hire more difficult, since many of those entry-level jobs are going to skilled workers displaced by layoffs, said Heidi Peterson, youth services manager for NextGenerationZone, a cooperative nonprofit coalition focused on helping young people find good jobs in the area.

Employers and human resource directors are being asked to discover a creative way to hire young workers, said Nancy Nelson, president of Spokane-based staffing firm Humanix, and chair of the Youth Council of the Spokane Area Workforce Development Council.

Nelson said the unemployment rate nationally for 16-to-19 year-olds is 24 percent.

She said area businesses can help by creating paid or unpaid internships, light-entry level jobs, job-shadows and even short-term jobs that teens can fill.

Spokane firms looking for information on how to hire teens can use the website at


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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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John Stucke John Stucke is a deputy city editor who helps build local news coverage and writes about health care, bankruptcy and rural affairs.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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