State Leadership, Dollars Bring Local Benefits

Career Connect Washington (CCW) is a statewide effort to see more Washington students enter and complete post-secondary career education and training--whether it's through college programs, apprenticeships or specialized certifications--that can lead to rewarding careers in the state's high-growth occupations.

Through the efforts of The STEM Foundation and its many partners, our region's students have benefited from opportunities afforded by the CCW initiative since we were first selected to lead the CCW regional network for Southeast Washington in 2019. Nearly $2.2 million in CCW funds have been invested in our region in the last years alone. The funds have been used to create or enhance career-focused programs in agriculture management and production, nuclear technology, viticulture, commercial transportation, cybersecurity, financial services and education.

One example is the recent announcement of the Teaching Bridge program by the Kennewick School District. It highlights a partnership with WSU Tri-Cities that will enable students to pursue teaching degrees while concurrently working as substitute paraeducators for the district.

Collaborative efforts such as this and others you can read about in this issue of our newsletter are making a positive difference in the lives of our students and in our community's future.

Thank you for your continued interest in and support of The STEM Foundation.

Matt Hammer, Board President
Deb Bowen, Executive Director
Good Jobs Challenge Grant is Open
The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) is making a once-in-a-generation investment in industry-sector partnerships nationwide. With a focus on equity, the Good Jobs Challenge (GJC) is scaling industry-driven programs that expand career opportunities for more Americans to reach their full potential and secure good paying jobs while producing the skilled workforce that industry needs to innovate, compete, and succeed in the global economy.

The Washington Jobs Initiative (WJI) will leverage the Career Connect Washington (CCW) system to train 5,000 Washingtonians and ensure that at least 3,000 are placed in good jobs by 2025. The WJI targets the ten high-demand and high-growth industry sectors represented by CCW Sector Leaders, whose sector strategies are published on the CCW Sector Leader webpage. This one-time federal grant provides unique opportunities for CCW partners. Allowable activities include the provision of direct services to participants. Such services include the provision of wrap-around supports such as child-care, transportation, and other necessary assistance.

Technical Assistance Webinars are scheduled and Zoom links available here.
Key dates for this grant:

June 30, 2023 by 11:59 PM PDT: Letters of Intent to Bid due
July 31, 2023 by 11:59 PM PDT: Sector Partnership Proposals due
September 1, 2023: Estimated Award Announcements
Congratulations to Round 10 Program Builder Awardees
These organizations have been funded by Career Connect Washington Program Builders grants to develop or expand career connected learning programs serving young people. Congratulations to all awardees!

  • We Train Washington – New Registered Apprenticeship in retail seafood (King, Snohomish)
  • Tacoma School District – Enhanced Career Launch in healthcare (Pierce)
  • Sawhorse Revolution – Expanded Career Prep in marine construction (King)
  •  College Success Foundation – New Career Prep in multiple industries (Pierce, King)
  • Washington Alliance for Better Schools – New Career Explore in healthcare, construction, and engineering (King)
  • CodeDay (Student Research and Development) – Enhanced Career Explore in information technology (King)
  •  Highline School District 401 – New Career Explore in multiple industries (King)
  • East Valley School District – Expanded Career Prep in advanced manufacturing (Spokane, Pend Oreille, Stevens)
  • Friends of KSPS – Expanded Career Prep in media production (Stevens, Whitman)
  • Washington State University – Expanded Career Prep in health science (Stevens)
  • Trout Lake School District – New Career Prep in computer science, education, manufacturing, and natural resources (Klickitat, Skamania)
  • Mukilteo School District – Expanded Career Prep in aerospace, advanced manufacturing, health sciences, information technology, and human services (Snohomish)
  • Educational Service District 123 – New Career Prep in commercial transportation (Franklin)
  • Gener8tor Management LLC – New Career Prep in administration (Chelan, Douglas)
  • Jefferson Co Public Hospital District – New Career Explore in healthcare (Jefferson)
  • Friends of KSPS – Expanded Career Explore in multiple industries (Spokane, Stevens, Whitman)
  • Washington State Arts Commission – Expanded Career Explore in creative arts (Okanogan)
  • Sustainable Connections – New Career Explore in agriculture (Whatcom)
  • Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce – New Career Explore in advanced manufacturing (Spokane)
  • Boys & Girls Club of Skagit County – Expanded Career Explore in advanced manufacturing, energy, and healthcare (Skagit)

Is your organization interested in building or expanding career connected learning programs for young people, especially students furthest from opportunity?

To learn more about Program Builder grants, best practices, and technical assistance to apply, email Jim Kindle, Regional Career Connected Learning Coordinator.
Program Builder Spotlight: Educational Service District 123
"High School to the Highway" is the motto for an ESD 123 program that recently received Career Connect Washington funding to build up and expand a CDL Preparatory class currently running in Connell High School in the North Franklin School District (NFSD).

Like the rest of the Nation, Benton and Franklin counties continue to see an ever-growing demand for highly-trained, Class-A CDL truck drivers. As part of North Franklin School District's mission to provide all students access to lifelong education, training, and future employment opportunities, the CDL prep class at Connell High School is designed as a pipeline for well-trained, safety-minded future workforce talent for a high-wage/high-demand career.

The CCW grant funding will be utilized to build up the CDL Prep class, improve the quality, and then create a pathway with post-secondary education and community-based organizations to create a replicable model that can be brought into Kiona-Benton City and Columbia School Districts.

Pictured left: Levi Danz, the first Connell High School student in the class to pass his test and get his Class-A CDL license.

"It is with the support and engagement of business, industry, and the local community, that has afforded Connell High School the opportunity to create this high-quality, relevant, and high tech program," said Keeley Gant, CTE Director for Educational Service District 123
Career Connected Learning
and Data Resources
Talent makers, not talent takers: How employers and educators must reimagine their investment in talent: Bain & Company's most recent executive report on career-connected learning.

CCW Career Directory: A statewide tool that connects young people to Career Explore, Career Prep, and Career Launch programs available in their communities. Also provides direct links to community-based support services to help remove barriers to participation in career-connected learning.

Building Trades Apprenticeship: A resource for students, parents, educators and others interested in learning about career connected learning and apprenticeships in the building trades.

CareerExploreNW: A community tool designed to guide people toward a job or career as well as help the region's employers create a talent pipeline. Watch interviews with professionals who are currently working in an industry or take a virtual tour inside local companies.

Washington Workforce Portal: A free, searchable database of available internships and work-based learning opportunities in Washington. Students can create a free account, upload their resume, and immediately start searching and applying! Employers can post internships, apprenticeships, job shadowing and mentorship opportunities. To learn more, contact Brooke Myrland, Workforce & Education Manager, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Washington Career Bridge: The popular, public-facing career and education portal created and managed by the Workforce Board also features new videos on hundreds of careers, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor. Take the career quiz. Then catch a video and see if a new career might be right for you!

STEM by the Numbers: Washington STEM's report series offers both statewide and region-by-region analyses of the need for STEM talent and opportunities. The data helps create a through-line from classroom to career for Washington students.
To learn more about Career Connect Washington, Program Builders, and Sector Leaders,
click here.
To receive Career Connect Washington email news announcements and updates, click here.
STEM Like ME!SM Design Regional Competition Award Winners from Ki-Be Middle School!
Local students participated in a regional STEM Like ME!SM design competition and were challenged to identify a problem that they wanted to solve. They used the engineering design process to develop their solution. The top winners were from Kiona-Benton City Middle School in Benton City, WA. The top three winners are shown below with their STEM Like ME!SM mentor, Drew Thomas, Hanford Mission Integration Solutions (HMIS).
Wyatt C.
First Place
Marco C.
Second Place
Vianey Z.
Third Place
STEM Like ME!SM classroom programs that inspire and engage middle and high school students continue to grow regionally and across the state.These types of events are only possible with strong industry support and the investment of time and commitment to our future workforce.

Volunteers are needed! If you think STEM Like ME!SM might be a good fit for you, your company, or someone you know, please contact Heather Tibbett, Senior Program Manager, The STEM Foundation.
Check out STEM Like ME!SM in the classroom!
Summer STEM Learning Opportunities
LIGO Exploration Center (LExC): Visitors can now explore many interactive and static exhibits housed in the new LExC. The historic Weber Bar, one of the earliest devices designed to detect gravitational waves, and a full-scale engineering model of LIGO's quad suspension are on display, along with many more exciting exhibits. Drop-in hours at the LExC are Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m to 4:00 p.m. The LIGO Observatory is also open to host tours the second Saturday of every month. Registration is required for tours and space is limited. Tours and drop-in visits are FREE of charge. Please visit their website for more details.

B Reactor Tours: The U.S. Department of Energy offers free public tours of the B Reactor to people of all ages and nationalities. The B Reactor National Historic Landmark is the world's first full-scale plutonium production reactor and part of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park administered by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Park Service. To sign up for a tour and learn more about the people, events, science, and engineering that led to the creation of the atomic bombs that helped bring an end to World War II, visit their website.
REACH Museum: Summer STEAM series takes place 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month. Programs are FREE with general admission or a REACH membership. To see more about this series and other summer learning opportunities at the REACH, please visit their website.

CPCCo Planetarium: Located on the CBC campus, the CPCCo Planetarium offers hour-long shows that consist of a live presentation and a fulldome movie. Presentation topics include solar system or constellation tours, current night sky, and astronomy in the news. Tickets for all planetarium public shows must be reserved online prior to each event. Shows run the first and third Friday at 7:00 p.m. and on the second Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Please visit their website to see the summer schedule of shows and to purchase tickets.
The STEM Foundation
Dana Munn, Newsletter Editor
P.O. Box 1617
Richland, WA 99352
Phone: 509.420.9316