A Closer Look: The Generation Work Partnership in Seattle

Posted May 6, 2019, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Young people receiving on-the-job training

As part of its Gen­er­a­tion Work™ ini­tia­tive, the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion is invest­ing in five part­ner­ships — in Cleve­land, Hart­ford, Indi­anapo­lis, Philadel­phia and Seat­tle — to explore new ways of help­ing young peo­ple gain the knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence need­ed to secure jobs that pay fam­i­ly-sus­tain­ing wages.

The post below is part of a series exam­in­ing the unique chal­lenges and oppor­tu­ni­ties at each site. The series aims to explore how each part­ner­ship is work­ing to posi­tion young peo­ple — espe­cial­ly youth and young adults of col­or and those from low-income com­mu­ni­ties — for work­place success.

This entry focus­es on Casey’s part­ner­ship in Seat­tle, which seeks to expand job oppor­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple from low-income and immi­grant communities.

The Chal­lenges in Seattle

Seattle’s grow­ing employ­ment sec­tors — areas like trav­el and trade, advanced man­u­fac­tur­ing, aero­space, com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­o­gy and online com­merce — need qual­i­fied work­ers. But edu­ca­tion­al and lin­guis­tic bar­ri­ers pre­vent many res­i­dents from join­ing these indus­tries and gain­ing the skills and cre­den­tials need­ed to secure long-term careers and fam­i­ly-sus­tain­ing wages. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly true for young adults of col­or and those in the region’s grow­ing immi­grant community.

The Partnership’s Approach

The Gen­er­a­tion Work part­ner­ship in Seat­tle looks to devel­op ser­vices that help young adults of col­or — espe­cial­ly those from low-income com­mu­ni­ties and immi­grant fam­i­lies — pre­pare for and access sta­ble careers.

In its first year, the part­ner­ship sup­port­ed Air­port Jobs, a non­prof­it that pre­pares indi­vid­u­als for careers at the Seat­tle-Taco­ma Inter­na­tion­al Air­port. The part­ner­ship expand­ed the program’s efforts to serve younger job seek­ers — many of whom haven’t grad­u­at­ed high school or enrolled in col­lege. As a result, Air­port Jobs now offers more tar­get­ed sup­port, includ­ing high-school com­ple­tion and col­lege-nav­i­ga­tion ser­vices, indi­vid­u­al­ized coach­ing and career counseling.

The part­ners plan to launch sim­i­lar ini­tia­tives in oth­er loca­tions but with dif­fer­ent work­force-devel­op­ment orga­ni­za­tions and employ­ers so that they can aid a diverse range of young people.

Key Part­ners

  • Port Jobs sup­ports career path­ways in avi­a­tion, hos­pi­tal­i­ty, trans­porta­tion, dis­tri­b­u­tion and logis­tics. It serves as the partnership’s pri­ma­ry con­ven­er, oper­at­ing out of the Port of Seat­tle/Seat­tle-Taco­ma Inter­na­tion­al Airport.
  • South Seat­tle College’s George­town Cam­pus offers appren­tice­ships and pro­gram­ming for careers in the man­u­fac­tur­ing industry.
  • Aero­space Joint Appren­tice­ship Com­mit­tee pro­vides appren­tice­ships for the aero­space and advanced man­u­fac­tur­ing industries.
  • Appren­tice­ship & Non­tra­di­tion­al Employ­ment for Women gives pre-appren­tice­ship train­ing and sup­port for indi­vid­u­als pur­su­ing skilled con­struc­tion trades.
  • Work­force Devel­op­ment Coun­cil of Seat­tle – King Coun­ty serves as the local work­force invest­ment board and fun­ders’ collaborative.
  • King County’s Edu­ca­tion and Employ­ment Resources leads youth-led out­reach and recruit­ment to edu­ca­tion and employ­ment programs.
  • Seat­tle Edu­ca­tion Access helps young adults nav­i­gate col­lege and access post­sec­ondary training.
  • Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter for Edu­ca­tion Results acts as the back­bone orga­ni­za­tion for the Road Map Project — a cra­dle-to-career col­lec­tive impact ini­tia­tive — and serves as the local lead for the Aspen Institute’s Oppor­tu­ni­ty Youth Incen­tive Fund.
  • Puget Sound Edu­ca­tion­al Ser­vice Dis­trict over­sees 35 school dis­tricts in Wash­ing­ton and sup­ports high school reen­gage­ment and com­ple­tion efforts.
  • Office of Super­in­ten­dent of Pub­lic Instruc­tion man­ages Wash­ing­ton’s K‑12 sys­tem, includ­ing Open Doors Youth Reen­gage­ment, which serves stu­dents between the ages of 16 and 21.
  • Wash­ing­ton State Board for Com­mu­ni­ty and Tech­ni­cal Col­leges runs Wash­ing­ton State’s sys­tem of 34 pub­lic com­mu­ni­ty and tech­ni­cal colleges.

Mea­sur­ing Success

Suc­cess, for the part­ners in Seat­tle, is about help­ing young adults of col­or and those from low-income, immi­grant and refugee fam­i­lies gain the skills nec­es­sary to suc­ceed in the work­place and obtain well-pay­ing careers in grow­ing industries.

Read more about Gen­er­a­tion Work in Seattle

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