News Releases

Senator Murray Provides $200,000 to Southwest Washington Workforce Program

Jun 21 2007

MAP Program works with local businesses to stress the importance of math, science and technology in the jobs of the future

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included $200,000 for the Vancouver, WA based Mentoring Advanced Placement (MAP) program. The MAP program helps to build a competitive workforce in Southwest Washington by teaming local students with mentors in local businesses that show them the real word applications of their studies. Senator Murray included the funding in the Labor, Health, Human Services and Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill – the annual spending bill that funds labor priorities. Senator Murray is a senior member of the LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee. 

"When I travel across Washington state, business leaders tell me that there is a critical shortage of workers with the math, science, and technology skills needed to lead their companies into the future," said Senator Murray. "Here in Southwest Washington, the MAP program is helping bring generations together to give students a firsthand look at how math and science skills play a critical role in today's working world. I am so pleased to support this collaborative approach to producing a workforce that is ready to face the challenges of the global economy."

The $200,000 that Senator Murray included for the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council will go toward expanding the MAP program. The MAP program builds working partnerships between local business leaders and educators to help challenge high school students to succeed in more rigorous academic subjects. The program focuses on producing more skilled science and technology students who will be able to lead and innovate in the global economy. 

“This funding will enable us to expand the MAP program in our region, significantly increasing the number of teachers and students who will be working with industry mentors," said Lisa Nisenfeld, Executive Director Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council. "Our Council seeks to connect our region’s key industry sectors with schools and MAP is a key part of that strategy.”

“Senator Murray’s support has been vital in the expansion of the Mentoring AP program." said Scott Keeney, CEO, nLight Photonics, MAP board chair "Her leadership has brought attention and resources to increasing educational rigor, relevance and innovation.”

MAP matches mentors from the business community with Southwest Washington Advanced Placement (AP) teachers and students in one of 20 Advanced Placement subject areas with an emphasis on math, science, and writing and composition. Working with small groups of students, the mentors meet with the students to assist them with coursework, share real life applications of the subject matter, and help steer students toward additional education, training, and career opportunities related to the subject matter. At the end of the year, students compete for college scholarships and internships offered by participating businesses. In 2007-2008 the project will serve approximately 150 students and 35 teachers. Participating partners include mentoring AP board of directors, nLight Photonics, Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council, Educational Service District 112, eight school districts, and 10-20 companies.