Murray Announces $380K to Train Washington State Students for 21st Century Careers

Jul 01 2009

Boost to In-Demand Scholars Program will support on-the-job training for 70 high school students

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that $383,187 has been released for the In-Demand Scholars program at the Washington Workforce Association (WWA) to train high school students in high-skill fields like health care, aerospace manufacturing, and information technology. Senator Murray worked to create the In-Demand Scholars Program in 2004 to encourage high school students to train for skilled careers in local targeted industries, and fought to include this new funding for the WWA in last year’s Senate spending bill.

“This funding will help Washington state students get the training they need to compete in the 21st century,” said Senator Patty Murray. “We desperately need to create new, good-paying jobs in promising fields to help our economy recover from this crisis.  But to make those efforts work, we must also have a workforce ready to fill those jobs.”

“This funding could not come at a better time, and will be put to good use giving high school students hands-on training in health care, aerospace manufacturing, and information technology,” said Lisa Nisenfeld, President of WWA  and Executive Director of Southwest WA Workforce Development Council. “We appreciate Senator Murray’s leadership on this issue and are excited to begin putting these funds to work.”

Senator Murray worked to create this innovative program back in 2004 to create an effective way to partner business, education, labor and workforce agencies to reach kids for non-traditional, high demand careers, and has consistently worked to secure additional funding for the program.

The WWA will use these new funds to provide job experience opportunities for 70 high school students in healthcare, aerospace manufacturing, and information technology. At the end of the grant 85% of the participants will either be placed in unsubsidized employment or will be enrolled in an advanced education training program for further preparation for a 21st century career. WWA will work in partnership with the local workforce area, local employers, and key community partners to offer a wide range of services needed by this population.

Senator Murray is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, as well as Chairman of the Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee and a recognized leader on worker training. She recently introduced the Retooling America’s Workers for a Green Economy Act, and this week announced that over $500 million would be available for green job training through the Recovery Act.