The Opportunity Express Act of 2010 brings together programs and resources to help unemployed and low-income citizens to pursue college, job training, and apprenticeship in certain high-growth industries.
You can access a number of job training programs, including programs for adults, youth, laid-off and dislocated workers, apprenticeship programs, ex-offenders, Washington Service Corps, WorkFirst, and programs for persons with disabilities.
Explore the many education and training programs in Washington State or find an apprenticeship program.
The Worker Retraining Program can help you get the skills and training you need. The program is a partnership between community and technical colleges and the Employment Security Department to provide job training to eligible members of Washington’s workforce.
Commissioner-approved training (CAT) allows you to collect your regular unemployment-insurance (UI) benefits while attending an approved full-time training program. If approved for commissioner-approved training, you do not have to look for work. CAT does not pay for books, tuition or school related fees. It does not extend your benefits.
Training Benefits Program
The Training Benefits program offers additional weeks of unemployment benefits so those eligible can train for a career in a high-demand field. If approved, you don’t have to look for work as long as you are enrolled and making satisfactory progress in your training program.
Watch a video introduction to the Training Benefits Program, including application deadlines and eligibility requirements.
Resources for Employers
Job Skills Program
Washington's Job Skills Program is training customized to meet employers' specific needs. Training is delivered to new or current employees at the work site or in a classroom.
Customized Training Program
The Washington Customized Training Program was created by the State Legislature to provide training assistance to businesses that provide employment opportunities in Washington.
Opportunity Internships for High School Students
The OpportunityExpress.aspx Internship Program pairs high school students with internships at local companies in high-demand fields, and lets them earn a scholarship for college or apprenticeship.
Currently, Opportunity Internships are available through these Workforce Development Councils:
- Eastern Washington Partnership Workforce Development Council serving Ferry, Pend Oreille, Garfield, Stevens, Lincoln Whitman, Columbia, Walla Walla and Asotin Counties<
- Northwest Workforce Development Council serving Whatcom, Skagit San Juan and Island Counties
- Seattle-King County Workforce Development Council serving King County
- Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council serving Wahkiakum, Cowlitz and Clark Counties
- Spokane Area Workforce Development Council serving Spokane County
- Tacoma Pierce County Workforce Development Council serving Pierce County
- Olympic Workforce Development Council serving Jefferson, Clallam, and Kitsap Counties
- Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council serving Grays Harbor, Mason, Thurston, Pacific and Lewis Counties