Washington Receives Grant For One-Stop Career Centers

OLYMPIA -- Washington will receive between $2.5 and $5 million a year for up to three years from the U.S. Department of Labor to launch One-Stop Career Centers to provide easy access to employment, education and training services for the state's workers and employers, Gov. Mike Lowry said today.

The governor and Congressman Norm Dicks were notified yesterday that Washington was included in the latest group of 17 states that will share up to $57 million.

Announcing the grants yesterday, Labor Secretary Robert Reich said, "This administration is committed to building one-stop systems throughout the country. One-Stop offers easy access to the services Americans need to find jobs, explore careers and upgrade their skills through education and training."

One-Stop Centers offer employment services, including access to education and training, through a single delivery system. These include labor exchange functions, Job Training Partnership Act programs, services for veterans, assistance in moving from welfare to work, unemployment insurance, vocational rehabilitation and adult education.

"We are thrilled to be among the leading states to implement this initiative," said Lowry. "The work we have already done to prepare for On-Stop Career Centers was the key to our getting this grant."

The application was developed through a statewide management team including: business, labor, Employment Security, Community Colleges, the Departments of Social and Health Services and Labor and Industries, and the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board.

"Our One-Stop Management Team cut across the public and private sector lines to become a catalyst to improve services and create partnerships in the communities," Lowry added. "We are eliminating duplication and at the same time making services more accessible to our business and labor customers."

In the past two years, the Department of Labor has awarded one-stop supplemental grants to 16 states where more than 125 One-Stop Career Centers are operating.

Washington will receive the funds in July 1997. The new grants bring the number of One-Stop implementation states to 33.

# # #

For more information, contact John Welsh, Employment Security Department, at 360-902-9316.