SkillSource has formed a consortium of partners, including the Department of Social and Health Services, OIC of Washington and Big Bend Community College, to provide cohort training to the communities of Mattawa, Othello and Royal City. Residents of these communities often travel up to 60 miles to access services or training opportunities. The Economic Security for All (EcSA) project delivers high-quality training in transportation and manufacturing to these career seekers. Students will receive both classroom and driving instruction in Mattawa. In addition, a one-quarter pre-manufacturing certificate training will be offered in Othello.
Many of those entering training will be transitioning into a very different sort of work environment. Those accustomed to working in agriculture are unaccustomed to the sights, smells and other environmental factors that the average manufacturing facility experiences daily. Those who are housing insecure also may have had a period of prolonged unemployment. Given this, EcSA North Central will offer the opportunity for participants to complete up to 100-hour work experiences, allowing them to see what a typical job in a manufacturing location offers. Those who complete the work experience successfully will be provided the opportunity to attend a three-month pre-manufacturing course, earn a certificate and, when done, may transition into either a two-year college degree in manufacturing occupations or into an on-the-job training opportunity. Several manufacturing companies have committed to a guaranteed interview for graduates following the attainment of the pre-manufacturing certificate; all positions offer average wages at or above $44,000 per year.