FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SkillSource Awarded $1.3 Million in Community Reinvestment Funds by the Department of Commerce to Support BIPOC Owned Businesses and Career Seekers

Wenatchee, WA – November 29, 2023 – SkillSource is honored to have been awarded approximately $1.3 million in Community Reinvestment Funds through the Department of Commerce. These critical funds will enhance equity and inclusion efforts in North Central Washington, bolstering workforce development initiatives for BIPOC-owned and operated businesses, and supporting career seekers who are working toward self-sufficiency through education and training programs. 

“I am delighted that the Department of Commerce has committed funds to support local businesses and residents. This funding will ensure people have the resources to build stronger pathways to meaningful careers, which goes a long way in helping businesses and career seekers prosper in 2024.” – Lisa Romine, Chief Executive Officer, SkillSource

Community Reinvestment Funds Allocation

SkillSource has identified two new funding streams to local workforce boards for the allocation and distribution of Community Reinvestment Funds:

1. Workforce Accelerator – Funding for business navigator services to help Black, Indigenous, and Hispanic owned or operated businesses identify and access existing state systems that can help their company succeed. This may include customized workforce training programs, community college and other career connected programs to refine their approach to hiring entry level workers, develop upskill/backfill strategies and work experience, on-the-job training, and unsubsidized placement opportunities.

2. Career Seeker Training Incentives – Incentive payments to help low-income individuals stay on a career pathway leading to a living wage career, with a focus on BIPOC communities and equity. Career Seekers enrolled, attending and making progress in occupational skills training may receive monthly incentive payments while in training. 

Increasing Equity and Access

SkillSource supports business by connecting them to well-trained candidates, offering personnel services and providing additional training for current workers. We partner with schools and businesses to make sure education and training delivers the skills employers want. SkillSource graduates go on to earn high school diplomas or equivalency, hone computer skills, graduate from vocational/technical school, or gain experience and skills training on-the-job. With the award of Community Reinvestment Funds, SkillSource can better address the access barriers BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) individuals face on their education and career path. This funding from the Department of Commerce significantly helps SkillSource on our mission to build a more equitable workforce, and have a positive impact on peoples’ lives through education and career opportunities in North Central Washington.

See the full press release here.