January 23 – 25, 2024, Olympia, WA – SkillSource executive team members and over 35 partners from the Washington Workforce Association attended the 2024 Legislative Day and Hill Climb in Olympia to generate awareness about the success of and ongoing need for EcSA (Economic Security for All).

Five people in business wear stand in front of a Hearing Room at the Washington State Capitol.
WWA Executive Director John Traugott, South Central Workforce CEO Amy Martinez, SkillSource CEO Lisa Romine, SkillSource Managing Director Susan Adams, and SkillSource participant Domenico Tedeschi.

EcSA has provided critical support that has enabled people struggling with poverty to continue their education toward a career path that allows them to achieve self-sufficiency. SkillSource participant, Domenico Tedeschi, received EcSA support in order to help cover tuition and life expenses so he could earn his nursing degree. He was awarded the Wenatchee Valley College President’s Medal and is now an ICU RN at Confluence Health.

Domenico traveled to Olympia as a guest of SkillSource and shared his story with members of the legislature. He was invited to personally meet Senator Judy Warnick, who applauded Domenico’s dedication and hard work, and presented him with a copy of the Washington State and U.S. Constitution.

Domenico gets invited in to meet Senator Judy Warnick.
Domenico smiles with his copy of the WA State and U.S. Constitution, given to him by Senator Warnick.

SkillSource CEO Lisa Romine, Managing Director Susan Adams, and Communications Specialist Kelli Martinelli, participated in small group discussions with legislators on priority issues from housing, to childcare, to transportation. Lisa and Domenico shared in a House Hearing led by Representative Tana Senn about the positive impact that EcSA has had on participants, their families, and communities, notably Domenico’s personal story of having fled Venezuela to seek a better life in the United States.

After a full day of discussions, hearings, and meetings, participants in the Hill Climb were invited to an evening reception, where we had the pleasure of meeting Representative Keith Goehner and his wife, Lisa. Representative Goehner was so impressed with Domenico that he invited him to share his story the next morning at the Republican caucus, which was received with a standing applause by members of the caucus.

Domenico and Representative Goehner at the State Capitol before sharing with the caucus.

Domenico’s success is in large part due to his own tenacity and will, but success was also contingent on being able to complete his education, which could not have been possible without the support available through the Economic Security for All initiative and other workforce programs. Thanks to workforce initiatives like EcSA, other people facing obstacles of poverty, language, or skills gaps can receive career guidance, training, and the support needed to put or keep them on educational and career paths that lift them out of poverty, contributing to a stronger workforce and to improved lives.