Puget Sound regional partners receive workforce development grant from Federal Transit Administration

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$476,776 Ladders of Opportunity grant will provide career training and job opportunities in construction trades

A consortium of eight Puget Sound organizations announced today the award of a $476,776 grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Innovative Public Transportation Workforce Development program to provide construction trades career training and job opportunities to underserved communities. 

“I am thrilled to see the region receive this Ladders of Opportunity grant, as it will strengthen our skilled construction and transit workforce,” said U.S. Sen. Patty Murray. “I’m proud to support investments that will help build a strong regional infrastructure while encouraging those in underserved communities to build on their skills and pursue a fulfilling career.”

“This training model will give individuals from underrepresented communities the necessary skills to find gainful employment in the construction trades industry,” said U.S. Rep. Adam Smith. “The model will also help assure that we have a workforce specifically trained to build local transit infrastructure in a growing region and a vibrant and inclusive regional economy.”

“The jobs are there – whether it’s building new light rail lines and transit centers or improving access to our stations,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine. “With this grant, we can better connect people from underserved communities to living-wage jobs.”

Known as the “Ladders of Opportunity Initiative,” the grant brings together public and nonprofit organizations in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties to develop comprehensive career training and employment in the construction trades. Workforce Snohomish, Sound Transit, City of Tacoma, Apprenticeship & Non-Traditional Employment for Women, Bates Technical College, Seattle Vocational Institute Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program, Tulalip Tribal Employment Rights Office Construction Training Center, and The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle.

The consortium will target women, people of color, and native tribes to improve their access to apprenticeships, social services and job placement programs. The project includes outreach to underserved populations, pre-apprenticeship training, support services during the program, and job placement. Each partner will perform aspects of their work based on their expertise. Workforce Snohomish will administer the grant.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Sound Transit, the college system and other apprenticeship partners to enhance the transit system and job training programs in Puget Sound,” said Erin Monroe, Chief Executive Officer of Workforce Snohomish.