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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Workforce Develop. Council of Seattle-King County

Meet Ron

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Workforce Challenge

After two years of prerequisites, Ron was struggling to get into an Licensed Practical Nurse class. Because these classes are so expensive for colleges to offer, waiting lists are long and only the best students make it in. On top of that, Ron didn’t know if he could afford school on his salary as a dialysis technician. Ron was discouraged. He was visiting family in Guam “devastated” and wondering about his future-when he received an important phone call.

Workforce Solution

Thanks to the Recovery Act and state matching funds, the Workforce Development Council (WDC) is directly purchasing new courses at local community and technical colleges so students like Ron can start training NOW for jobs that employers need to fill.

Since 2009, the WDC has purchased 14 cohorts at seven local colleges (a cohort is a series of classes for a single group of students.). All lead to a certificate needed in the job market in occupations such as nursing, medical coding, accounting, project management and more. While training, students connect with a career counselors so they can also take advantage of tutoring, career counseling and support services, such as transportation, not available to other college students.

Outcomes & Benefits

The WDC-funded cohorts are highly effective, with a student retention rate of 93%. Wages for those who have completed the program are $22.45 an hour on average. As for Ron, getting the call that he was in the class he needed was "a dream come true," he says. "It changed my life, and I mean that from my heart." On June 22, 2010, Ron received his nurse’s pin. From “just barely making it” on $15 an hour, Ron will earn $20 or more as an LPN. His dream is to go even further and become an RN.

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