Strategic Partnership Creates Workforce Training Program for Displaced Military Employees


The formation of Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) displaced approximately 800 workers including 200 civilian defense employees and 600 military spouses. To help these workers learn new skills and find employment, a creative public-private effort has been launched.


A $4.8 million grant will provide services including career coaching, case management, job training, supportive services and employment linkage. This last item is a specialty of the Thurston County Chamber, which is a partner in the grant project. Other partners include liked minded organizations in Thurston and Pierce counties, such as the Thurston EDC, WorkSource Thurston and the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council.


The grant includes an initial impact study to identify existing skills gaps in high demand fields. Training will then be targeted to specifically needed skills to meet employer needs. The Chamber will expand and integrate its already rich workforce development efforts in matching these workers with employers in need of their skill sets.


The funds come from a National Emergency Grant (NEG) from the U.S. Department of Labor.



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