We bring together businesses, training and education providers, government agencies and economic development partners across Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum to curate and provide business resources to address the workforce needs of local companies and industries.

Programs we fund help businesses recruit, train and retain the employees they need and provide people the skills and training to find work or advance in their careers.

Your business may benefit from the following programs and services provided through WSW and its partners.

Employee Recruitment & Retention

Finding and hiring the right people can be time consuming. Once you have the right people, keeping their skills current so they remain productive, and your business is competitive can be challenging.

Whether you have a full human resources team or one person wearing many hats, WSW-funded programs may provide the solutions you need to recruit skilled labor and implement retention strategies to keep them. Our team and partners have experience working with all types of businesses, from small businesses to large, multi-state employers.

  • Our partnership with LinkedIn Learning can provide your employees with short-term training aimed at improving both technical and professional skills such as Digital Marketing, Project Management, courses to prepare for CompTIA A+ and CompTIA A+ Network certifications, Microsoft Office and many courses on essential workplace soft skills and leadership. Learn more about LinkedIn Learning.
  • Looking for additional employees? Our partnership with WorkSource provides you no-cost employee recruitment, screening and assessment services, as well as on-the-job training programs that could reimburse your business for a portion of the cost of training new hires in specific jobs.
  • Need employee training? By investing in apprenticeship, you train your employees the way you want them trained and they often stay longer in their jobs. Read our Apprenticeship Guide and contact us for assistance in developing your own apprenticeship program.
  • If hiring veterans and their family members is a priority for your organization, our partners at WorkSource can help. Their Local Veteran’s Employment Representative Joseph Hennessey can connect you to veterans with the skills your company needs. Reach him at or 360.735.4965.
  • Have a location in a nearby Oregon county? As a member of the Columbia-Willamette Workforce Collaborative (CWWC), we take a regional approach to workforce development and collaborate with workforce agencies that serve Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties in Oregon. Our working together gives you access to our shared regional labor pool.

 Business Growth

Want to grow your business? Our economic development partners have the knowledge and expertise to help you expand, build or find a new space. We connect your business with resources to ensure sustainable growth.

Whether you need technical assistance with government contracting, process improvements, capital, resources for small business, a larger location or export growth, WSW can help you make the connections you need.

To learn more about Business Resources, contact:

Darcy Hoffman, Director of Business Services at or 360.608.4949 or submit a request and we’ll contact you.

Targeted Industries

When job-producing industries thrive, so does the community. Ensuring that high-growth industries have the skilled workers they need for their high-demand jobs is vital for the prosperity of those businesses and the health of the region’s economy.

WSW invests in training to prepare people for current and future jobs in industries projected to grow in the next few years. Our goal is to ensure businesses have the workers they need and everyone that wants to work has a job.

Learn more about the region’s targeted industries, including:

Hiring Young People


SummerWorks is one of the largest summer youth employment programs in Southwest Washington and connects your business to young adults for paid summer jobs.

The program provides your business with:

  • Qualified, prepared and motivated talent ages 16-24
  • Talent that is pre-screened to align with your business’s needs and ready to start work
  • Young adults prepared to assist with a diverse array of job duties or project-based assignments

Hiring a young person for a summer job provides your business with a unique opportunity to invest in a proven, cost-effective way to recruit and evaluate potential permanent employees.

Learn more about SummerWorks

Your business could benefit in a number of ways:

  1. Staff professional development. Working with young people is an opportunity for your employees to develop their management, leadership and communications skills.
  2. Recruitment. Summer employment lets you see the abilities of potential candidates and train them to your standards.
  3. Engage an important audience. Your company’s participation increases awareness of your business with this potential customer base and talent pool.
  4. Gain a fresh perspective. Young employees can bring innovative and novel ways of thinking to your business.
  5. “Feel good” factor. Employee engagement could increase when they feel they’ve had a role in helping a young person succeed.

Investing your time, knowledge and expertise to help a young person learn the skills necessary to get and keep a job benefits our young adults, your business and the economy. That’s a pretty good ROI!

Businesses interested in learning more about SummerWorks can reach out to Next by phone at 360.207.2628 or by email at

Future Leaders Project (FLP)

The Future Leaders Project (FLP) is an initiative of Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW), Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) and Washington State University Vancouver (WSU Vancouver) that seeks to connect students from communities who have experienced longstanding inequities and exclusion and first-generation college students with employer sponsored summer internships, providing growth and professional development opportunities.

“Interns bring in youthful energy, new ideas, fresh ways of thinking and challenge the status quo immediately in your business.” – Lisa Keohokalole Schauer, PointNorth Consulting

Hiring interns from the Future Leaders Project offers your company many benefits, including:

  • New ideas and fresh perspective
  • Support for projects that employees otherwise might not have the time to complete
  • Proven, cost-effective way to recruit and evaluate potential permanent employees
  • Opportunities for staff to gain supervisory skills through mentoring and managing interns
  • Effective public relations ambassadors, as interns often help increase the visibility of their host organization on campus and with their peers and family members
  • Opportunities to promote community involvement and demonstrate your organization’s commitment to workforce development – an excellent public relations tool!

Businesses interested in learning more about the FLP and hiring interns, please contact our Senior Project Manager Nolan Yaws-Gonzalez at or 360.567.1066.

WSU Vancouver students should contact Bill Stahley, WSU Vancouver Employer Engagement Coordinator at or 360.546.9273.

Apprenticeships, Internships and other Youth Programs

Young adults are your business’ workforce of tomorrow. Interacting with them today can benefit your business by ensuring the best and the brightest are aware of your business, what you do, why it matters and how they can be part of it.

To get involved and learn about opportunities to connect with young adults across Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties, contact Lyn Love, Program Manager at

Young construction worker

How can we support your business?

Our investments help businesses and employees to reach their full potential. Whether you are seeking training opportunities for existing employees, need help creating a talent pipeline to support your industry or want to host an intern that matches your business demands, we’re here to help!

Ready to get started? Our business services team is here to support your business so you can prosper in Southwest Washington.

Explore examples of how the WSW team supports business needs through our investments.

Mandipa Masike and Darcy Hoffman work at WSW office

In partnership with Columbia River Economic Development Council and Washington State University Vancouver, FLP matches businesses with university students from communities who have experienced longstanding inequities and exclusion and first-generation college students.

Koelsch Communities

Through funding and sourcing of workforce training programs, our investments helped improve healthcare outcomes and employee success in the long-term care field.

Silicon Forest Electronics at a maufacturing hiring event

Our team convenes industry leaders to host hiring events tailored to regional demands. We work with the High-Tech Council of Southwest Washington to host high-tech hiring events and get skilled workers into quality jobs.

Workforce Soutwest Washington logo
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