Young Adult Investments

As the workforce of the future, educating and training young adults is vitally important. We invest in community programs that empower young people to learn and develop the skills necessary to succeed.

Through real-world and on-the-job experiences, young people gain the knowledge and experience to be good employees.

Some of the programs Workforce Southwest Washington helped develop:


SummerWorks pairs local businesses with youth for 100-hour paid summer jobs. Each youth participant receives 40 hours of work-readiness training prior to starting their job. By simplifying the hiring process, the program gives businesses an on-ramp to hiring young adults. SummerWorks Talent Development Specialists work with the business to identify a candidate who meets their needs and SummerWorks serves as the employer of record for participants. Youth assist with a diverse array of general tasks or project-based assignments.

Hiring young adults for a summer job provides companies a unique opportunity to invest in their future workforce and help create a trained and experienced candidate pool. Last year, it helped create more than 100 new summer jobs across the region.


In August 2018, WSW opened Next, Clark County’s first and only youth employment and training center. Next integrates education, job placement and training, housing support and other services in one place and provides young adults a space where they can feel safe and empowered, and build community and relationships.

Visit the website at

Next Strategic Plan Update 09-2019

Youth Employment Summit (YES)

Our annual career exploration fair and first jobs hiring event introduces young adults to local companies in our region’s high-growth, high-demand industries to help them make decisions about their future education, training and work. Companies provided hands-on learning activities, allowing students to try out tools of the trades, healthcare simulation manikins and construction equipment, among other activities.

Click to read a Columbian article about YES

Read more about YES on

For more information about our youth investments, contact Miriam Halliday at

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