Business Investments

Quality Jobs: Creating an equitable economic recovery

Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused regional unemployment claims to reach historic levels. Many in our community – Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, women, immigrants, individuals with disabilities, and workers with less access to education and lower incomes – have disproportionately suffered from the health and economic devastation caused by the public health crisis. The aftermath of this crisis calls for deliberate and bold changes to stabilize our workforce and ensure our region can successfully move forward.

To that end, we are forming a regional effort, building a public/private coalition of businesses, community-based organizations, and public partners to advance an equitable economic recovery through a quality jobs initiative. We hope you will join us!

Read a message from the region’s three workforce development boards.

Quality Jobs: Learning from Others

As we and our partners in the Columbia-Willamette Workforce Collaborative explore what Quality Jobs could look like in our region, we are inspired by the work of cities and businesses across the country that are defining quality jobs and making them a reality.

In Baltimore, Good Business Works is partnering with employers to promote respectful and inclusive workplaces. In San Diego, the Workforce Partnership is working with job seekers to determine what a quality job means to them. They are partnering with businesses and advocating at the legislature to make more quality jobs available. In Louisville, businesses like Norton Healthcare and Universal Woods are leading the creation of quality jobs by investing in the long-term success of their employees.

In each of these cities, workforce boards, jobs seekers, and businesses are working together to define quality jobs. They are inspiring companies to succeed by investing in their employees and helping workers thrive.

Click here for a synopsis of the programs mentioned above and links to additional resources.

Training, recruitment and retention

The skills and abilities of your employees greatly impact the success of your business. Investing in their training improves productivity, engagement, retention and morale.

While upgrading the skills of your existing workforce or incoming employees is an ongoing and important need, it can be expensive. For this reason, many companies put it off or simply don’t do it. That can be even more costly in lost productivity and competitiveness.

We secure and manage grants and make investments in employment and training programs to help local businesses, like yours, grow and thrive. You can receive customized training at your location, certification or online training, and consortium-style classroom training through our public-private partnerships. Investing in your employees will help you succeed.

One of your greatest assets could be our network of partners. We bring together industry, community colleges and universities, labor groups, government, economic development agencies, K-12 school districts, nonprofits and community organizations. Working together, we identify challenges, like skills gaps and worker shortages in key occupations or industries. We design programs, secure funds and leverage resources to get people working. Our investments train and create opportunity for our community members while helping to grow the economy and support local businesses.

  • Our partnership with LinkedIn Learning can provide your employees living in Clark, Cowlitz or Wahkiakum counties in Washington State with short-term training in the following pathways: Digital Marketing Specialist, Project Management, courses to prepare for CompTIA A+ and CompTIA A+ Network certifications, Agile Software Developer, SQL Developer, Java Programmer, and Microsoft Office. For individuals interested in learning more, click here.
  • 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? For each dollar invested in an apprenticeship, companies receive a benefit of $1.38. On top of financial benefits, 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.
  • Want to grow your business? Our economic development and other 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.
  • 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. Our bi-state collaboration has brought $30 million of additional training funds into the region to build a skilled workforce to support manufacturing, healthcare and technology.

Contact us about your workforce needs

  • Healthcare
    Sean Moore, Senior Project Manager – Healthcare I 360.762.8569
  • Manufacturing
    Alyssa Joyner, Senior Project Manager – Manufacturing I 503.410.0408
  • Technology, construction, partnerships & other workforce services
    Darcy Hoffman, Director of Business Services I 360.608.4949
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