Commissioner Conversation: Youth apprenticeship momentum gains and everyone benefits

Viewpoint from Employment Security Commissioner Suzi LeVine.

Periodically we’ll feature posts directly from the Employment Security Department’s Commissioner Suzi LeVine. As we join the nation in celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, we’re excited to share her views with you!

Suzi-Eric @ AJAC

Commissioner Suzi LeVine and her husband, Eric, chat with Ardine Williams, VP of People for Amazon, about apprenticeships at the Career Connect Washington strategic plan launch on Oct. 25.

As many know, my husband, Eric, and I are, perhaps, the biggest advocates for youth apprenticeship in the whole world. We saw a profound system in Switzerland and have been doing everything we can to learn from and bring aspects of it here to the United States. We believe that it’s both essential to how we prepare our citizens for the future of work AND key to helping our businesses continue to grow and lead. Our efforts began in 2014 and are still going strong today.

That’s why recent events have been so important in terms of enabling the Apprenticeship Renaissance we’ve been working so hard to catalyze. Three events in three different locations last month really put some jet fuel in the system:

VPET in San Francisco

Wednesday, Oct. 24:  Since 2013, the City of Winterthur-Zurich has hosted the International Congress on Vocational and Professional Education and Training (VPET) where leaders from more than 80 nations gather to discuss “the global impact of vocational and professional education and training.” Recently the Swiss team that runs this global conference organized a mini-summit at which Eric and I keynoted and then moderated panels with employers, apprentices, intermediaries, workforce organizations and more. This was a great way to engage the tech community more deeply in the conversation of diversifying and expanding apprenticeship to an area of deep talent need.

Strategic Plan for Career Connect Washington

Gov Inslee CCW

Governor Jay Inslee speaks at the news conference where the Career Connect Washington strategic plan was delivered.

Thursday, Oct. 25: The Career Connect Washington team officially delivered its Strategic Plan to Governor Inslee, detailing the plan for how we might have an effective statewide youth apprenticeship system here in Washington State. Organizations such as Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft, Kaiser Permanente, Avista, our Community Colleges, SEH America, AFL-CIO, SEIU and government and academic dignitaries such as Superintendent Chris Reykal, Senator Lisa Wellman, and Governor Inslee spoke up advocating for this system!

Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA)

Friday, Oct. 26: New America Foundation launched PAYA  and Washington’s own Lynn Strickland, Executive Director of Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) presented her work – alongside many other leaders in youth “earn-and-learn” systems across America.

The American dream

For us to get multiple braided pathways going, we will need to catalyze movement on apprenticeship all across the United States. Again – these recent events –and many others–including the National Apprenticeship Week event in Everett last week–have been instrumental to catapulting us forward.

NAW 2018

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) ambassadors and I enjoyed the NAW celebration in Everett on Nov. 8

When, not if, we are successful, we will re-ignite the paths to success and the American Dream for more Americans than ever before!

Happy Apprenticeship Week!


Check it out! The state’s job match website,, now supports Registered Apprenticeship in Washington.  We’ve launched a resource page,, this fall where job seekers and employers can take the first steps to join the apprenticeship momentum.

As a partner in Washington’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network, the Employment Security Department helps people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job.  We also work with businesses to help them find employees.

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Veteran uses WorkSource Thurston to get back on his feet, start a business

(en español)

Welcome to #WorkforceWednesday! As partners in Washington State’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network, the Employment Security Department helps people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job.

Every week, we spotlight a different Power of a Job success story. This week’s story comes from military veteran Christopher Morgan, who connected with John Moysiuk, a Disabled Veterans Case Manager from WorkSource Thurston County to find resources to get back on his feet.

Here is his story.

My name is Christopher Morgan and I’m the owner of Morgan Construction. I’m a veteran and a business owner.

About 12 months ago, I found myself homeless and kind of down and out on my luck. I reached out to 2-1-1 [community resources by phone and online] and got some program information in regards to helping out vets.

I got in touch with a guy named John Moysiuk out of the WorkSource in Thurston County. He helped me acquire some tools for work, he helped with my insurance and with programs I didn’t even know existed, such as this housing program I’m in now. It put a roof over my head for a year. It gave me the springboard I needed to get back on my feet and back into the community and become a positive member of society.

WorkSource and Catholic Charities have been phenomenal in the programs they offer. My company, which I now own because of these guys, is going to be very successful. I employ veterans from here and from the homeless shelter next door. That’s working for vets and that’s putting us back work and being positive members of society again.

Because of John Moysiuk and the programs that the [Veterans Administration], Catholic Charities and Sidewalk [services for homeless adults] have all offered, I was able to get back on my feet.

¡Bienvenidos! A #WorkForceWednesday!

Es miércoles! Vea el poder de la fuerza laboral

Como asociados del sistema del estado de Washington, WorkSource y de la Red de Centros de Trabajos American, el Departamento para la Seguridad del Empleo ayuda a las personas que estén —desempleadas o no—, a encontrar un nuevo trabajo y aprender habilidades nuevas. Les ayudamos para que vivan la experiencia del Poder de la Fuerza Laboral.

Cada semana, resaltamos diferentes situaciones exitosas con el Poder de la Fuerza Laboral. Esta semana la historia es del veterano Christopher Morgan, él se conectó con WorkSource Thurston para levantarse de nuevo. Ahora, como dueño de negocio, él quiere dar a otros la misma oportunidad que a él se le dio. Ésta es su historia:

Me llamo Christopher Morgan y soy el dueño de Morgan Construction. Soy un veterano [de las Fuerzas Armadas] y dueño de negocio.

Hace como 12 meses, me vi sin hogar, alicaído y sin suerte. Me acerqué a el 2-1-1 [número de teléfono para recursos comunitarios y del sitio por internet] y obtuve información de varios programas que ayudan a veteranos.

Me comuniqué con un tipo llamado John Moysiuk del centro de trabajo WorkSource en el contado de Thurston. El me ayudó adquirir algunas herramientas para trabajar, con el seguro y con información de programas que ni siquiera sabía que existían, como este programa de vivienda en el que estoy ahora. Eso puso por un año un techo sobre mi cabeza. Eso me dio el empuje que necesitaba para levantarme e integrarme a la comunidad y convertirme en un miembro positivo de la sociedad.

WorkSource y Caridades Católicas han sido magníficas con los programas que ofrecen. Mi compañía, la que ahora soy dueño gracias ellos, va a ser muy exitosa. Yo doy empleo a veteranos de aquí y de la siguiente puerta, la del alberge para personas sin hogar. Eso está funcionando para los veteranos y nos une a la fuerza laboral siendo de nuevo, un miembro positivo de la sociedad.

Gracias a John Moysiuk y los programas que él [Administración Veteranos], Caridades Católicas, y Sidewalk [servicios para adultos sin hogar] ofrecieron, pude levantarme.

WorkSource finds perfect job for customer with passion for helping others

(en español)

Welcome to #WorkforceWednesday!

As partners in Washington state’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network, the Employment Security Department helps people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job.

Every week, we spotlight a different Power of a Job success story. This week’s story comes from Kassandra Watson of WorkSource Central Basin in Moses Lake. As a teacher of the very successful Strategies for Success course, Kassandra is routinely moved to tears by her students. This is just one of her stories.

“‘Pollyanna’ is a long-standing community volunteer. I think all she knows how to do is GIVE. In the last a year and a half, she lost a parent, her marriage and her livelihood. Plus, she was attacked by a dog and assaulted in her own home by a trusted neighbor. Depression took hold. Getting and keeping a job became nearly impossible for her.

Pollyanna came to our Strategies for Success class and participated fully. She always showed her desire and motivation for being there, providing positive and candid feedback every week. She was very determined to finish the full six weeks of the course, including an optional seventh week.

One day, Jesse Allen of SkillSource — a WorkSource partner —passed Pollyanna in the hall. Jesse had just been talking to an employer about finding good candidates for his business. Seeing Pollyanna reminded him of all the reasons she would be a perfect match.

The interview was that day and the employer hired Pollyanna the next day! She was very regretful to miss classes, but Jesse and I both assured her that this was the best possible outcome!

As of our last contact, Pollyanna still works for that employer — a position where every day she gets to give of her heart to those who need it most.”

¡Bienvenidos! A #WorkForceWednesday!

Cada semana enfatizamos una historia diferente del poder de la fuerza laboral. Esta semana Kassandra Watson de WorkSource central Basin en Moses Lake comparte esta historia. Como maestra del exitoso curso Estrategias para el Éxito, y Kassandra constantemente se siente conmovida por sus estudiantes. Esta es solo una de esas historias.

“Pollyanna” ha sido una voluntaria de mucho tiempo. Yo creo que lo único que sabe hacer es: DAR. Recientemente ella sobrellevó un año y medio difícil: perdido a uno de sus padres, y a su matrimonio, el estilo de vida que tenía. Además, en su propio hogar fue asaltada –por un vecino “de confianza”. La depresión se apoderó de ella haciendo que el mantener un trabajo se convirtiera en algo casi imposible.

Pollyanna vino al curso Estrategias para el Éxito (EpE) por su propio deseo y motivación y participó en su completamente. Siempre proporcionó comentarios positivos y cándidos cada semana. Ella tenía la determinación para terminar las 6 semanas completas de EpE, incluyendo la 7ª. semana opcional.

Un día, Jesse Allen de SkillSource —una organización asociada, se cruzó con Pollyanna en el pasillo. Jesse recién había estado conversando con un empleador acerca de encontrar buenos candidatos para su negocio. Al ver Pollyanna recordó todas las razones por la cual ella sería perfecta para eses trabajo.

La entrevista se hizo ese día y el empleado contrató a Pollyanna al siguiente día. Ella estaba muy apenada de perder el resto de las clases pero Jesse y yo, le aseguramos que esa era el mejor resultado que se podía esperar.

Como último contacto, Pollyanna aún está con ese mismo empleador —en un puesto donde ella tiene la oportunidad de DAR su corazón a quienes más lo necesitan.