In 2022, the Washington State Legislature set aside $200 million in the Community Reinvestment Account for the Department of Commerce (Commerce) to invest in communities disproportionately harmed by the historical design and enforcement of state and federal criminal laws and penalties for drug possession. Investments are guided by the community driven Community Reinvestment Plan (CRP) to distribute these funds through seventeen grant programs falling across four program areas: economic development, civil and criminal legal assistance, community-based violence intervention and prevention services, and reentry services.

Local Workforce Boards are partnering with Commerce) and the Employment Security Department (ESD) to lead implementation of the following initiatives from the Community Reinvestment Plan:

WWA is leading the development of statewide policy guidance and implementation of the IDA initiative in partnership with Commerce, ESD, and the Local Workforce Boards.

Community Reinvestment in Action:

WorkForce Central was excited to invest in Bite Me! Inc. with a new industrial oven that will allow them to significantly increase production of those cookies we all love. This directly supports their mission to continue hiring and advancing careers into quality jobs for Pierce County residents. Huge thanks to the Washington State Department of Commerce for your vision in connecting workforce development and support for local small businesses owned by Black, Latine, and Indigenous community members.

The Individual Development Accounts (IDA) program is aimed at helping Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities disproportionately impacted by the racial, social and economic disparities caused by the war on drugs save for specific assets, such as education, housing, or starting/growing a business.

The Economic Security for All (EcSA) Career Accelerator Incentives grant program is designed to support individuals as they work towards economic security and stability, with a focus on justice-involved individuals (and their families).

The EcSA Business Support grant program aims to support Black, Indigenous, and Latino businesses in participating in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) while helping job seekers acquire the necessary skills and experience to secure long-term employment.

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