2013 Workforce Policy and Legislative Framework

The Washington Workforce Association (WWA) is uniquely positioned to provide the workforce system continuity of leadership. The twelve Workforce Development Councils, which form WWA have implemented local strategies at the local level to weather the Great Recession by closing skill��gaps, putting people back to work and increasing productivity to harness opportunity for long-term economic development. The Washington Workforce Association is committed to maintaining this momentum as changes take place both nationally and in Washington State.


The following principles drive WWA’s local strategic thinking and are the lens through which it evaluates legislation and policies at both the state and national levels:

I. Accountability

Measure success by the returns achieved when people return to work and business productivity improves.

II. Local Flexibility and Authority

Ensure that Workforce Development Councils have both the authority and the policy flexibility to respond to local and regional workforce development needs.

III. Business-Led Boards

Support business-led Workforce Development Councils as the primary responsible entity for overseeing workforce investments, issues and initiatives.

IV. Sustainable Investments

Encourage sustainable investments in both the delivery of services and local infrastructure so that Workforce Development Councils have the necessary resources to put people to work and to provide talent to businesses.


• Local labor market conditions and local system objectives must be accommodated in state and federal accountability systems.

• Accountability is demonstrated by long-term results, responsible stewardship of funds, and success in leveraging funds to respond to local needs.

• Workforce Development Councils benefit from accountability measures that recognize demographics, resources, and challenges specific to their respective region.

Local Flexibility and Authority

• Local Workforce Development Councils are federally mandated and oversee the twelve Workforce Development Areas designated by the Governor. These Workforce Development Areas recognize the local economies of the diverse regions of Washington State.

• Broad public policy that supports local flexibility in providing services allows Workforce Development Councils to meet the specific needs of local jobseekers and local employers.

• Local flexibility results in cross-sector collaboration between Workforce Development Councils, businesses, service providers, and educators to develop solutions that fit local and regional needs while leveraging resources.

Business-Led Boards

• Workforce Development Councils are business led boards whose members are directly committed to their local communities and residents, and they have a deep understanding of the local business culture and climate.

• Workforce Development Councils have demonstrated leadership in streamlining workforce programs and should continue to lead effortsfor increased consolidation of programs and funding streams specified for workforce development service delivery.

• Business led councils are experienced in overseeingworkforce related issues, including WIA programs, and should continue this role to ensure that the goal of creating a “one-stop” system for jobseekers and businesses can be fully realized.

Sustainable Investments

• Workforce Development Councils rely on predictable and adequate funding and resources so that they can develop, administer and sustain programs and services that meet the needs of local citizens and businesses.

• Washington’s workforce is dynamic and therefore requires creative investments, new partnerships and forward thinking leadership to position the state and nation to take advantage of post recession opportunities.