FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Media Resources:
Bobbi Cussins Washington Workforce Association
Pierce County Workforce Development Leader Katie Condit Closes Out Successful Year as Washington Workforce Association Board Chair
Condit’s one-year term was marked by the first-ever push to secure additional state funding of $8.2 million for Local Boards to increase support for employers and job seekers.
OLYMPIA, Wash., – The Washington Workforce Association (WWA), comprised of local workforce development boards and their partners across Washington state, closed out 2023 with notable successes under the leadership of Katie Condit, CEO of WorkForce Central in Pierce County and 2023 WWA board chair.
While chair, Condit led the charge with her fellow board members on the legislative effort to secure $8.2 million in additional state funding to support Local Boards’ work to fill the workforce pipeline and move job seekers from poverty to a paycheck. She also built strong alliances with the state Employment Security Department, the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board and others to put on the best-attended fall conference in the association’s history, boasting nearly 600 attendees.
“Katie took the helm as WWA Board Chair in January 2023 and was laser focused on legislative efforts to build on the successful Economic Security for All program to serve more job seekers and engage more employers looking for them,” John Traugott, WWA executive director, said. “It took the initiative of her predecessor to get the ball rolling and her leadership with the entire association’s support to expand state investment in Local Boards by $8.2 million. It’s a milestone that helped galvanize the group like no other effort and was the catalyst to build even stronger connections with state agencies and like-minded organizations. Our goal now is to build on that success in 2024.”
“It was a learning curve for all of us, but we had the right leader in place to move us forward,” said Amy Martinez, CEO of South Central Workforce based in Yakima and incoming WWA board chair. “As an association, we have never undertaken such an intricate endeavor. It was a big learning curve on the legislative process and working with the state Employment Security Department to create a more direct funding stream to support our work to help employers find the right talent for their jobs and connect career seekers with training, apprenticeships, certification programs and wrap around supports to help them move to a job that leads to economic security and supports a strong economy in every community across Washington state. Katie is a tremendous leader and I am incredibly grateful for her hard work and look forward to carrying it forward in the 2024 legislative session.”
This year, WWA is supporting a bipartisan bill sponsored by Reps. Strom Peterson (D-Edmonds) and Carolyn Eslick (R-Sultan) to codify the Economic Security for All program into law to ensure the continuation and funding of the program. The 60-day 2024 legislative session began Jan. 8.
“This legislation will ensure gives Local Boards certainty of the legislative support for the program and the resources they need to meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents in finding a quality job and gaining a foothold on financial independence. Our next big goal is to reach full funding of $39 million to continue to increase our employer outreach, which is a critical piece to making sure we are supporting their ability to foster a strong local economy that works for everyone,” said Martinez, who added that the 2024 funding bill is currently in draft form.
Visit the website for more information on WWA and its work in communities across the state.
About the Washington Workforce Association
The Washington Workforce Association (WWA) is a nonprofit nonpartisan membership organization of the Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDB) of Washington State. The LWDBs are business-led boards that coordinate and leverage workforce investments and strategies with stakeholders from education, economic development, labor and community-based organizations to advance the economic health of their respective communities through a skilled and competitive workforce.