2024 Legislative Priorities

To achieve the goals of moving people from poverty to a paycheck and, ultimately long- term self-sufficiency, and creating a pipeline for employers to find and retain the workforce of today and tomorrow, the WWA advocates for legislative policies that:


  • Continue and increase supports for low- income job seekers and working poor to create pathways for them to move to family-sustaining, quality jobs.
  • Strengthen connections to critical services that stabilize families – including housing and childcare – that help people get into and stay in the workforce.
  • Enhance resources for workforce development boards to engage employers, connect them with needed talent, and to retain, retrain and up-skill their current workers for advancement and prepare for the jobs of the future.
  • Create digital equity for rural and underserved communities.

Community Reinvestment Plan

WWA applauds the Legislature’s investment in the Community Reinvestment Fund, administered by the State Department of Commerce. This funding is focused upon helping communities disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs and implements a community-driven approach to guide development and delivery of impactful programs. Specifically, WWA supports the Workforce Accelerator and Workforce Job-Seeker Incentives.

Quality Jobs Standards

WWA supports incorporating uniform Quality Jobs Standards into future infrastructure and development investments made by the state, such as self-sufficiency wages, comprehensive benefits, training and advancement opportunities, predictable hours and safe and accessible working conditions. Quality Jobs Standards bring clarity to conversations with state contractors on the expectations they have as employers who receive taxpayer-funded contracts. These standards will help ensure that state investments are leading to the creation of living-wage jobs that support thriving communities around the state.

Childcare - Access and Enhancements

Washington, like the rest of the country, lacks an adequate supply of affordable, high-quality childcare options for families. This is not only an issue for families, but it’s also an issue for employers. When people can’t find affordable childcare, they leave jobs, turn down new career opportunities, and forgo pursuing additional education. WWA supports legislative investments and solutions that grow access to affordable childcare options, meet the needs of parents with infants and school age children, and invest in the people doing the important work at childcare centers across our state.

Economic Security for All – Simplify and Safeguard Funding

WWA supports continued state investment in Economic Security for All, or EcSA, a state funding stream for Workforce Development that enhances and aligns existing programs in local workforce systems across the state. These funds are a critical resource that addresses the urgent need to connect businesses with workers and sustain the infrastructure for training and credentialing of workers to be self-sufficient and achieve the goals of economic independence for every resident and a thriving economy. EcSA funds primarily assist traditionally underserved communities, including BIPOC populations, and strives to create generational economic success for families. We support policies that simplify the funding streams and continue or increase state funding for EcSA.


The state operating budget appropriates $20.604 million for the biennial administration of EcSA from the general fund and the employment service administration account. This includes $12.416 million for servicing residents below 200% Federal Poverty Level (FPL); $5.292 million for those above 200% FPL, but at risk of falling into poverty; and, $2.896 for business navigator services provided by local workforce boards. WWA’s top priorities in the 2025 Legislative Session are to:


  1. Increase the biennial appropriation to $52.018 million, in line with ESD’s 2023 Decision Package request, and make EcSA funding permanent to increase services levels for job seekers and businesses across the state.
  2. Simplify the administration of these three fund streams by combining them into one appropriation for EcSA.

Clean Technology and Green Economy Jobs

WWA supports programs and funding to create jobs in the Clean Economy, including the circular economy, hydrogen, fusion, solar, wind and other renewable technologies while also maintaining a balanced and diverse economic base that is resilient as our economy ebbs and flows. As green jobs grow through state, federal and private investments, Washington must ensure a solid foundation is in place to train, retrain and upskill workers to meet the needs of the Clean Economy employers and projects.

Digital Equity

WWA knows the importance of closing the digital divide, particularly in rural and traditionally underserved communities. In today’s economy, every resident requires access to the internet for education, training, job searches, running a business or to simply access basic necessities, like healthcare and groceries. We believe that digital equity is one solution to not only supporting job seekers, but to also help businesses establish locations in rural and underserved communities. We see it as a necessary tool as well as a key component to creating economic opportunities in areas of the state that have been left out of the digital revolution.

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