FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Legislation to Make the Successful Poverty Reduction Initiative Permanent Signed into Law



March 15, 2024


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Bobbi Cussins


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Washington Workforce Association


Legislation to Make the Successful Poverty Reduction Initiative Permanent
Signed into Law

House Bill 2230 puts into law the Economic Security for All service delivery model that moves people from poverty to self-sufficiency and supports employers in filling their workforce gaps


OLYMPIA, Wash., – House Bill 2230, the top priority legislation for the Washington Workforce Association (WWA) during the 2024 legislative session, today was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee. The bipartisan bill codifies the successful Economic Security for All (EcSA) service delivery model into law, ensuring certainty for the jobseekers and employers the model supports.

“We could not be more pleased with lawmakers and our partners; local workforce boards, the state Employment Security Department, the Washington Economic Development Association and so many others that came alongside us to move EcSA from a pilot to a long-term model for workforce development and reaching the state’s poverty reduction goals,” said John Traugott, WWA executive director. “This reflects the success local workforce boards and their partners have had over the past few years, building the EcSA model and working tirelessly to lift Washingtonians out of poverty. Many former EcSA customers are now filling critical roles in communities across Washington state, including key workforce gaps facing Washington employers, serving as ICU nurses and court translators.”

EcSA is a poverty reduction model that coordinates existing services to help low-income Washingtonians reach self-sufficiency. Employment Security partners with Washington’s 12 Local Workforce Development Boards and over 160 local community service providers to ensure customers receive all the services for which they are eligible, including navigator support, funding for training and education, and wrap-around supports.

“Many low-income families are only a small financial boost away from self-sufficiency,” said Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds and prime sponsor of the bill, in a press release after the bill passed the House. “Establishing the Economic Security for All grant program to promote financial stability helps our neighbors climb out of poverty and is smart stewardship of taxpayer dollars.”

The EcSA model was built as part of the work done by the Poverty Reduction Work Group, which was established in 2018 to serve in an advisory capacity to recommend policy actions to the governor and the Legislature to effectively reduce intergenerational poverty and promote and encourage self-sufficiency.

“The Economic Security for All program has successfully helped folks move up the economic ladder through education and employment. Making this program permanent will help us break the cycle of poverty by investing in skills training, childcare support, and financial education,” said Rep. Carolyn Eslick, R-Sultan, and co-sponsor of the bill.

EcSA funds primarily assist traditionally underserved communities, including BIPOC populations, and strive to create generational economic success for families.

  • EcSA participants through June 2023 are 51% BIPOC, far exceeding Washington’s overall BIPOC population of 22%.
  • In the first year of implementation, 421 people reach self-sufficiency, with a median annualized income of $44,762.
  • 85% of current participants had annual incomes below $9,860 at their time of enrollment.
  • EcSA has been highlighted as a best practice by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Passage of House Bill 2230 was the second step of the association’s work to make EcSA and its funding permanent to create certainty for job seekers and employers.


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.

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