Washington Work Start: Customized, business-driven training.

In the past, business training programs were designed to meet the needs of the broadest audience possible, not the specific needs of a company or industry.

But this one-size-fits-all model is not very effective in today’s fast-paced world. That’s why the Washington State Department of Commerce has reinvented workforce training with its fully customized program called Washington Work Start.

The result: A highly effective training solution that meets the specific needs of businesses in aerospace, advanced materials, agriculture/food manufacturing, clean tech, forest products, information communication technology, life science/global health, maritime and locally targeted industries.

How Work Start works.

Washington Work Start is ideal for businesses that are making significant investments in new business activities and expansion strategies or are expanding their operations into Washington State and need employees with specific skill sets or competencies.

If you have a training gap that needs to be closed, the Washington Work Start team will meet with you to discuss your training requirements in order to create a customized solution that meets your needs.

We not only provide you with a results-oriented training program but also all the pre-employment activities you might require – position posting, screening, assessment, testing and interviewing. These services are provided to you at little to no cost.

The actual training program can be deployed wherever you wish. It can be located at a nearby community or technical college or at your place of work. The trainers are selected for their ability to provide you with the specific skills your business requires, even in highly specialized, high-growth and in-demand occupations where there is a critical gap in the employment supply chain. You even retain ownership of any curriculum that is specifically designed for work processes or technologies that are proprietary or confidential.

Work Start advantages.

  • Comprehensive: Washington Work Start is a complete training program from start to finish. The Work Start team handles everything for you, including all pre-application activities.
  • Customized:  Each program is designed specifically for your company and your needs. We work with you and your team to develop a training program that delivers specific results.
  • Effective: We utilize the latest training tools and techniques to ensure that the training is hands-on and immersive, giving your employees real world skills that can be used immediately to improve productivity, boost production, increase quality or fill new requirements.
  • Flexible: Many companies run 24/7 and need round-the-clock training. Work Start can cover any shift or work schedule.
  • Results Oriented: We don’t measure our success by the number of classes or employees taught. We measure by one standard and one standard alone: Did the training meet performance targets in your company and close a critical skill gap that resulted in a net gain of employment.
  • Fast: Getting started is easy. We’ve designed Washington Work Start so that you can get your training program up and running quickly. Business moves at lightning speed and so does Washington Work Start.

Ready to get started?

Washington Work Start is ready when you are. To learn more, contact us and we will be more than happy to meet with you to discuss your business’ needs and walk you through the program so that you can take your business to the next level with this highly effective training solution.


To be eligible for Washington Work Start your project must:

  • Result in a minimum of 15 new permanent FTE hires or involve a critical need to increase the skillset of existing workers in a target industry for recruitment, expansion or retention purposes.
  • Work Start program funds are intended to be used to prevent closure of a business or facility, prevent relocation of a Washington State business to another state or country, or to recruit a business to the state.

Training is limited to new workers, except in cases where training an incumbent will lead to a promotion that enables a new hire to take the individual’s place.

Workers need to be paid while they are being trained and training should be completed within 12 months of Washington Work Start approval. Every Work Start application is reviewed and evaluated by Department of Commerce staff and takes into account your industry, the level of position earnings, jobs permanence, your company’s investment and corporate financials and management.

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