Workforce Education Services

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Big Bend Community College

Workforce Education Services 

The Workforce Education Services department provides guidance, support, and financial assistance for students in basic education (GED, ESL, and High School completion) and vocational/technical workforce programs (non-transfer programs). Financial assistance includes tuition and fees, books, bus passes, and emergency supports. Some students may be eligible for food benefits and childcare assistance. Eligibility is broad; students can qualify based on: low-income status, military service within the past 48 months, displaced homemaker status, receiving or eligible for unemployment benefits, receiving or eligible for food benefits, or receiving TANF.

The following programs comprise Workforce Education Services:

  • Basic Food Employment and Training

    The Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) program provides assistance with tuition, fees, books, transportation, and other support services to students who receive food benefits from DSHS. Participation in the BFET program will allow a student to keep his or her food benefits while attending college, as well as access child care assistance through Working Connections Child Care. Students must be in a short-term professional/technical program of study in order to qualify. 

  • Early Achievers Grant

    The Early Achievers Grant is for students who are working toward a certificate or degree in Early Childhood Education and are employed in a childcare center or family home that is participating in Washington Early Achievers for a minimum of 40 hours per month or 10 hours per week. (See the Department of Early Learning web site for more information about Washington Early Achievers. The program will cover tuition, fees, books, and other support services for eligible students. Must be a Washington Resident in order to qualify. 


  • Opportunity Grant

    The Opportunity Grant is for Washington State residents who meet the income criteria of 200% of poverty level. (The chart under the eligibility determination section shows the income criteria.) The program provides 45 credits of tuition and fee assistance, up to $1000 per year for books and tools, and other support services for students in approved workforce programs.

  • WorkFirst

    WorkFirst is Washington State’s welfare reform program for individuals who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). DSHS administers TANF, which provides temporary cash for families in need. The WorkFirst program helps participants access education and training in order to find and keep jobs. Enrolling in Adult Education classes, including GED, High School Diploma, and ESL as well as Vocational Education, qualify as WorkFirst participation. Through Workforce Education Services, participants receive tuition and textbook assistance as well as advising and mentoring.

  • Worker Retraining

    The Worker Retraining program is a Washington State program that was developed to provide options for unemployed or underemployed workers to access education and training to maintain employment or to re-enter the workforce. The eligibility criteria includes: ◦Currently receiving unemployment benefits ◦Eligible to receive unemployment benefits ◦Exhausted unemployment benefits within the past 48 months ◦Displaced homemaker (loss of primary income due to becoming widowed, separated or divorced within the past 48 months) ◦Military veteran discharged within the past 48 months Students may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits while attending school and not participate in job search activities if the training meets the Commissioner Approved Training criteria approved by the Employment Security Department. The Worker Retraining program at Big Bend provides assistance with tuition and books for the first quarter of attendance. Funding for subsequent quarters depends on availability of funds.


To determine if you are eligible for funding, review the following questions:

Persons in household

200% Poverty Guidelines

















For each additional
person, add


If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may be eligible for funding.

Applications Requirements

Applicants must complete all of the following:

  • Apply for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). or the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA)   
  • 500-750 word, typed, essay answering the following:
    • Please describe your previous work history and what brought you to Big Bend.
    • What is your career goal after you finish school?
    • How will additional funding help you to be successful?
  • Completed Application form.


Contact Us

Phone: 509-793-2310 or 509-793-2049

We are located in the Opportunity Center/7700 Building

Hours: 7:30am – 5:00pm Monday-Thursday, 7:30am – 2:30pm Friday


Additional Resources


Related Links

Click here to get started at Big Bend Community College


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