Big Bend brings state money to local businesses

Every fiscal year, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) in Washington awards grant money to community colleges and businesses around them to support a host of different employee training opportunities. The program is called the Job Skills Program (JSP) and each year, the state board awards some $2.7 million in grant money to fund customized workforce training to businesses who have partnered with a community college near them.

Beth Laszlo Workforce Training
Beth Laszlo, of Big Bend Community College, and her team hope to bring as much state funding to local businesses for workforce training through the state’s Job Skills Program.

Beth Laszlo, Big Bend Community College’s coordinator for the Center of Business and Industry, and her team have made it their goal to bring as much of that money as possible to Grant County and Adams County to support local businesses in workforce training.

The JSP money is only available to community colleges in Washington, so for a business to access that grant money, they must partner with a community college near them. Laszlo said this fiscal year, Big Bend has partnered with six local companies, some of which have been awarded grant money and others who are in the application process. Laszlo said several other companies have indicated interest, as well.

In all, Laszlo said Big Bend has applied for about $650,000 of the state funding for workforce training at local businesses, some of which has already been awarded.

“So, we could potentially bring $650,000 of workforce training to Grant and Adams counties,” she said.

Earlier this summer, Samaritan Healthcare in Moses Lake was awarded $140,000 from the JSP, which will help fund a comprehensive workforce training program over the next year. REC Silicon is another local business that was recently awarded JSP funds.

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