The Workforce Education Services department provides guidance, support, and financial assistance for students in basic education (GED, ESL, and High School completion) and workforce education programs (non-transfer degrees). Financial assistance includes tuition and fees, books, bus passes, and emergency support. 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.
Applying for WES Benefits (Please review the following four items to ensure your application is processed and ready for review.)
As part of the WES Funding Application process you will be required to identify an intended program of study. Please explore the options below. If you are uncertain about a specific program’s eligibility for WES funding, please contact a member of our staff for help.
Please note that transfer degrees and general studies are NOT eligible for WES funding
Eligibility for WES funding can be determined by various methods including household income, military service and discharge record, receipt of specific DSHS benefits, and other classifications eligible for retraining benefits. If you are uncertain about your eligibility, please contact a member of our staff for help.
Persons in Household
200% Poverty Guidelines
For each additional person, add
As part of the WES Funding Application process you are required to complete a financial aid application. If you are uncertain about which one to complete, please contact a member of our staff for help. Please DO NOT complete both applications.
The following programs comprise Workforce Education Services:
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 food benefits while attending college, as well as access child care assistance through Working Connections Child Care. Students must be in a short-term workforce education program of study in order to qualify.
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. http://www.del.wa.gov/care/qris/) The program will cover tuition, fees, books, and other support services for eligible students. Must be a Washington resident in order to qualify.
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 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 Workforce Education, qualify as WorkFirst participation. Through Workforce Education Services, participants may receive tuition and textbook assistance as well as advising and mentoring to ensure graduation and completion.
The Worker Retraining funding is a program which provides options for unemployed or underemployed workers to access education and training to maintain employment or to re-enter the workforce. The eligibility criteria includes:
The Able Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) Work Requirement and Time Limit
If you are age 18 – 49, able to work, and don’t have any dependents, you might need to meet both the general work requirements and an additional work requirement for ABAWDs to get SNAP for more than 3 months in 3 years (the time limit). You can meet the ABAWD work requirement by doing any one of these things:
You are excused from the ABAWD work requirement and time limit if you are any one of these things:
If you have to meet the ABAWD work requirement but you don’t, you will lose your benefits after 3 months. To get SNAP again, you must meet the ABAWD work requirement for a 30-day period or become excused. Otherwise, you need to wait until the end of your 3-year period, when you’ll get another 3 months under the time limit.
Workforce Education Services Staff