Career Connect Washington
Career Connect Washington (CCW) is a statewide coalition of leaders, committed to expanding access to work-based learning opportunities. By weaving together academic and workforce training, young adults can begin to explore, prepare for, and launch into careers of purpose and impact. CCW has intentionally centered its initiatives around serving underserved populations and those furthest from opportunity.
In 2017, a CCW Task Force determined there was evidence of strong career-connected learning programs, however, systemic support was lacking to achieve the scale needed to have a transformative impact needed for all students. CCW gained further traction with the passage of legislation in 2019, which provided the means to establish CCW support across a Cross State Agency Work Group, with the common goal to aid in establishing connections and allowing for the facilitation needed to make career connected learning navigable, coherent, accessible, and high-quality.
Continuum of Career-connected Learning
The CCW Continuum includes three main components: Career Explore, Career Prep, and Career Launch. We know that each of these components play an important role in supporting student success.
Career Explore programs are designed to expose students to many career options and pathways, beginning as early as elementary or middle school. These programs allow students to learn about future jobs and industries through career fairs, worksite tours, job shadowing, guest speaker presentations, and other similar activities.
Career Prep programs are designed to deepen a student’s understanding of a specific industry or career. These programs begin in high school and provide students with hands-on training and knowledge to help students prepare for future work and decide whether a given career path is a good fit. Career Prep programs are longer and more intensive than Career Explore programs and can include a series of CTE and/or skills center courses (e.g. CTE concentration), summer internships, and apprenticeship preparation programming.
Career Launch programs are considered the most comprehensive, as they bridge the gap between classroom learning and the practical knowledge and specific skills needed to enter the workforce. Washington state has established a goal in which 60% of all young adults (aged 16-30) will have participated in a Career Launch program by 2030!
Career Launch Endorsed (CLE) programs include:
- Classroom instruction aligned to industry/academic standards (CTE Graduation Pathways)
- Meaningful work experience (paid internships or registered apprenticeships)
- A valuable credential beyond high school (Industry Recognized Credential or college certificate)
- About CCW
- Statewide CCW Programs
- CCW Regional Networks & Career Connected Learning Coordinators
- CCW Grant Opportunities | Employment Security Jobs & Training | Washington State Achievement Council: Career Launch Grants
- Applying for Career Launch Endorsement
- Guidance for Claiming Additional CLE Funding
- K-12 Approved CLE programs (CEDARS – Appendix AJ)
- Registered Apprenticeship programs
- CEDARS coding for CLE Programs – Technical Training
- Career Launch CEDARS coding FAQ
- Data Reporting Technical Guidance
- Webinars and Tutorials