Positioning Young Adults for Promising Careers
Part of the Career Connect Washington initiative, Career Launch programs provide students with real-life work experience related to their classroom studies. Students graduate with skills to be competitive in the job market and with a valuable credential beyond a high school diploma.
Career Connect Washington describes Career Launch as “the most intensive type of career connected learning program.” Its goal: to have 60 percent of young adults beginning in the class of 2030 participate in a career launch program.
Career Launch programs can include:
- Registered apprenticeships (automatic Career Launch endorsement)
- Community or technical college programs with a work-based component
- A four-year university program with a work-based component
- A career and technical education program that meet credential requirements and include a work-based component
To be designated as a Career Launch program, the program must first be endorsed. This endorsement also unlocks the door for certain types of state funding. Learn more about the endorsement and the program review process.
There are three types of targeted funding for Career Launch programs:
- Career Launch development or expansion
- Career Launch enrollment growth
- Career Launch equipment
Career Launch Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Gov. Jay Inslee launched Career Connect Washington (CCW) in 2017 to help young people gain valuable, real-life work experience while they study. This ensures students receive not only high-quality classroom instruction, but hands-on work experience that helps them start a career with employers looking to hire. Career Connect Washington brings together higher education, business and industry leaders, government and state agencies, labor leaders, community leaders and nonprofits, and regional leaders to find ways to better link education and work. The Legislature provided funding for Career Connect Washington during the 2019 legislative session.
Anyone! Programs will prepare people of all ages and all backgrounds to enter the workforce. The Career Launch endorsement is an added designation showing that program is specially able to train students at the start of their working careers.
Community and technical colleges can get involved in Career Connect Washington by receiving program-level Career Launch endorsements, or by partnering with regional networks intended to coordinate community efforts toward career connected learning. Regional networks are organized through the Employment Security Department.
To receive the Career Launch endorsement, you will need to complete the Career Launch Endorsement Review (CLER) application. The application will be available on the website in late July. Learn more about Career Launch endorsements.
Registered apprenticeships are automatically considered Career Launch programs and do not need to apply for the endorsement.
Once your program’s application is received, the CLER team will review the application and endorse the program, ask further questions, or provide feedback for revisions. Programs will be notified of approval or the need for additional information within two weeks for the CLER meeting in which the application was reviewed.
Three types of state funding are available for Career Launch programs.
- Career Launch development or expansion — Employment Security Department.
- Career Launch enrollment growth — the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Applications will be available soon through the State Board’s Online Grant Management System (OGMS).
- Career Launch equipment funding — State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Applications will be available soon through the State Board’s Online Grant Management System (OGMS).