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WorkFirst is Washington state's welfare reform program that helps people in low-income families find jobs, keep their jobs, find better jobs and become self-sufficient.

WorkFirst Goals

What sets WorkFirst apart from other reform initiatives is a commitment to go beyond simply mandating participants to find work.

WorkFirst has three main goals:

  • Reduce poverty by helping people find and keep jobs.
  • Sustain independence by helping people keep and improve jobs.
  • Protect children and other vulnerable residents by providing for childcare and stopgap funding for emergency situations.

WorkFirst helps participants gain skills necessary for better jobs, higher wages and further advancement. As this goal is achieved, savings from reduced caseloads have been reinvested in targeted supports to help participants be more employable and move up the wage ladder.



Erin Frasier
Policy Associate, Workforce Education

Deana Rader
Program Administrator, Workfirst

Washington State Perkins V Plan

Find information about Perkins V (the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act) is being implemented in Washington. Information and resources are available for community and technical colleges at Perkins V.

System Messaging 

WorkFirst listserv emails will be transitioning to the Workforce Student Supports Canvas Community on August 1, 2020. Contact Dylan Jilek at to join the Canvas and get involved in conversations with your peers at other colleges. The Workforce Student Supports Canvas Community is also your one-stop shop for program resources!

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Last Modified: 7/29/20 1:22 PM

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