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High-Demand Enrollment Expansion

Expanding Access to High-Demand Occupations

In 2021, the legislature provided $2 million for the FY21-23 biennium to increase enrollment in high-demand fields through ESSB 5092, section 26. The High-Demand competitive funding opportunity will support Washington state community and technical colleges in new or expanded enrollments in training programs that lead to employment in high-demand fields. Colleges must demonstrate through the application process that the proposed program meets the threshold of high-demand program of study or high-demand occupation with qualitative and/or quantitative data from reliable sources. Colleges must also demonstrate how this funding will be utilized to grow enrollment and progression. 

High-Demand Defined

Applicants are encouraged to use state and regional data to identify fields that meet the definition of high-demand in stature under RCW 28A.700.020:

  • "High-demand program" means a career and technical education program that prepares students for either a high employer demand program of study or a high-demand occupation, or both. 
    • "High employer demand program of study" means an apprenticeship, certificate or degree program in which the number of students per year prepared for employment from in-state programs is less than the number of projected job openings per year in that field, either statewide or in a region.
    • "High-demand occupation" means an occupation with a substantial number of current or projected employment opportunities. 
  • High-demand programs specified in legislation included, but are not limited to allied health, computer and information science, and manufacturing (ESSB 5092, section 26). 

Guidance to Identify High-Demand Programs

Resources for determining high-demand programs of study and/or high-demand occupations may include, but are not limited to:


  • Instructional program advisory committee recommendations
  • Workforce Development council recommendations
  • Demand data from industry, trade association data, and other transactional data

Learn more about applying for funding

Please review the Grants for Colleges for more information about grants and allocations available for application.  

FY21-23 High-Demand Funds Important Dates

Application Information Date
Applications available November 10, 2021
Application deadline December 22, 2021
Colleges notified of grant awards February 2022
Grant projects conclude June 30, 2023



William Belden
Policy Associate, Workforce Education


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Last Modified: 1/30/24, 4:36 PM

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