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Centers of Excellence

Washington State’s Centers of Excellence link business, industry, labor and the state’s educational systems to create a highly skilled and readily available workforce critical to the state’s economic success. Each center is funded through the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and is housed at a community or technical college.

Centers of Excellence serve as statewide resources representing the needs and interests of a specific industry sector. Through an ongoing investment, Centers are charged with narrowing the gap between employer workforce needs and the colleges’ supply of work-ready graduates. They are a critical component of the state’s strategy of sustaining an innovative and vibrant economy.

Find Your Center

While Centers of Excellence are hosted at individual college campuses, they serve the sector needs of the entire state. 

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Everett Community College — The Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing works with industry partners and educational institutions to develop the talent pipeline for the next generation of aerospace and manufacturing workers across Washington State. The Center provides expertise to support industry growth and homegrown talent through collaboration with industry, labor, and education.

  • Director: VACANT
  • Alternate Contact: Kelsey Sanderson; Office phone: 425-388-9454

Walla Walla Community College — The Agriculture & Natural Resource Center of Excellence provide leadership and resources in fostering communications and strategic partnerships between agriculture and natural resource industry partners, community college faculty, and students. Operating as a hub for the multiple areas of specialization within the agriculture and natural resource industries, the Center provides the means for all stakeholders to actively work towards cultivating and maintaining a healthy agricultural and natural resource economy for the state of Washington.

Yakima Valley College — The Allied Health Center of Excellence is dedicated to addressing Washington state’s healthcare workforce needs of today and tomorrow. Through collaboration and cooperation with industry partners, the Center provides innovative programs to prepare qualified and competent health care professionals and leaders for the future.

Centralia College — The Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy provides leadership for a growing alliance of clean energy and clean technology industry and college partners. Together, industry and educational partners provide career pathways, comprehensive degree and certificate programs, online courses, and regional classroom training opportunities that focus on the future of our state's clean energy industry.

Renton Technical College — The Construction Center of Excellence is a  national model in developing partnerships among business, industry, labor and education for the purpose of enhancing economic and workforce development initiatives to meet the current and future needs of the construction industry.

Whatcom Community College — The Cybersecurity Center of Excellence is a state-wide information hub, collaborating with industry and educators to identify opportunities, create efficiencies, and support the future of cybersecurity in Washington State.  Through dynamic collaboration with academia, employers, industry, and government the CCoE develops comprehensive strategies and innovative solutions to meet the evolving cybersecurity workforce demands across the state.

Services and supports include facilitating strategic partnerships between employers and educators; providing training, curricular resources and program development or expansion support for cybersecurity degree and certificate offerings; professional development for current and potential faculty; and, and the development of K-12 pathways and cybersecurity endorsements for secondary educators.

Green River College — The Washington State Center of Excellence for Careers in Education provides support, mentoring, and advising to community colleges and their K-20 partners for the creation and expansion of career-ladder programs in education. The Center provides a yearly best practices conference, a comprehensive website, curriculum development and dissemination, and training for K-20 instructors and para-professionals.

  • Director: Jamie Wells; Office phone: 253-833-9111 ext. 4963
  • Alternate Contact: Angie Benjamin; Office phone: 253-288-3455 ext. 5803

Highline College — The Center of Excellence for Global Trade and Supply Chain Management is an educational resource supporting international trade. With 40 percent of all jobs in Washington state tied to global trade, the Center works with schools and colleges to build programs and career pathways creating a talent pipeline for the industry. The Center's mission is to build a competitive international business and supply chain workforce.

Pierce College — The Center of Excellence for Homeland Security and Emergency Management facilitates and coordinates homeland security and emergency management initiatives with a coalition of community and technical colleges, public agencies and private sector organizations. The Center provides support to Washington State community and technical colleges as they develop statewide innovative education and training programs in public safety, security, and emergency management. The goal is to produce a skilled workforce focused on maintaining our national security and ensuring an effective response to all hazard events.

  • Director: Linda Crerar; Office phone: 253-912-3689
  • Alternate Contact: VACANT

Bellevue College — The Center of Excellence for Information and Computing Technology collaborates with community and technical colleges, employers, K-12 educators, and tech sector leaders to build an inclusive, highly skilled technical workforce for Washington State. The Center provides up-to-date research, curriculum resources, information on industry trends that impact employment, professional development for educators, and coordinated access to a diverse talent pool. 

  • Director: Brianna Rockenstire
  • Alternate Contact: Ceana Pacheco (Acting Director 2023)

Skagit Valley College — The Northwest Center of Excellence for Marine Manufacturing and Technology is a hub for innovative discussions, resources, training, and education services that create a repository of information and illuminate best practices related to industry trends and emerging technologies to foster economic vitality.

  • Director: Ann Avary; Office phone: 360-766-6282 ext. 43504
  • Alternate Contact: Kim Davis

Clark College — The Semiconductor and Electronics Manufacturing Center of Excellence supports Mechatronics and STEM education programs that develop skilled workers for many of Washington State's industries within the Semiconductor and Electronics (High-Tech) manufacturing supply chain . The Center serves as liaison to business, industry, labor and other talent pools, and the state’s educational system with a focus on building a highly skilled and readily available workforce for industry. The Center is dedicated to principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion which are critical to the success of High-Tech industry and Washington families.

  • Director: Carl Douglas; Office phone: 360-609-3406
  • Alternate Contact: VACANT

Focus, Function and Delivery

Core expectations for each center are:

  • Economic development
  • Industry sector strategy
  • Education, innovation and efficiency
  • Workforce supply and demand
  • Equity and access

Centers of Excellence Impact Report

Read about Washington's Center of Excellence Impacts

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Last Modified: 4/10/24, 11:42 AM

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