Wednesday, June 19, 2024

WorkSource counselor discusses apprentice project at Brewster Chamber

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BREWSTER – Job Training Counselor Marcus Alden from WorkSource Okanogan County was the featured speaker at the regular monthly meeting of the Brewster Chamber of Commerce last Wednesday, Sept. 5.


Alden addressed Chamber members about a new student apprenticeship program that he is helping to spearhead with the help of the North Central Educational Service District and Economic Alliance in Omak. Its goal is to present high school students with opportunities to earn and learn through local business mentorships and connect them with needed trade careers in the county.

Okanogan County was recently awarded a grant from Governor Jay Inslee’s $6.4 million Career Connect Washington initiative to help introduce students to career opportunities in the county.

“A four-year degree isn’t the only path to a fulfilling career,” Inslee said in a media release last December. “Business leaders have told us they are looking for talent in everything from information technology to health care. And that’s what this initiative is all about: connecting students to great employers and high-quality job training.”

 Alden is speaking to school and community groups throughout the county to enlist participation in the upcoming High School Career Connection Expo in mid-October.

As an example, Alden said he is currently involved with creating certified training programs for medical and dental assistants in conjunction with Mid-Valley Hospital and Family Health Centers in the county.

“In the near future I hope to offer apprenticeships for a millwright and molder apprentice,” Alden said.
The training offers pay levels beyond the normal minimum wage, but recognized certification that can be used in other parts of the state.


“We want to get young adults on a career track and make a better living,” Alden said.
Brewster Chamber Secretary Mike Mauk was impressed with Alden’s presentation and the opportunities it offers area students.

 

“I didn’t even know such a program existed,” Mauk said.
 

The Expo will be held at the Okanogan Agri-plex at 175 Rodeo Trail Road in Okanogan from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Oct. 17. Students will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from technical colleges, skills centers, community colleges, four-year colleges, military, employers, Job Corps, WorkSource and more.
 

Registration for the Expo is available at www.WorksourceWa.com.
 

For more information contact Kristi O’Neill, Career Connection Specialist at WorkSource Okanogan County, (509) 826-7555, or email KROneill@esd.wa.gov.

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