Workforce Transitions programs, like BFET and WorkFirst, provide financial support to help connect students with a path into a high-demand, high wage career. These programs can help support:
- Students planning to transfer to a university
- Professional Technical certificates and degrees
- Job skills training—specific skills needed to gain employment
- Pre-college skills (diploma, GED, basic skills or ESL) to prepare for career training
Each program has different criteria and requirements, but SPSCC has tools and experts to help each student find funding that will put them solidly on the path to completion and employment.
What are the Workforce Transitions Programs
BFET can help you pay for tuition, fees, books, and more, no matter what SPSCC program or Pathway you’re in.
To be eligible, you should be living in Washington State and receiving food benefits through DSHS, but not receiving TANF (Temporary Assistant to Needy Families). If you haven’t already, you should also complete the FAFSA within the first quarter of taking classes.
Find out if you are eligible by taking this short survey at StartNextQuarter.org.
The Opportunity Grant program helps low-income students complete up to one year of college and a certificate in a high-wage, high-demand career.
To be eligible:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA, for undocumented students); and demonstrate unmet financial need.
- Be a Washington state resident student as defined by law.
- Have an income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level (see the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Poverty Guidelines).
- Maintain a 2.0 grade point average.
- Enrolled in an eligible program of study.
- Funding for tuition and fees up to 45 credits (one year, full time).
- Funding for required books and supplies up to $1,000.
- You may also be able to get:
- Career advising
- College success classes
WorkFirst is a program to assist parents who are receiving TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) to gain the skills needed to become employed or to advance in employment through wage and skill progression. Students who qualify may be eligible to receive funding for up to one quarter to cover tuition and fees, books, transportation, childcare or tools.
WorkFirst Work-Study is also available to students who are receiving TANF to provide employment opportunities while attending school.
Program eligibility requirements:
- Currently be receiving TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families)
- Must be referred by your DSHS case manager for specific eligible programs
To apply for WorkFirst, call 360-596-5401 or drop by the WorkFirst Office in Building 22, Room 201B to schedule an appointment for individual orientation.
Find out if you qualify:
Worker Retraining is a state-funded program to help recently unemployed or military discharged students retrain in a new field to re-enter the workforce. A student may qualify if she/he:
- is receiving unemployment
- has exhausted unemployment within the past 48 months
- has separated from the military within the past 48 months
- received a lay-off notice
- lost a main source of income due to spousal divorce, separation, death or disability
- is out of work due to natural disaster
Students who qualify may be eligible to receive funding for up to one quarter to cover tuition and fees, books, transportation, childcare or tools.
Program eligibility requirements:
- Live in WA state
- Enrolled in ABE/GED/ESL program, vocational or professional technical non-transfer degree, or certificate program
- And have one of the following circumstances:
- Currently receiving unemployment benefits
- Eligible to receive unemployment benefits
- Exhausted unemployment benefits within the past 48 months
To apply for Worker Retraining, submit the Worker Retraining Application. Call the Worker Retraining Office at 360-596-5447.
You must provide one of the following documents to qualify:
- Current unemployment check stub, or
- Documentation from the Employment Security Department that you have exhausted unemployment benefits within the past 24 months, or
- Warning notice from your employer, or
- Legal documentation proving eligibility as a Displaced Homemaker.
In addition to submitting the Worker Retraining application, applicants must also:
Start Next Quarter
Take a survey to see if you what Workforce Transitions programs you may be eligibility to enroll in.
It's short, free and anonymous. This is just a tool to allow you to see which programs might be available to you.