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TACOMA, Wash. – Thanks to a grant from State Farm and several contributions from the home building industry, WorkForce Central is $21,000 closer to reaching our goal to fund a pre-apprenticeship center for all of Pierce County.

With State Farm’s $10,000 grant, as well as $5,000 contributions from both Lennar and Newland and $1,000 from Shea Homes, we’ve brought our total in outside funding to $216,000 for the pre-apprenticeship center, which will prepare Pierce County residents for construction-related careers.

WorkForce Central is contributing $100,000 toward our goal of $500,000 to open and operate the center. Other funding sources secured so far:

While the center will be open to all, we will target recruitment toward Pierce County residents who are unemployed and underemployed, individuals of color, and women.

“State Farm strongly supports the Pierce County Pre-Apprenticeship Center so unemployed and underemployed residents in the community can enter into apprenticeship programs and direct employment,” said company spokesperson Ty Cordova.  “State Farm is proud to help individuals realize their dreams.”

The construction industry is projected to grow at 3.6 percent annually in Pierce County, and faces an impending silver tsunami of retirements. And with an existing skills gap, a training center dedicated to developing a talent pipeline for construction-related jobs can’t come soon enough.

“Thank you to our private sector partners for their initial investments.  These corporate partners understand the need to grow our talent pipeline for the construction industry,” said Linda Nguyen, CEO of WorkForce Central. “They also recognize that the pre-apprenticeship center is one strategic solution that will provide access and support to individuals who want a career in this growing sector.”

Construction workers in Pierce County earn an average annual wage of about $59,323 — that’s 19 percent higher than the overall average annual wage ($49,996). The center will make special efforts to target residents of South Tacoma, Lakewood, Parkland, Spanaway and other unincorporated parts of Pierce County. Data shows these regions have a median income that is 23 to 27 percent lower than the county median wage.

Three hundred and twenty trainees annually will go through an 11-week program that uses a standardized curriculum developed by the National Standing Committee on Apprenticeship and Training of North America’s Building Trades Union that will be customized to meet local business needs. Graduates of the center will have the essential skills and technical skills they need to be successful in an apprenticeship program or on a job site, and will be certified in forklift operation, Washington State traffic control flagger, industrial first aid and CPR, and OSHA 10.

We are so close to our goal, but we still have money to raise!

  • If you are a business that is interested in supporting the pre-apprenticeship effort or sponsoring one or more trainee slots in the pre-apprenticeship center, please email
  • Businesses can fully sponsor a trainee for $1,500

WorkForce Central strengthens the Pierce County economy by identifying skill gaps between jobseekers and employment opportunities, fostering data-driven decision making, and connecting workforce development partners into a cohesive, collaborative and effective network.


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