State Funds Third Round of Economic Security For All 

August 30, 2022

WorkForce Central was awarded more than $700,000 in state funds for a third round of the Economic Security For All program. And with it comes expanded support and opportunities for Pierce County residents.

The previous two rounds of funding came from federal dollars. The grant was originally secured in 2019 with a goal to lift 250 families out of poverty in the 98404-zip code in Eastside Tacoma. Since then, the program has expanded to serve five zip codes in communities experiencing a high rate of poverty in Tacoma, Lakewood, Parkland, and Spanaway. By the end of 2021, the program helped nearly 300 people connect to jobs, training, financial literacy coaching, education, and resources to build a better future.

The first funding cycle ended March 31 but was renewed for a second cycle in April 2022 through March 2023 and expanded to all of Pierce County. This third round of funding started July 1 and will run through June 2023.

Because the third round came from state dollars, it comes with a different set of guidelines.

“It’s allowing us to use the money in ways we haven’t traditionally been able to with federal funds,” said Danielle Thompson, Director of Workforce Initiatives.

The change in funding allows program operators to enhance the supportive service side of the program. Funding can be used to assist customers with utilities, rental assistance, food assistance, supplies, and daycare.

“For round three, our design is really trying to offset other barriers that are weighing them down,” Thompson said.

New for this round will be the addition of a navigator that will specifically work to support basic needs for clients. They will be working on the front line with case managers.

Thompson said that most of these funds will go directly to the customers.

While enrolled in the Economic Security For All Program, customers will be provided with career guidance, labor market information, career research assistance, short-term training, job search and job placement assistance, interview preparation, resume building, personal branding and networking assistance, resource and partner referrals, paid internships, and on the job training.

WorkForce Central bridges the gap between job seekers, employers, and community organizations to build a robust workforce pipeline and ensure economic vitality across the region. We strive to enhance the quality of services offered across the system to ensure consistent, effective experiences for its stakeholders, cultivating economic prosperity for clients. Economic stability brings security to the community, and we are honored to have a role in that development. 

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