January 30, 2024

Port of Tacoma Partners with WorkForce Central to Further Support Paid Learning Opportunities

Tacoma, WA: Job seekers will have access to high-quality paid learning opportunities in Pierce County through a partnership between WorkForce Central, Asia Pacific Cultural Center, and the Port of Tacoma.

The partnership will provide career pathways training through paid internships and work experiences in the maritime and trade industries, including construction, skilled trades, manufacturing, and warehouse, logistics, and transportation.

“We are excited to partner with the Port of Tacoma to expand earn-and-learn opportunities that provide skill development and experiential learning in a professional work environment,” said Teresa Delicino, Senior Director of Business Solutions for WorkForce Central. “Paid work experience supports people in building critical industry connections and is an excellent strategy for employers who wish to invest in their future workforce through mentorship.”

WorkForce Central will partner with the Asia Pacific Cultural Center and the WorkSource Pierce network to identify and enroll participants for these opportunities while connecting with industry partners interested in hosting participants. Asian Pacific Cultural Center will lead in coordinating outreach and support efforts to engage Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in gaining access to these opportunities.

“For years, jobs in these sectors have been extremely hard to get into for our Asia Pacific people. They have been very reluctant to even think of trying to apply because it always seemed so complicated,” said Faaluaina Pritchard, Executive Director of the Asia Pacific Cultural Center. “With this opportunity, our people can come to us as their trusted messenger and community service provider, and they will no longer be afraid to apply and be trained. APCC is very excited to partner with Workforce Central to help our people get into better-paying jobs.”

WorkSource Pierce partners will support the program by providing enrollment support, work readiness training, and coaching support to individuals throughout the program. For example, Palmer Scholars, a core WorkSource Pierce partner, will provide training through its Palmer Pathways Pre-Apprenticeship Program, which provides training in the skilled trades and focuses on elevating young adults of color into quality jobs.

The expanded opportunities this partnership will provide allows WorkForce Central to continue their work in building a robust earn-while-you-learn model that supports people who face systemic barriers to these opportunities. With a goal to serve more than 40 people each year, this will lead individuals into quality, living-wage employment.

“This partnership allows us to take another step in putting our Workforce Development Strategic Plan into action,” said Port of Tacoma Commission President Kristin Ang. “Connecting more people in Pierce County with career opportunities on our working waterfront will help set families up for success and fill a critical gap in the maritime industry.”

If you’re an employer interested in hosting an intern, please contact our Business Solutions team at To learn more about the work that WorkForce Central is leading in Pierce County, visit their website


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