Workforce Training & Recruitment

Specialized Workforce Solutions Built to Company Needs

Spokane County is the largest labor market in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. As the education hub of the Inland Northwest with 18 universities and colleges located in the area, the county has a dependable source of employees who are well-trained, ready to work and valued for loyalty. Nearly 90,000 students study at area colleges and universities within an 80-mile radius of Spokane County, building the talent pool for the region. The county's public and private higher education institutions work collaboratively with one another and the business community to support the needs of students and various industries seeking skilled talent from the graduating population. This ensures student success and a workforce developed specifically to meet the needs of business and industry.

Local Workforce Support

The Spokane region offers programs to benefit all stages of training and ensure the continued development of a highly engaged, motivated workforce equipped with ready-to-work skills.

Spokane Community College's Center for Workforce and Continuing Education offers courses in:

  • Business and professional development
  • Computers and technology
  • Health and medical
  • Teacher education
  • Personal enrichment

These courses are designed to meet the needs of business and industry while advancing the skills of the regional workforce. Industry-driven professional development and certification courses are also offered, targeted to specific requests and open to the public.

The Spokane Area Workforce Development Council offers employers a comprehensive suite of services to assist with their recruiting and hiring needs, including job posting and screening, assessment testing, and on-the-job training. Along with community partners, the Spokane Area Workforce Council provides labor market intelligence services. The council can provide a business and industry analyst who can carefully analyze changes and trends within the regional labor market and economy, and provide workforce data, trends, and future projections to help a business to make great decisions.

Impact Washington also provides programs and tools to make manufacturers more globally competitive. With a variety of consulting and training services, Impact Washington has a 20-year history of creating measurable impacts for manufacturers.

Statewide Training & Recruitment Efforts

Washington also offers workforce training and recruitment programs statewide to support the initial and ongoing recruitment needs of employers.

  • The Job Skills Program provides funding for customized, short-term and job-specific training for eligible businesses using dollar-for-dollar matching grants. The program supports new employee training, current employee retraining, current employee upgrading and industry initiatives.
  • AJAC developed the state’s first advanced manufacturing registered pre-apprenticeship program, Manufacturing Academy (MA), in 2011. MA offers a solid foundational career pathway into aerospace and advanced manufacturing apprenticeship opportunities for job seekers who develop industry-relevant skills at multiple locations across Washington State.This 10-week, no-cost, pre-apprenticeship program teaches students both soft skills and technical skills to include but not limited to applied math, blueprint reading, intro to machining and maintenance, interview techniques, and industry tours with AJAC partnering companies.
  • Washington state's 10 Centers of Excellence are hosted by community and technical colleges throughout the state. They are designed to build and sustain Washington's competitive advantage through statewide leadership. They provide information about industry needs, jobseeker and recruitment resources, and customized training for each of the target industries.
  • Through the Washington Customized Training Program eligible businesses receive customized employee training. The level of customization ranges from existing training curriculum delivered on the job site to fully customized training curriculum developed exclusively for the business.
  • Choose Washington offers Washington businesses a one-stop resource for employee training through public-private partnerships and at community and technical colleges across the state. Employee training programs can be designed and delivered to requested specifications for business-dedicated training.
  • Career & Technical Education in local high schools - In early 2023, NIMA (formerly Inland Northwest Aerospace Consortium) was awarded a $200,000 Evergreen Manufacturing Growth grant from Washington's Department of Commerce to renovate and prepare to launch a manufacturing training center/program at East Valley High School in Spokane Valley. With support from East Valley School District and Wagstaff, Inc., the East Valley shop has been transformed into a prime training ground for our region's next generation of manufacturing talent. This renovation is proving to be just a starting point in changing the way we engage and prepare the workforce of the future.

Training Funds

Various funds are available to offset the cost of training new and incumbent workers. Check with the Spokane Area Workforce Council and Job Skills Program to see if funding is currently available.