In response to a shortage of skilled construction workers in the region, the Northwest Workforce Council will host a free retraining program for displaced workers.
The program will be taught by Apprenticeship and Non-Traditional Employment for Women (ANEW), a nonprofit that helps prepare women and minorities for work in fields where they are underrepresented, such as construction.
“There are so many opportunities in construction that we don’t think about,” said Karen Dove, executive director of the nonprofit.
The four-week program will be hosted at the WorkSource Skagit office in Mount Vernon. ANEW is adapting the program from one it has run for 36 years in the King County area.
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The program, which will start Oct. 23, is open to those who are unemployed and are unlikely to return to their fields, according to the Northwest Workforce Council.
The 20 to 25 participants in the program will learn about hand tools, math skills, and the basics of several skilled construction trades.
Most importantly, ANEW will use its connections with local apprenticeship programs to help connect participants to apprenticeship opportunities, said Karen Dove, executive director of the nonprofit.
“They know the people who come out of our program are ready to learn,” she said.
The program is funded by the Northwest Workforce Council, a federally funded organization that works with private and public partners to facilitate workforce development in Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan counties.
WorkSource Skagit is hosting informational sessions for those interested in applying. Information is available by contacting Catherine Kennedy at 360-416-3516 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.