Submitted by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges awarded nearly $5 million in federal CARES Act dollars to community and technical colleges across the state as they work to restore workforce-related programs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The one-time grants come from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funds provided by the CARES Act. Skagit Valley College will receive $189,510.
Workforce programs, in which 48 percent of the community and technical college system’s approximately 356,000 students were enrolled in the 2019-20 school year, were significantly disrupted in the spring quarter by the COVID-19 pandemic and measures to stop its spread. These programs require a hands-on component, so measures like physical distancing and lab and classroom capacity impacted the number of students who could participate at any one time. The GEER grant is intended to help colleges as they find new and different ways to provide instruction so students can complete their programs and enter the job market ready for what employers need.
“There’s no question the pandemic has impacted our students and our colleges. Faculty and staff continue to look for innovative ways to teach our students, and these GEER grants will go a long way in that effort,” said Jan Yoshiwara, executive director of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. “These are the programs that will help get Washington state’s economy back on track. We thank Gov. Inslee for awarding the college system this funding.”