SJI is honored to be selected as one of the Career Connect Washington program intermediary grantees. Career Connect Washington is a youth and young adult workforce initiative connecting students to learning and experiences to explore, choose, and succeed in career pathways. We are thrilled to join and support the initiative’s goal of 60% of students in the class of 2030 completing Career Launch and 100% of students completing career connected learning programs.

This grant represents a collaboration between SJI, the Machinists Institute, Renton School District, and Renton Technical College to create a Career Launch pathway connecting youth and young adults into automotive machining careers. Shana Peschek, Executive Director of the Machinists Institute says, “The Automotive Machinists industry offers competitive wages and a dynamic career using cutting edge technology. We are excited to raise awareness and provide an opportunity for these great union jobs and the registered apprenticeship program!”

With the one-year planning grant, we will:

  1. Update curriculum in Renton School District Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs to align with apprenticeship entry requirements.
  2. Develop communication and career navigation tools targeting youth and young adults to explore automotive machining careers.
  3. Establish credit for prior learning/dual credit outcomes for students to earn college or apprenticeship hour credit.
  4. Create paid internship opportunities for students and young adults to gain real-world experience for automotive machining careers.
  5. Build a curriculum for a “boot camp” style pre-apprenticeship for young adults, to be implemented in future years.

SJI centers all its work around social equity and inclusion by addressing structural and systemic barriers to economic opportunities faced by marginalized and underserved communities. We aim to close aspirational, social capital, and economic opportunity gaps by partnering with school districts (like RSD) with free and reduced lunch eligibility rates in excess of 40%, and focusing on recruitment of youth and young adults from immigrant and refugee communities and justice-involved backgrounds.

The project is supported by the WA State Labor Council; Center of Excellence for Global Trade and Supply Chain Management; NW Machinists Apprenticeship Committee, Machinists Union District 160; Renton School District; and the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County.

For more information about our employment and training programs, visit our programs page.