Images of Kitsap County
Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598

Date: February 4, 2016
Contact: Bob Potter, Director, Olympic Workforce Development Area
(360) 337-4873, or
No: 2016-005

Local workforce program leads state in performance measures progress

(Port Orchard, WA) - The Olympic Workforce Development Area Consortium encompassing Kitsap, Clallam and Jefferson counties, led most of Washington State in workforce program measures for the year ending June 30, 2015, according to the State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board’s Annual Report. The performance measures show the progress of activities under the federal Workforce Investment Act program. The Olympic Consortium area served over 600 residents at WorkSource offices in Port Orchard, Bremerton, Port Townsend and Port Angeles.

Individuals may open a claim for unemployment insurance, find job openings, receive other job search assistance and attend workshops to improve employability at WorkSource offices. Support is also available for qualified job seekers to obtain specific training for high-demand occupations. Businesses can get help with workforce needs including recruitment, screening, job training, layoff aversion and employee retention.

The Consortium met all 15 state and federal targets, exceeding performance measures in nine of the 15 areas. The Olympic Consortium youth certificate achievement rate of 83 percent was the highest in the state. Kitsap County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido chairs the Consortium, which is overseen by the nine county commissioners from the three counties.

“We are proud of the efforts to collaborate with local businesses, educators, and agencies regarding their workforce needs,” remarked Commissioner Garrido. “Our Workforce Development staff and I look forward to even greater accomplishments in 2016 as we introduce exciting new career pathways per the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.” 

In cooperation with the county commissioners, the Olympic Workforce Development Council (WDC) chaired by Julie Tappero, is a strategic group of volunteers responsible for local implementation of public workforce funds. “We are committed to meeting our area's workforce needs, not only today, but tomorrow as well,” Tappero noted. “It's gratifying to see our success highlighted in this report and to know that people are being put to work, and our businesses are finding and retaining the skilled talent they need."

There are 12 workforce development councils in Washington, each private-industry led, locally focused and certified by Governor Inslee. Local elected officials are recipients of area grants and direct Workforce Development Council staff to oversee the area’s WorkSource centers to most effectively respond to the local economy and needs of citizens. WDCs convene with regional partners and stakeholders to assess skill gaps, identify emerging and future employment possibilities and collaborate with economic developers and other partners to develop the region’s workforce development plan. WorkSource offices are the system’s portal into the business community and responsible for facilitating multiple interagency projects and programs while providing support to prospective future employees.

Citizens looking for employment or employers looking for qualified applicants are encouraged to contact their local WorkSource office:

 WorkSource Port Orchard, (360) 473-2159,
WorkSource Bremerton, (360) 337-4810,
WorkSource Port Hadlock, (360) 379-5036,
WorkSource Port Angeles, (360) 457-2103,

For more information, contact Bob Potter, director of the Olympic Workforce Development Area, (360) 337-4873, .

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Last Updated:  February 04, 2016