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RCW 28C.18.005

Findings.

The legislature finds that the state's system of workforce training and education is inadequate for meeting the needs of the state's workers, employers, and economy. A growing shortage of skilled workers is already hurting the state's economy. There is a shortage of available workers and too often prospective employees lack the skills and training needed by employers. Moreover, with demographic changes in the state's population employers will need to employ a more culturally diverse workforce in the future.
The legislature further finds that the state's current workforce training and education system is fragmented among numerous agencies, councils, boards, and committees, with inadequate overall coordination. No comprehensive strategic plan guides the different parts of the system. There is no single point of leadership and responsibility. There is insufficient guidance from employers and workers built into the system to ensure that the system is responsive to the needs of its customers. Adult workforce education lacks a uniform system of governance, with an inefficient division in governance between community colleges and vocational technical institutes, and inadequate local authority. The parts of the system providing adult basic skills and literacy education are especially uncoordinated and lack sufficient visibility to adequately address the needs of the large number of adults in the state who are functionally illiterate. The workforce training and education system's data and evaluation methods are inconsistent and unable to provide adequate information for determining how well the system is performing on a regular basis so that the system may be held accountable for the outcomes it produces. Much of the workforce training and education system provides inadequate opportunities to meet the needs of people from culturally diverse backgrounds. Finally, our public and private educational institutions are not producing the number of people educated in vocational/technical skills needed by employers.
The legislature recognizes that we must make certain that our public and private institutions of education place appropriate emphasis on the needs of employers and on the needs of the approximately eighty percent of our young people who enter the world of work without completing a four-year program of higher education. We must make our workforce education and training system better coordinated, more efficient, more responsive to the needs of business and workers and local communities, more accountable for its performance, and more open to the needs of a culturally diverse population.
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