Haler bill to help small businesses get local skilled workers signed into law by governor

Legislation designed to ensure higher education students get the training and skills they need to enter the local workforce was signed into law this week by Governor Jay Inslee.

House Bill 1130, sponsored by Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, was requested by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.  It repeals the expiration date of the Washington Customized Employment Training Program which helps small businesses by allowing them to contract with qualified community and technical colleges or private vocational schools to provide customized training.

“This program has proven to be beneficial for both local employers and potential employees,” said Haler, who serves on the House Higher Education Committee.  “Small businesses are able to assist on the front end with specific training that focuses on their most important needs.  Students are able to get tailored instruction that leads to very specific skills that make them more immediately employable.  It’s a win-win for our local employers and for those looking to enter the workforce.”

The Washington Customized Employment Training Program was created by the Legislature in 2006.  Training allowances are awarded to eligible employers who then contract with qualified community and technical colleges or private vocational schools to provide customized training.  Preference is given to employers with fewer than 50 employees and employers must then repay the training allowance back into the program to be used again.

The program was set to expire in 2012 but the Legislature extended the deadline until July 1, 2017.

Haler’s bill completely removes the expiration date.

“I’m grateful the Legislature saw fit to approve this bill that helps our rural and local economic development efforts,” said Haler.  “This partnership of public resources with private know-how is helping employers get the employees they want and workers the job they need.”

The 105-day 2017 regular session is scheduled to end April 23.

Anna Nikolaeva and Arlen Harris from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges attend a bill-signing ceremony with Gov. Jay Inslee, Rep. Larry Haler and Amy Anderson of the Association of Washington Business.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov