Snohomish STEM Receives Funding to Expand Youth Career Exploration

Snohomish STEM Receives Funding to Expand Youth Career Exploration Main Photo

27 Jul 2023

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Everett, WA., July 27, 2023 – The Snohomish STEM Network, powered by Economic Alliance Snohomish County (EASC), is pleased to announce Snohomish STEM has been awarded funding to support youth STEM career exploration, as part of a $4.3 million investment from Snohomish County.

Snohomish STEM is one of seven workforce development and job pathway programs to receive funding from Snohomish County. The seven awarded projects provide enhanced employment training and/or address challenges to employment, with the goal of connecting individuals to stable jobs or career pathways. The projects focus on highly impacted populations including youth, immigrants and refugees, and people with disabilities. These projects are funded through the County’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation.

COVID-19 had a significant impact on the workforce, and Snohomish County employment has not caught up to pre-pandemic levels. An estimated 11,000 fewer people are working today than at the start of the pandemic, largely due to the increasing retirement rates of thousands of workers and lack of childcare availability. Although countywide unemployment rates are near historic lows, some groups are lagging. Young people ages 16-24 have an unemployment rate of 11.9 percent, which is nearly four times the countywide unemployment rate of 3.2 percent.

This almost $1.2 million award will support Snohomish STEM and consortium partners to bring expanded youth career exploration programming to the entire county by way of broad partnerships in K-12, higher education, and career connected learning organizations. The program will increase STEM programming access to over 5,000 students.

“With these funds, we can significantly increase the number of youth engaged in career exploration through STEM concentrated programming,” said Alyssa Jackson, Director of Snohomish STEM Network and Co-Director of Career Connect Washington Northwest Region. “Together with our partners, we can positively impact career connected learning that has been affected by COVID.”

Snohomish STEM, powered by Economic Alliance Snohomish County (EASC), engages with education, business, community-based organizations, and government to improve equitable access for all students strengthening our future workforce talent.

“We are very thankful for the opportunity provided by Executive Somers and Snohomish County,” said Garry Clark, President and CEO of EASC. “This ARPA funding will help to continue our core effort to provide opportunity to thousands of youth throughout Snohomish County. Snohomish STEM and Career Connect Washington Northwest remain instrumental in the future workforce development and talent pipeline for the region. Thanks to the dedication of Snohomish STEM Director, Alyssa Jackson, and our EASC leadership, we know this program will continue to be a true success.”

About Snohomish STEM

The Snohomish STEM Network, founded in 2013, is part of the EASC team and brings together cross-sector partnerships and leaders to support future workforce, education, and a strong cradle-to-career network preparing students for in-demand, high-paying jobs in Snohomish County. The Snohomish STEM Network Director also serves as the Co-Director for the Career Connect Washington Northwest Regional Network (CCWNW), which includes Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Island, and San Juan counties.

About Economic Alliance Snohomish County

Economic Alliance Snohomish County (EASC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with members from the public and private sectors and is designated by the State and Snohomish County as the county economic development authority. As such, it generates and advocates for smart economic policy and strategies, grow living wage jobs, and expand the economy through business expansion and attraction. EASC also hosts business services from the SBA (Small Business Administration) and other federal and state agencies to deliver business services to local businesses.

For more information, please contact:

Raechel Morera
Communications & Brand Manager
Economic Alliance Snohomish County