Worker Retraining

Worker retraining opportunities are provided for laid off, unemployed, and dislocated workers in the State of Washington. The program provides job training to eligible members of Washington's workforce.

The emphasis is on retraining and rapid re–employment; therefore, students must be enrolled in a Short–Term TrainingAssociate of Applied Science (AAS) or Applied Baccalaureate Degrees (BAS), not in programs designed for transfer to a four–year college or university. The Worker Retraining program was reauthorized in 1999 to be funded from the Washington State General Fund and is administered by the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges.

Worker Retraining grants provide:

  • Tuition assistance
    • Note: For Bachelor of Applied Science students, tuition assistance is only available for one quarter (15 credits) of BAS classes. 
  • Required textbooks and supplies for classes
  • Educational planning and advising
  • Assistance with CAT/TB application and TAA paperwork
  • Assistance with employment benefit extensions and approval to attend college

If you are currently working and meet two of the three criteria below, you may qualify for Worker Retraining funding:

  • You are employed in an occupation that is “not in demand” according to the demand/decline list for your county
  • You do not have a previous degree or certificate and have completed less than one year of college education (less than 45 college credits) from any school
  • You need to learn new skills in order to keep your job

Other Worker Retraining criteria:

  • Collecting unemployment insurance (UI)
  • Exhausted UI within the last four years
  • Received a layoff or WARN notice
  • Displaced homemakers (divorced, widowed, separated)
  • Formerly self–employed (business closed due to economy)
  • Active military with separation notice or separated from the military within the last four years

How to Get Started

To find out if you qualify for funding, take a brief survey at For questions please contact the Workforce Education Office at or (206) 934-5835.

Learn more about additional ways to pay for college.

Note: Dreamers (undocumented students) that meet the criteria may be eligible for Worker Retraining funding.

Additional Resources

South Seattle College is also the site of a Washington State Employment Security co-located office. The onsite employment security specialist can provide assistance with a job search, unemployment questions, skills assessment, and other concerns relating to employment security. To reach the Washington State Employment Security Office, contact the South Seattle College WorkSource Career Center at (206) 934-5304.


In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.