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Governor Jay Inslee visits Seattle Goodwill, sees Career Connected Learning in action

POSTED June 21, 2019 IN: Community


Seattle Goodwill’s Youth Maritime and Youth Aerospace programs are templates for what impactful career connected learning looks like.

Both programs offer high school youth insight into careers that provide livable-wage jobs and don’t require four-year college degrees.

On Wednesday, June 19, Goodwill received a special visit from Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, who was interested in learning more about the youth programs and what makes Goodwill’s programming so effective.

“It’s a treat to be here, and I really look forward to listening to you,” said Governor Inslee to a group of Goodwill youth students packed into a King County Job Training and Education Center classroom. “I came here to learn about your experiences here. I really believe that you represent the cutting edge of a new wave of career development in the state of Washington.”

The governor’s visit lasted around 45 minutes. Two youth students led the governor on a tour through the King County JTE Center facility, sharing with him some of their story. Goodwill staff joined and gave the governor a look at several classrooms.

Goodwill program leaders from the Youth Aerospace and Youth Maritime programs then presented Inslee specifics of their programs. The leaders talked about their curriculum, how they expose students to industry professions and spoke of the importance of student relationship building.

The governor ended his visit with a roundtable discussion with youth students.

Several students shared their opinions of what makes their respective programs standout and how career connected learning, and specifically Goodwill’s wrap-around service model, differs from traditional schooling.”

“In high school there was many things I learned and it was marvelous, but here they’ve taught me the basic things I need to know for my life,” said Kidane, a Youth Maritime student who immigrated to the U.S. from the United Arab Emirates two years ago. “In high school, they gave me math, science. They are good for me, but here I learned the things I really need – how to pay my taxes, how to pay the light bill, basically what affects me in real life that I can’t navigate away from.”

King County JTE Center Manager George Gonzalez expanded on Goodwill’s approach to job training and education.

“One thing about these youth programs that is so great is job training and education is not transactional, it is relational,” George said. “It’s about getting to know the students and who their parents are, their friends are, all that, and cheering them along.”

The governor wrapped up his visit by shaking hands and taking photos with Goodwill’s youth students — the future leaders of our community.

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