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Is employee upskilling on your mind?

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Is employee upskilling on your mind? – Learn about free assessment consultation and employee training tax credit or grants

The retail transformation was accelerating before COVID, but it shifted into high gear in the last 12 months. The rapid rise of e-commerce elevated customer service expectations to a new level.

Are you and/or your employees feeling the need for upskilling?

Washington Retail recently hosted two Retail Workforce Roundtables with a wide range of workforce and community partners  to identify ways to bolster retailers’ upskilling needs.  The Roundtable identified a variety of useful resources that will help your business adapt to changing consumer demands.

  • State offers upskilling loan and grant:
    • Customized Training Program (CTP) – Available to businesses that provide employment opportunities in Washington state may be eligible for interest-free training loan assistance for customized contract training from community and technical colleges or certain Washington-based, private career schools or colleges. Employers may be able to claim 50% of the loan as a B&O tax credit.
    • Job Skills Program (JSP) – Grants awarded to licensed educational institutions in Washington who develop a training agreement with employers. JSP funds half of the training cost; partner employers provide a cash or in-kind match to fund the other half.
    • Funds are awarded on a first-approved, rolling basis throughout the fiscal year. Applications are reviewed by a standing sub-committee of the Workforce Training Customer Advisory Committee.

According to Danny Marshall, Workforce Education Program Administrator, there is $200,000 left in the CTP to access by June 30, and the next quarterly application deadline for JSP grants is May 31, 2021. The Legislature added $10 million to the JSP grant pool which tripled the funds available for employers to access.

  • Free employee training consultation to assess needs: Mike Nielsen with the Green River College and the Invista Performance Solutions team are available to help employers assess training needs and help them apply for the JSP grant and CTP loan with tax-incentive. A group of employers with similar interests could seek consultation jointly and apply.
  • Retail is intimately connected to supply chain and global trade. Sam Kaplan with the Center of Supply Chain and Global Trade helps connects industry and education in Washington around workforce development issues. He has worked with colleges around the state on global trade and logistics curriculum.

These programs and offers give preference to small businesses and we look forward to featuring early success stories around using these programs. Please contact

Rose Gundersen, VP of Operations and Retail Services at [email protected] for more information.

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