The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges awarded nearly $5 million in federal CARES Act dollars to community and technical colleges across the state as they work to restore workforce-related programs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The one-time grants come from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds provided by the CARES Act.
Workforce programs, in which 48% of the community and technical college system’s approximately 356,000 students were enrolled in the 2019-20 school year, were significantly disrupted in spring quarter by the COVID-19 pandemic and measures to stop its spread. These programs require a hands-on component, so measures like physical distancing and lab and classroom capacity impacted the number of students who could participate at any one time. The GEER grant is intended to help colleges as they find new and different ways to provide instruction so students can complete their programs and enter the job market ready for what employers need.
The colleges and the amount awarded are: