Gov. Gregoire announces winners of economic development awards

Gov. Chris Gregoire has announced the winners of the 2009 Workforce and Economic Development Best Practice awards. Five projects were recognized as models of success in creating jobs, building a skilled workforce and enhancing the economy in communities around the state.

The awards will be presented at the Workforce and Economic Development Conference in Spokane, Oct. 27-29.

This year’s Best Practice Awards recognize leadership and exemplary accomplishment in a project, program or initiative. “These five exceptional projects demonstrate the diversity, innovation and partnerships that are contributing to a new, stronger Washington,” Gregoire said. “Each partnership is helping our state build a globally competitive economy, and a better future for working families.”

Among the winners is the Workforce Development Partnership at Tacoma-based General Plastics Manufacturing Company. General Plastics Manufacturing Company and the Business Connection collaborated on a recruiting strategy which included an assessment tool designed to determine important characteristics of their best current employees. The company also contracted with Tacoma Community College to design manufacturing systems curriculum and train 25 new managers and supervisors to succeed current employees as they retire.

Other winners include Health Careers for Youth (Seattle); Odessa Public Development Authority (Odessa) Community; and Rural Outreach Nursing Education (RONE) project of Lower Columbia College (Longview).

The 2009 Workforce and Economic Development Conference and Best Practices Awards are organized by the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board and the Department of Commerce. The Department of Commerce is the lead agency charged with enhancing and promoting economic vitality in Washington. The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board is a partnership of labor, business and government, dedicated to helping Washington state residents obtain and succeed in family-wage jobs.