The Odessa Record -

Focus is on connecting local youth to local jobs


Last updated 5/16/2018 at 4:22pm

Davenport WA, May 15, 2018 – On May 9, WSU Extension provided Washington with a unique opportunity for collaboration around rural workforce issues – a statewide virtual conference on Workforce Solutions through Career Connected Learning. Keynote speakers were viewed simultaneously at 21 locations across the state, followed by local discussion of ways to connect career opportunities with local youth.

Several Lincoln County businesses have job openings they cannot fill, and connecting youth to those local job opportunities before the young people graduate is a proven solution. That’s why the Lincoln County Economic Development Council chose to host a site in Lincoln County. Bridget Rohner, WSU Extension Director for Lincoln County, facilitated the conference attended by representatives from schools, businesses and related agencies.

Attendees across the state heard virtual presentations by Brent Parton from the think tank called New America and from Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. The Lincoln County site was joined by Doug Tweedy, regional economist for the Employment Security Department, who shared data on Lincoln County’s workforce – including the fact that over half of our workforce is employed outside of Lincoln County and a third is approaching retirement age. Tweedy was followed by Josh Bessette, Apprenticeship & Training Coordinator for the Bureau of Reclamation. Josh told the group about the Bureau’s Pathways Program, an employment opportunity that allows high school students to explore careers in the Federal government. Principal Chad Prewitt and CTE instructor Noelle Carstens also spoke, looking back at year one and forward to year two at the new skill center at Davenport High School.

The keynote speaker presentations and a good selection of career-connected learning resources are available by visiting the conference website at

Those with questions or a willingness to be involved are asked to email EDC Director Margie Hall at


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