Higher Education 2019 Session Paper


Employers in East King County and across the state struggle to fill available jobs with Washington state residents. Education is the key to closing this gap, including college degrees, career certificates, and apprenticeships to attain employment in high demand/high wage fields in our state. It is essential to have the state support the students seeking a pathway to success and the public institutions of higher education that facilitate their learning.

The East King County Chambers of Commerce Legislative Coalition asks the Legislature to do the following on our behalf:


  • Fully fund the State Need Grant Program and the Washington Opportunity Scholarship Fund.
  • Invest in statewide workforce analysis for an integrated pathway of education from k-12 to higher education
  • Fund a pilot program to offer running start programs in local high schools in off peak time high school hours.
  • Increase college credit opportunities and skills training in high schools: Provide support, which may include professional development for teachers, to significantly increase ‘college in the high school’ and/or Running Start opportunities, including skills training for non-college bound students in all high schools at no cost to the student.

Funding – Invest in higher education facilities and high demand programs:

  • UW Bothell high demand biomedical workforce – $1.5 million
  • Increase compensation to the Community and Technical College (CTC) system for all employees to bring them to the national market’s median.
  • Fund regional based differential compensation for faculty and staff to better retain and recruit.
  • Support pathways through the higher education system, including funding of Guided Pathways
  • Increase funding to strengthen and grow high demand programs in order to meet critical skills gaps.
  • UW Bothell STEM Academic Building – $35 million
  • Fund the $600M CTC capital request, including eastside projects at Bellevue (#7), Lake Washington Tech (#9), Cascadia (#29 and #30), and Renton Technical College (#35).