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Job Training Programs

This page provides examples of job training programs for local governments in Washington State, including internships, apprenticeship requirements for public works projects, and youth employment programs.


The need to provide improved job training and to create high-wage or family-wage jobs is reflected in local government economic development plans. Local governments are seeking to provide cooperative educational opportunities responsive to the changing needs of the workplace, both locally and regionally.

In its comprehensive work plan, High Skills, High Wages, the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board states that Washington's traditional sources of high-wage, low-skilled work (forests and factories) have limited growth prospects. Slow or stagnating productivity can cause stagnant incomes. For there to be an increase in productivity, there needs to be both an increase in the use of technology and a promotion of the spread of high performance work organizations that require high-skilled workers. If employers cannot find trained workers in Washington, they will look to other states for workers and places to locate their business facilities.

Workforce Development

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) consolidates, coordinates, and improves employment, training, literacy, and vocational rehabilitation programs in the United States. This section provides links to the U.S. Department of Labor and Washington state regarding implementation of the act.


Many local governments have internship programs to provide hands-on learning experience, typically to students. Interns may receive compensation such as a stipend or reimbursement for expenses during their internship. However, if the intern receives a regular wage similar to other employees, the intern is considered to be an employee and is entitled to normal employee protections such as minimum wage, overtime, and paid sick leave.

According to the state Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) July 2021 Wage and Hour Bulletin:

Courts have identified seven factors to determine whether an intern is an employee. Employers must weigh and consider all these factors together to make a determination on whether the intern is an employee.

  • An intern and their employer must clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee.
  • An internship should provide training that would be similar to an educational environment.
  • An internship should connect to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or receiving academic credit.
  • An internship should accommodate the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
  • An internship’s length should be limited to a period that provides the intern with beneficial learning.
  • An intern’s work should complement, instead of displace, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
  • An intern and their employer should understand that the intern is not entitled to a paid job at end of the internship.

Also see L&I's page on Internships, Apprenticeships & Volunteers. Some examples of local government internship programs are listed below.

Local Government Programs

Apprenticeship Requirements for Public Works

Apprentice programs allow entry-level workers to gain experience in a highly skilled occupation through a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. For more detailed information, see Department of Labor & Industries: Apprenticeship.

Some local governments have chosen to include specific apprenticeship requirements for public works contracts over a certain size, although this is not required by state law. (The requirements of RCW 39.04.320 only apply to school districts, four-year institutions of higher education, and certain state agencies.) Below are some examples.

  • Burien Municipal Code Ch. 2.80 - At least 15% of labor hours must be performed by apprentices for public work projects over $1 million. Includes schedule of fines for every unmet hour.
  • Edmonds Municipal Code Sec. 18.00.050 - City may require 15% of labor hours to be performed by apprentices for public works contracts of $300,000 or more. Failure to meet requirements is considered a breach of contract and may affect contractor’s qualification for future contracts.
  • Hoquiam Municipal Code Ch. 1.59 - At least 10% of labor hours must be performed by apprentices for public works in which the cost of labor, excluding materials, is estimated at $100,000 or more.
  • King County Apprenticeship Program - Establishes apprenticeship requirements on selected public works projects, including voluntary goals that 20% of all apprenticeship labor hours go to minorities and 18% to women.
  • Port Angeles Municipal Code Sec. 3.80 – At least 15% of labor hours must be performed by apprentices for public works over $1 million.
  • Tacoma Local Employment and Apprenticeship Training Program (LEAP) – At least 15% of labor hours must be performed by apprentices for civil projects over $250,000; building projects over $750,000; and service contracts relating to a public work or improvement that use labor at a city site. See LEAP Forms for required documentation.
  • Vancouver Apprenticeship Program – Minimum apprenticeship requirements depend on project size, from 3% to 8% of labor hours, with contractors encouraged to exceed these minimums.

Veterans Programs

For information on military leave, see MRSC's page Military Leave

Youth Employment Programs

State and Federal Programs

Local Programs

Other Training Resources

Last Modified: July 22, 2021