Career Pathways

An Effective Practice


The Workforce Development Council of Seattle- King County joined with the Washington State Hospital Association, administrators from two and four-year colleges, labor leaders, and representatives from the K-12 school system to address critical shortages in health care staffing. This collaboration launched the Career Pathways initiative in 2003 to offer career services to hospital employees, including lower skilled employees, to help these workers begin moving up the career ladder.

As workers move up, WorkSource (the local one-stop system) staff help backfill vacancies with new job candidates. Career Pathways places WorkSource career specialists into partner health care organizations one day each week to provide career counseling services such as assessment and individualized career planning to employees and to link employees to the broader employment and training system. In addition, the career specialists broker training opportunities. For example, the career specialists created workplace literacy classes for employees who need help with English literacy in order to enter health care training programs such as certified nurse assistant.

Goal / Mission

The goal of this program is to improve retention of hospital employees to address critical shortages in health care staffing.

Results / Accomplishments

Since its inception at the beginning of 2003, Career Pathways has enrolled over 165 employees in subsidized health care training, provided career counseling to 560 employees, and created over 132 openings in nursing and health care training programs with new funding.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Workforce Development Council
2003 Western Ave Suite 250
Seattle WA 98121-2161
(206) 448-0474
Economy / Employment
Education / Vocational & Adult Education
The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County
Finance Project
Date of publication
Nov 2004
Date of implementation
Seattle-King County, WA