The Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council (PacMtn) and its Board of Directors are responsible for workforce development in the five county area of: Grays Harbor, Lewis, Pacific, Thurston and Mason Counties.

Pacific Mountain‘s workforce system continues to evolve into a cross-regional, demand driven system. Building on strategic alliances and innovative workforce solutions, Pacific Mountain has created a pipeline of skilled and talented workers that are prepared to meet the needs of local employers. In 2010, a significant amount of focus was on two key industry sectors- Energy and Manufacturing-and the development of partnerships.

Serving Businesses

Two of PacMtn’s five counties have the highest unemployment in the state. While slow economic recovery is being seen in other parts of the state, PacMtn continues to see high unemployment and the decline of major regional industries. This is cumulative on a region devastated by years of wood products decline. Helping existing businesses to weather the recession has been critical. Business services staff focus on finding personnel for local business needs, adding value to businesses and the community.

Working with Economic Development Partners to Support Job Creation

In an unprecedented commitment to work together, the five Economic Development Councils of this region have established a regional consortium, Pac5. The consortium seeks grants and information that benefits all five counties. The Workforce Development Council is integral to that work and funded a cluster study to identify strategic industries that can provide a focus for job development.

National Emergency Grants Create Opportunities with the Military and Local Employers

PacMtn continues its collaboration with Workforce Central in assisting military spouses and civilian defense workers through a $4.8 million Department of Labor National Emergency Grant originally awarded in 2010. In partnership with local businesses, and with the support of the Economic Development Council and regional Chamber of Commerce, the success of the program has captured local military attention and sparked even more interest in serving veterans who are leaving the military to establish civilian careers. With a strong focus on programs that provide on-the-job training (OJT), PacMtn’s work with the military and local employers in the Grays Harbor area have helped hundreds of citizens gain valuable work experience and understanding of local career possibilities.