Displaced workers can receive assistance upgrading skills, preparing for new careers at Yakima Valley College

With the economy recovering, now is a great time for Yakima Valley workers whose employment was disrupted by the pandemic to upgrade their skills and prepare for a new career. Yakima Valley College offers a variety of support programs for dislocated workers receiving unemployment benefits. This includes Worker Retraining, a state-funded program designed to help eligible individuals update their job skills and return to employment, and the Basic Food Employment and Training (BFE&T) program, which offers educational and workforce training opportunities to students receiving Basic Food Assistance (food stamps).

Students interested in attending YVC’s workforce education programs — which prepare individuals to enter high-wage, high-demand occupations in healthcare, business, STEM, education and other fields — may be eligible for these and other programs that help pay for tuition and fees, books and other educational supplies.

“YVC’s [Worker Retraining] program provided me with the support I needed as a returning student,” stated Frances Saenz, who earned a business technology certificate-general office assistant. “Through the program, I have been able to meet new people, received support from faculty, and learned valuable computer skills.”

Various individuals can benefit from funding assistance to pursue workforce programs at YVC including:

  • Dislocated Workers: Those eligible for unemployment, are currently collecting unemployment or who have exhausted their unemployment benefits
  • Stop-Gap Employed: Those who were on unemployment or have exhausted their unemployment benefits and who have accepted temporary employment
  • Displaced Homemakers: Those who provided unpaid services within the home and relied upon another person’s income, but no longer have access to that income due to divorce, death, disability, etc.
  • Formerly Self-Employed: Previous business owners who are no longer self-employed due to economic downturn or natural disasters
  • Vulnerable Workers: Students with fewer than 45 college credits at risk of losing their current job due to need for additional skills and whose job is considered “not-in-demand”
  • Veterans: Those who have been honorably discharged from service within the last 48 months
  • Active Duty Military: Active servicemen and women who have received official separation orders

The Basic Food Employment & Training (BFET) program provides childcare, job search, job search training educational services, skills training and other employment opportunities to Basic Food (SNAP) recipients who are not participating in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Workfirst program.

The primary function of the BFE&T program at YVC is to ensure eligible students continue receiving vital services while completing a professional technical or transfer program of study with the goal of future employment.

“Being a BFET student has helped me in more ways than just financially,” stated Stormy Slack, who earned an associate of applied science in surgical technology. “The monthly reports help me stay on track with my college career. This program helps me financially because I am currently only working two days a week because of my school schedule and COVID. The main thing that is helping me though is the monthly reports to look back on how I did that month and what I need to improve on.

Learn more about how YVC and colleges around the state are supporting dislocated workers and helping to rebuild the state workforce.

Press Release Contacts:
Dustin Wunderlich / 509.574.6870 / dwunderlich@yvcc.edu
Stefanie Menard / 509.574.4646 / smenard@yvcc.edu