Training provided to Yakama Forest Products through YVC’s Job Skills Program

The Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) recently approved a Job Skills Program (JSP) grant to Yakima Valley College to improve employee skills in our community. A grant of $90,012 is awarded for Yakama Forest Products (YFP) and will enable the organization to provide necessary industry-specific training to employees.

Over the next several months, training will be provided to about 375 workers in the Yakima Valley.

Yakama Forest Products reached out to YVC and the SBCTC about starting a program to help improve their employees’ skills.

According to Maintenance Instructor Ken Broeke, YVC will provide training in welding, cutting, bearings, motors, blueprints and drawings that includes classroom work with real-world application — a combination he says is effective in bringing up students’ skill levels.

“Students are understanding the importance of how safety, quality and productivity relate so much on maintenance,” says Broeke. “They are learning what to look for when it comes to preventative maintenance and troubleshooting, to be able to fix problems before having to put out fires. To be able to prevent downtime and increase productivity. As we continue in this program, they will continue to build up their knowledge and understanding in the world of maintenance.”

Yakama Forest Products produces nearly 88 million board feet of lumber annually while providing needed land conservation and jobs for the Yakama Nation.

According to YFP’s website the Yakama people are traditionally taught that they come from the land and that they are part of the land. They have a multi-generational history tied to the land and surrounding environment and livelihoods are tied to these resources, and these values and the inherent respect the land commands are passed down from generation to generation.

The training dollars will be used to implement workforce development strategies supported by evidence, including an industry-driven curriculum and work-based learning.

JSP grants provide funding to licensed educational institutions in Washington and cover half of the training cost; partner employers provide a cash or in-kind match to fund the other half. Funds are awarded on a first-approved, rolling basis throughout the fiscal year. Training topics include leadership, teambuilding, coaching, conflict resolution, and diversity, equity and inclusion training.

For more information about YVC’s WorkFirst programs visit:

Press Release Contacts:
Dustin Wunderlich / 509.574.6870 /
Stefanie Menard / 509.574.4646 /