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Centers of Excellence

Washington state’s Centers of Excellence link business, industry, labor and the state’s educational systems to create a highly skilled and readily available workforce critical to the success of the state’s economy. Each center is funded through the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and is housed at a community or technical college.

Centers of Excellence serve as statewide resources representing the needs and interests of a specific industry sector. Through an ongoing investment, Centers are charged with narrowing the gap between employer workforce needs and the colleges’ supply of work-ready graduates. They are a critical component of the state’s strategy of sustaining an innovative and vibrant economy.

Find Your Center

While Centers of Excellence are hosted at individual college campuses, they serve the sector needs of the entire state. 

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Everett Community College — As one of the ten statewide centers of excellence, the Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing provides leadership and resources to support economic growth for Washington state, focusing on aerospace and advanced manufacturing. Working strategically with our industry partners and educational institutions, we assist in developing the talent pipeline for the next generation of future workers within the aerospace industry sector. 

Walla Walla Community College — The Agriculture & Natural Resource Center of Excellence provides provides leadership and resources in fostering communications and strategic partnerships between agriculture and natural resource industry partners, community college faculty and students. Operating as a hub for the multiple areas of specialization within the agriculture and natural resource industries, the center provides the means for all stakeholders to actively work towards cultivating and maintaining a healthy agricultural and natural resource economy for the state of Washington.

Yakima Valley College — The Allied Health Center of Excellence is dedicated to addressing Washington state’s healthcare workforce needs of today and tomorrow. Through collaboration and cooperation with industry partners, the center provides innovative programs to prepare qualified and competent health care professionals and leaders for the future.

Centralia College — The Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy provides leadership for a growing alliance of energy industry and college partners. Together, industry and educational partnerships provide comprehensive degree and certificate programs, online courses and regional classroom training opportunities that focus on the future of the energy industry.

Renton Technical College — The Construction Center of Excellence is a  national model in developing partnerships among business, industry, labor and education for the purpose of enhancing economic and workforce development initiatives to meet the current and future needs of the construction industry.

Green River College — The Washington State Center of Excellence for Careers in Education provides support, mentoring, and advising to community colleges and their K-20 partners for the creation and expansion of career-ladder programs in education. The center provides a yearly best practices conference, a comprehensive website, curriculum development and dissemination, and training for K-20 instructors and para-professionals.

Highline College — The Center of Excellence for Global Trade and Supply Chain Management is an educational resource supporting international trade. The Center’s mission is to build a competitive international business and supply chain workforce. With 40 percent of all jobs in Washington state tied to global trade, the Center works with schools and colleges to build programs and career pathways creating a talent pipeline for the industry.

Pierce College — The Center of Excellence for Homeland Security and Emergency Management facilitates and coordinates homeland security and emergency management initiatives with a coalition of 34 community and technical colleges, public agencies and private sector organizations. The Center of Excellence provides support to Washington state community and technical colleges as they develop statewide innovative education and training programs in public safety, security and emergency management. The goal is to produce a skilled workforce focused on maintaining our national security and ensuring an effective response to all-hazard events.

Bellevue College — The Center of Excellence for Information and Computing Technology partners with the National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies to provide services, research, programs and events that serve Washington state community and technical college faculty and students, as well as industry and the K-12 system. 

The center acts as an information resource and solution-provider for model information technology education programs, best practices, up-to-date research, information dissemination and instructor professional development in new and emerging technologies. It also provides information on industry trends that impact employment, education and business growth across Washington state.

Skagit Valley College — Northwest Center of Excellence for Marine Manufacturing and Technology is a hub for innovative discussions, resources, training and education services that create a repository of information and illuminate best practices related to industry trends and emerging technologies to foster economic vitality.

Everett Community College — The Semiconductor and Electronics Manufacturing Center of Excellence supports education programs that develop skilled workers for many of Washington state's industries including aerospace and computing. The center focuses on the process of convening, problem solving and disseminating information that support relevant programs and industry partnerships.

Focus, Function and Delivery

Core expectations for each center are:

  • Economic development
  • Industry sector strategy
  • Education, innovation and efficiency
  • Workforce supply and demand

Read more about Centers of Excellence Core Expectations.

Centers of Excellence One-Pager

Read a summary and background about Washington state's Centers of Excellence.

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Last Modified: 10/22/19 3:07 PM

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