Worker Retraining

Each of our colleges–Central, North, and South–offers a worker retraining program to provide retraining opportunities for laid off, unemployed, and dislocated workers in the state of Washington. These programs provide job training to eligible members of Washington's workforce. A “dislocated worker” is defined as an individual unlikely to return to employment in his/her principal occupation or previous industry because of diminishing demand for the skills, occupation, or industry.

The emphasis is on retraining and rapid re-employment. This means students must be enrolled in short-term programs, Associate of Applied Science (AAS), or Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degrees, not in programs designed for transfer to a four-year college or university.

Worker retraining programs typically provide a combination of the following:

  • Tuition assistance
  • Assistance for purchasing required textbooks and supplies for classes
  • Educational planning and advising
  • Assistance with paperwork
  • Assistance with employment benefit extensions and approval to attend college


You may be eligible for worker retraining if you:

  • are receiving Washington State unemployment benefits
  • have exhausted Washington State unemployment benefits within the last 24 months
  • have received a layoff or WARN notice
  • have been working in the home, experience a significant loss of income, and need to re-enter the workforce
  • are an unemployed or under-employed displaced homemaker (divorced, widowed, separated)
  • formerly self-employed and had to close your business due to economic downturn
  • are working in a not-in-demand job (along with other criteria)
  • are a disaster impact worker
  • are a recently separated veteran with an honorable discharge

Getting Started

To find out if you qualify for tuition assistance programs, take a brief survey through Start Next Quarter (follow link below).

Start Next Quarter - student at computer

Take the free Start Next Quarter survey. There is no obligation to follow through. Your responses remain anonymous unless you decide you want to do more. If you pre-qualify, you will be invited to attend a free education planning workshop where we will confirm your eligibility and help you determine your next steps.

How We Can Help You

The worker retraining coordinators at each college can help you with:

  • Information about the various retraining programs at each college
  • Individual career planning
  • Job search workshops and personal help
  • Referrals to advisors and other services

Information Sessions

Each of our colleges offers orientation sessions about the worker retraining program. For more information, please contact the listed worker retraining coordinators at the college of your choice – Central, North, or South.

Training Programs

Seattle Colleges offer more than 130 professional/technical programs including certificate programs, which range in length from one quarter to seven quarters, as well as Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) applied bachelor’s degrees. Our colleges work closely with industry to develop and maintain these programs and to prepare our graduates for the job market. Many of these professional/technical programs qualify for worker retraining, and several are considered “high demand jobs.”

Refer to our College to Career online tool for more information about our program offerings. “Worker Friendly” designates programs offered at times and in formats that meet the needs of working adults.

Consult with the worker retraining coordinator at your college of choice—Seattle Central College, North Seattle College, or South Seattle College—to see which specific programs qualify as the programs are subject to change.


Each of the three Seattle Colleges—Seattle Central College, North Seattle College, and South Seattle College—is a state-supported public institution accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities*, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Each college is accredited individually.

*Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
8060 165th Avenue NE, Suite 100
Redmond, WA 98052