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Connecting to Careers in Rural WA

We had a fantastic conference on May 9, 2018!

542 people registered, ready to gather together in 21 different communities across the state for a morning of inspiration, learning and networking with key speakers and local leaders.

“We had a fantastic conference with 20 passionate educators, business owners, and organizations in attendance. Networking at its finest!” Margie Hall, Davenport, WA (population 1,690)

A photo of more networking from Raymond, WA (population 2,960)

We were inspired by two great speakers:

Here is the YouTube link to the recording:


Brent Parton, Deputy Director for the Center on Education and Skills, New America

Brent shared rural best practices from across the country to create opportunities for young people to get ready for future career success while supporting businesses who are seeking a prepared workforce.

Here is a link to Brent Parton’s PowerPoint: P2P_Rural Keynote Final

Here is a link to the report he mentioned: Youth-Apprenticeship-Today: Connecting high school students to apprenticeships


Statewide outlook:Chris Reykdal
Chris Reykdal, Superintendent, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)

Chris helped us understand how to link to statewide career and technical education resources and opportunities for apprenticeships, internships, mentorships and other on-the-job learning experiences.


Here are some key takeaways reported from a site:

  • Serve on a High School CTE Advisory Committee
  • Host Interns
  • Bring youth into your business
  • 70 % of youth will need more than a HS Diploma, but not necessarily a BA Degree
  • Getting Youth on the job early , within their community will increase the possibility that they will stay within their community
  • Partner with a regional Skills Center
  • Have Youth Build Tiny Homes!
  • Learning Occurs Everywhere. Connection to Industry Can Happen Everywhere.


The conference is paid, in part, $2,500, with funding provided to
Washington from the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

Final P2P map of sitesP2P uses a unique model to digitally deliver an expert keynote presentation to multiple sites across the state, followed by locally facilitated action plans and networking.
P2P is a two-time national award winning program but more importantly, it is a statewide conference that allows more rural community leaders, businesses and members to work together and with resource providers without the expense of traveling to a traditional conference.