* Mr. INSLEE. Mr. Speaker, today I would like to acknowledge the importance of worker retraining efforts in my state led by the workforce development councils that are helping Washingtonians get back to work. I would also like to recognize the opening of a new facility in Monroe, Washington that will help more of our neighbors who have been hit hard by this economic downturn get the training they need to successfully re-enter the job market.
* Often, employers lack a workforce with appropriate skills and displaced workers lack the means to acquire these skills. That is why worker retraining programs are so important. Reversing the effects of the economic downturn is not an individual mission, but a community challenge, and an important partner helping in this effort are the Washington workforce development councils. Our workforce development councils operate 64 WorkSource centers statewide, where low-income youth and adults, displaced workers, and returning servicemembers access job training, employment counseling, and other services that help put people back to work and provide our employers with the skilled workforce they need to thrive.
* Last year alone, more than 364,000 Washington residents sought help through the State's WorkSource centers. The Workforce Development Council of Snohomish County provided 39,156 people with a total of 528,005 services in 2010. Currently, the main access points for these services are the WorkSource Centers in Everett and Lynnwood, Washington. However, thanks to the generosity of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul--who offered to rent out space in their facility for only one dollar per year--on Tuesday, November 15th a new WorkSource center will open in Monroe, Washington.
* This expansion of services to Monroe is important because, currently, displaced workers in the cities and towns to the east of Everett and Lynnwood face yet another barrier to employment: travelling to a WorkSource Center. Now, yet another hard-hit community can begin to rebuild and move forward because the community will now have a headquarters for worker retraining and job market resources.
* That's why I am proud to stand up here today and recognize the significance of the WorkSource opening in Monroe, Washington today. I wish all the best to the dedicated staff at the Snohomish County Workforce Development Council, the kind people at St. Vincent de Paul, and the Washingtonians who are persevering through this downturn and now have a strong partner to help them get back on their feet.