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Media Advisory For: Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019

Contact: Dave Bates, DaveBComms@gmail.com

(347) 865-8038

Gov. Inslee Will Join Nurses and Caregivers to Celebrate Innovative Healthcare Training Fund that Ensures Quality Care and Allows Thousands of Workers to Rise Up the Economic Ladder

Nurses and healthcare workers who have graduated and advanced their careers through the Training Fund will be available for interviews

WHO: Gov. Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine, nurses, caregivers,

             healthcare employers, education leaders, industry experts and union leaders

WHAT: 10-Year Anniversary Celebration of Healthcare Training Fund

WHEN: Thursday, February 28, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

WHERE: Panoramic Room at Pacific Tower, 1200 12th Avenue South

Seattle, Washington

Seattle, WA- On Thursday, February 28, Governor Jay Inslee and King County Executive Dow Constantine will join nurses, caregivers, healthcare employers, education leaders, industry experts and union leaders to celebrate an innovative labor-management training fund which is addressing Washington’s healthcare needs, and has become one of the foremost models for workforce education in the country. The SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Multi-Employer Training Fund was founded in 2008, and since then over 6,700 Washington caregivers have built their skills and advanced their careers through accessing the fund’s many programs.

Currently, almost 14,000 healthcare workers are eligible to participate and 1,300 are enrolled. Workers have access to a wide range of benefits, including direct financial support for tuition, transportation and books; help with childcare for working parents; tutoring and counseling; English literacy and training in computer technology.

“My career dream is to bring my experience, knowledge, skills and leadership qualities into healthcare administration,” said Jatinder Kaur, a registered nurse at UW-Valley Medical Center. “I believe we need to make systemic changes to our healthcare industry, and use the latest evidence-based practices and innovations to ensure the highest quality care. The SEIU 1199NW Training Fund has allowed me to pursue my dream of becoming a healthcare leader by easing my financial load. When I was at a non-union long-term care facility, the education benefits were meager and I ended up paying over $12,000 out of pocket for my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. But when I came to UW-Valley Medical Center and became an SEIU 1199NW member, I was able to access the Training Fund benefits to finish my BSN, and now I receive $5,000 a year toward my Master of Science in Nursing degree at the University of Washington. The Training Fund gives nurses and all healthcare workers the boost we need to pursue our dreams, and I hope the Fund is vastly expanded in years to come so we can develop the healthcare leaders of tomorrow.”

“The Training Fund has quickly become an invaluable asset in our state by building a strong labor and management partnership in our healthcare industry that supports career advancement, a highly trained workforce and quality patient care,” Gov. Jay Inslee said in a letter to the Training Fund. “Like the rest of the nation, Washington state continues to face a shortage of qualified healthcare personnel. We need a continuous pipeline of well-trained and committed caregivers. I would especially like to thank and acknowledge the Training Fund’s more than 6,700 current students and graduates for their hard work and dedication. By advancing your knowledge and skills, you are directly addressing our state’s urgent needs to meet the growing demand for comprehensive healthcare services across an increasingly complex delivery system.”

Workforce training is more crucial than ever, because demand for high-quality healthcare is rising as Washington State’s population is growing and rapidly aging. By 2040, there will be almost 2 million residents over the age of 60, representing 22 percent of the state’s total population.

Our healthcare system is also undergoing a profound transformation, shifting to a model of delivering care in community-based clinics. Hospitals are caring for sicker patients who need much more complex care, requiring ever-evolving medical and technical skills. This has led to the state’s healthcare industry facing a growing workforce shortage, especially with medical assistants to staff community clinics, and in highly-skilled hospital positions like registered nurses, laboratory staff and technicians.

The Training Fund addresses these urgent needs by creating a win-win-win solution for employers, patients and workers. Employers have a voice in guiding the Training Fund so it fulfills their specific workforce needs, the quality of patient care is enhanced with more skilled caregivers, and workers are able to go back to school and rise up the economic ladder. The Training Fund also successfully partners with community and technical colleges to ensure their healthcare-related curricula are as effective and accessible as possible for working caregivers, including bringing classes into healthcare institutions and union offices, and scheduling class times before and after shifts.

The participating employers are Cascade Behavioral Health, CHI Franciscan (Common Spirit Health)-Highline Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente of Washington, MultiCare Health System, PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, Swedish Medical Center, Swedish Edmonds, UW Medicine-Northwest Hospital and UW Medicine-Valley Medical Center. The Training Fund pools contributions from participating employers and is jointly administered by employer and union trustees. In addition, the Fund has secured more than $5 million in state, federal and private foundation grants to leverage employers’ training investments and expand opportunities for members.

The SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Multi-Employer Training Fund is currently exploring ways to expand their programs to anticipate and meet Washington’s healthcare needs of the future, including the recent launch of a Medical Assistant Apprenticeship program.


The SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Multi-Employer Training Fund is a non-profit, labor-management partnership between nine employers and the largest healthcare union in Washington State. The Training Fund was created to develop a statewide program for addressing the workforce needs of participating employers and to support the career, knowledge, and skill aspirations of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW members. Almost 14,000 Washington State healthcare workers are currently eligible for Training Fund benefits and 1,300 are enrolled.

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