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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Worker Retraining

1. What is the Washington State Worker Retraining Program?

The Worker Retraining Program (WRP) provides access to training and funding to support unemployed workers who wish to upgrade their skills or train for a new career.

2. Who qualifies for the Worker Retraining Program?

To qualify for WRP, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Facing a layoff and eligible to collect unemployment benefits
  • Currently collecting unemployment benefits
  • Exhausted unemployment benefits within the past 48 months
  • Displaced Homemaker (recently separated or divorced) within the past 48 months
  • Self employed and now unemployed within the past 48 months
  • Honorably discharged veteran within the past 48 months who is not eligible for educational benefits
  • Active Military with notice of separation 
  • Disaster - Impacted Worker
  • Vulnerable Worker
  • Temporary Worker

3. If qualified, you will be eligible to receive the following Worker Retraining support:

  • Tuition and book assistance to take classes in any of our “career” programs
  • Access to an Employment Security Representative
  • Early registration status
  • Support services

4. Can I go to school full time if I am collecting unemployment benefits?

You may be eligible for Commissioner Approved Training (CAT) and/or Training Benefits (TB) by submitting paperwork to the Employment Security Department. Eligibility for both will be determined by the Employment Security Department.

CAT: If approved, would allow you to attend school full-time (12 credits) and have your job search waived. It does not extend your unemployment benefits, and does not provide tuition and book assistance.

TB: If approved, would allow you to receive additional unemployment benefits after you have exhausted your regular unemployment claim. 

5. How much tuition and book assistance am I eligible to receive? May I receive it for my entire training?

Worker Retraining tuition and book assistance is generally available for one or two quarters. We try to find other funding resources to help you continue and finish your training goals. Worker Retraining has established a maximum dollar amount based on your enrollment status.

6. What other funding sources are available to pay for school if the Worker Retraining tuition and book assistance is not available?

You should have a funding plan prepared if the Worker Retraining tuition and book funds are not available to you for a particular quarter. If this does happen, please let me know as soon as possible.

7. What training programs are eligible in the Worker Retraining Program?

You can pursue any of our professional/technical degrees or certificates at Edmonds College. Transfer degrees are not eligible under the program. To find a full list of professional/technical training programs, please go to our website: www.edmonds.edu/requirements

8. May I take a couple of classes without earning a degree or certificate?

Yes, as long as the classes lead to employment and the classes are found in one of the professional/ technical degrees or certificates.

9. Do I have to attend school full-time (12 credits)?

No, you may attend school part-time. However, to be eligible for Commissioner Approved Training (CAT), or Training Benefits (TB), you need to attend full-time (12 credits).

10. May I work while I am attending school?

Yes, and in some cases, this will help extend your unemployment benefits. It is important you report your earnings to the Employment Security Department. Some federal programs may prohibit you from working, please check with Gina Certain before you secure a job. It is okay to withdraw from school after receiving Worker Retraining funds.

If you only received Worker Retraining funds and no other forms of financial aid, you will not be required to repay the funds you received. You will be placed on “termination” status at the end of the quarter for not completing your classes. If you wish to return to Edmonds College and receive funding, you will need to file a “petition" for reinstatement.” This petition is your explanation what happened during the quarter in which you were terminated. If reinstated, you will be considered for future funding.