Seattle Jobs Initiative Programs
SJI creates opportunities for people to support themselves and their families through living wage careers. All of our work is designed to eliminate barriers to well-paying, long-term work.
Through our Career Pathways program, SJI offers training that leads to college credentials in growing industry sectors to low-income individuals. We creatively align college/career navigation and support services – including housing, childcare, transportation and counseling – with training to provide participants the best opportunity to complete their career pathways and secure and retain employment.
SJI’s research, policy and planning work is focused on increasing the number of low-income adults who obtain college credentials with labor market value. Through partnerships and innovative approaches, we are leading community efforts to develop knowledge, tools and best practices that will increase access to and persistence in college among low-income adults, including those who are not yet college-ready.
SJI focuses on living-wage jobs that have opportunities for promotion, in four specific, high-demand, growing sectors (automotive, business information technology, healthcare and manufacturing). Since 1997, SJI has place over 7,000 people in jobs. Recent graduates of SJI programs experience an annual increase in wages ranging from $4,000 to $9,000, depending on their sector of employment. Seventy percent of employees hired through SJI are retained after one year on the job.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Recent graduates of SJI programs experience an annual increase in wages ranging from $4,000 to $9,000, depending on their sector of employment. Seventy percent of employees hired through SJI are retained after one year on the job.
“David,” a recent graduate of the SJI welding cohort, was voted “Top Welder” by his classmates at graduation. He has since gone on to complete his 2nd quarter of welding in and was able to secure a full-time welding job at $15.00/hour. Prior to enrolling in SJI, he was working a restaurant job and had no real career direction. He is now fully into his 3rd quarter of welding and gaining great experience as a welder. His plan (with his new employer’s support) is to work there for four years while he simultaneously completes his welding degree. Once he gains the experience and knowledge he wants to go to work for a larger manufacturing company.
“Maria,” is a young immigrant woman, participated in SJI’s Medical Business Information Technology program. Maria faced many barriers during the program that, without her SJI navigator, would have caused her to drop the class. She was kicked out of her house during the training, had multiple transportation issues and attendance issues. She required intensive counseling and advising throughout the entire program and will readily admit that she would not have completed her training or found employment without the help of her navigator and SJI project manager. She has since been hired on full-time as a receptionist at the company where she performed her internship.