National Attention on the Workforce Education Investment Act

In the weeks since UW Impact joined other higher education advocates across the state to celebrate the passage of the Workforce Education Investment Act, much of the country has taken notice, highlighting the legislation as a potential model for other states.

The Workforce Education Investment Act is the most significant investment in higher education in the state of Washington in more than a decade. Revenue from this legislation is expected to pump $1 billion into post-secondary education – from apprenticeships to university degrees – within about 4 years.

How did UW Impact help?

  • We made noise: Our advocates visited, called, and sent thousands of communications to elected officials in support of HB 2158, the bill that created the Workforce Education Investment Act
  • We came to consensus: After much deliberation, the UW Alumni Association’s executive committee released a position statement in favor of the bill
  • We testified: UW Impact volunteers provided live and written testimony at key hearings

Some recent national and local press on the Workforce Education Investment Act:

ForbesThe State Of Washington’s New Financial Aid Approach Hits The Sweet Spot

“With its new financial aid act, Washington has set a standard for making college affordable that other states should carefully consider. It serves the right students, attaches few strings to the deal, and invests in the full range of workforce preparation that is essential to economic growth.”

New York TimesWashington State Moves Toward Free and Reduced College Tuition, With Businesses Footing the Bill

“I think it’s going further than virtually any state has to address both the challenge of affordability for students and the underfunding of colleges,” Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of higher education at Temple University, said.

The Seattle Times110,000 Washington students a year will get money for college, many a free ride

“About 110,000 low-to median-income students will qualify for help each year, including adults who never got a degree and want to go to school. There will be no more financial-aid wait lists.”

If you were one of the hundreds of UW Impact advocates who wrote, called or visited their legislators to express support for this bill: Your role was critical in ensuring access to higher education for Washington students for generations to come. Thank you!


For more information on the potential impacts of the Workforce Education Investment Act on the UW and public education, read our blog UW Impact FAQ: Workforce Education Investment Act.