Career Connect Skagit Summit

Students and younger workers need combined classroom learning and professional experience to be ready for college and careers. We work with schools and employers across our region  to give meaningful, real-world job experiences to students of all ages, and workers up to 30.


Hosted by the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County (EDASC) in partnership with Skagit STEM, Career Connect Washington and the NW Washington STEM Network, this event explored the partnership between industry and education while looking for ways for businesses to address workforce shortages.


The Summit was designed to share information about workforce needs and the education pipeline, build engagement among industry, and celebrate our impactful partnerships.


Learn more through the videos below. To get involved, click here.

Welcome to the Career Connect Skagit Summit: John Sternlicht, CEO, EDASC

John highlights the challenge Skagit employers have filling jobs and the priority work of the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County (EDASC) to support workforce development.


He stressed the importance of this work, especially with the current labor shortage hurting employers across Skagit County and beyond. The fact of the matter is that the only way to get a good pipeline of qualified workers is to start with children in schools.  We need to make sure they acquire the skills they need to be competitive in the workforce. This not only helps students succeed as adults but is essential to the success of our businesses.


Businesses need to be contributors not just consumers of the education system so that students, teachers, and counselors understand the skills needed, while providing students with a clear vision of how those skills translate to the workforce. 

Student Voices:

The Value of Career Connected Learning

Hear High School Students at the NW Career and Technical Academy talk about the skills they are learning locally to become prepared to enter the workforce.

Northwest Region STEM by the Numbers: 

Dr. Jenee Myers Twitchell

Chief Impact Officer, Washington STEM

Dr. Twitchell brings to life the NW Washington regional data on student indicators and labor market projections that tell us if we are closing opportunity gaps across our community.

This data creates a clear picture of the through-line from a pre-kindergarten classroom to a career for our students, and from understanding career and credential availability to finding the most in-demand family wage jobs.

You can access the Northwest: STEM by the Numbers Report and Labor Market and Credential Data Dashboard on the Washington STEM website. 

Skagit Valley College:  Advanced Manufacturing and Marine Technician Career Launch Programs

Check out how two of Skagit Valley College programs are helping prepare students for in-demand jobs in the Advanced Manufacturing and Maritime Industries. 


These jobs are important to any community, providing stable work and high wages. These two Career Launch Programs combine meaningful, high-quality on-the-job experience with classroom learning. For Advanced Manufacturing and Maritime Businesses, your involvement in these programs would support the creation of new talent tailored to your workforce needs of the future. 


First up, we hear about the college’s plans to take its innovative Advanced Manufacturing program to the next level. Then we’ll hear how its Marine Technology Center continues to provide high-level training to students looking to find work in the maritime sector. Each of these stories includes the voices of students and business participants talking about the benefit of these types of programs from their unique perspective.

Superintendent Voices:  

Dr. Justin Irish, Anacortes 

Dr. Ismael Vivanco, Mount Vernon

Learn the importance of beginning career explorations for our students starting in elementary school to create a context for students to learn how science, technology, engineering, arts and math are used in real work.


Dr. Justin Irish and Dr. Ismael Vivanco recently filled superintendent positions at the Anacortes and Mount Vernon School Districts, respectively. The districts both place an emphasis on Career and Technical Education (CTE), STEM Education. 

Skagit Career and Technical Education Showcase: Lynette Brower, NCTA

See how real-world learning opportunities in a hands-on environment are created by the Northwest  Career and Technical Academy (NCTA).


Lynette Brower, the Director of the NCTA, discusses the Academy, which is based on the Mount Vernon Skagit Valley College campus, and the programs they offer. NCTA provides centralized resources and programs that can be utilized by all Skagit school districts with programs in 16 career pathways. A unique feature of the skill center is that students can graduate from high school with industry certificates in addition to CTE Dual Credits that accelerate their post-secondary education goal.

Spotlight on Women in STEM

The NW Washington STEM has been a leader in creating initiatives for encouraging opportunities for women in STEM fields.  Annually, the NW Washington STEM Network and the Skagit STEM Network have hosted more than 400 middle school and high school girls and young women to connect them with STEM professionals in their backyards.


We’re excited to announce our 2021 event, which has been moved to September and reimagined to include voices from across the Northwest region! Through powerful videos featuring local students, mentors and STEM professionals and interactive classroom discussion workshops, we’re excited to create an engaging experience, where students can explore the endless possibilities of STEM careers.


The program will be packaged into a Media Kit with the five videos, teaching resources and curriculum as a turnkey product for educators and Community Based Organizations to incorporate into their lesson plans for the coming Fall. A live community virtual premier event is also being planned for the Fall. 


This work was funded in part by Career Connect WA and Shell Puget Sound Refinery.

A Call to Action:

Shaun Doffing, Skagit STEM Program Manager

How can you get involved? If you are a business thinking about getting involved and do not know how to get started, an educator or a Community Based Organization looking to develop a Career Exploration, Career Preparation or Career Launch Program in Skagit, Shaun Doffing, Skagit STEM Program Manager, is a great resource to help you get started and build the right connections.


Shaun serves all Skagit K-12 school districts and supports development of a robust Career Connected Learning (CCL) ecosystem available to all students in all areas in Skagit County. A key element of his job is to strengthen and grow the relationship between industry and education. 

See Yourself in Me -

A Spotlight on Women in STEM


The Spotlight on Women in STEM features a series of inspiring videos along with interactive classroom materials that are designed to showcase the tremendous opportunities for women in four of our highest demand, living wage industries in Northwest Washington – IT, Halth Care, Engineering and Construction. The target audience is young women in middle and high school just starting to discover their interests.


Click here to see all of the videos and classroom materials produced by the NW Washington STEM Network.

Lots of great NW Washington STEM news in our latest newsletter:

NW Washington STEM News - October 2022
October 2022.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [2.0 MB]
NW Washington STEM News - Summer 2022
June 2022.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [2.4 MB]
NW Washington STEM News - January 2022
January 2022.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [902.4 KB]
Skagit STEM

Advisory Committee

Wayne Barrett

Superintendent Concrete School District


Phil Brockman

Superintendent, Sedro-Woolley School District


Larry Francois

Superintendent, NWESD189


Darren Greeno

Dean of Workforce, Skagit Valley College


Julia Johnson

Mayor, Sedro Woolley


John Sternlicht



Skagit School District Partners





La Conner

Mount Vernon


Contact Us:

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene kicked off the second annual Spotlight on Women in STEM that attracted nearly 400 area junior and high school students from all Skagit schools. She shared her journey in STEM fields. “As someone who made a career in STEM before coming to Congress, I know how important it is for young women to develop the skills to compete in a 21st century economy,” she said. “Understanding how things work will benefit you wherever you go! I want to encourage you to pursue your passion.”

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