Worker Retraining

The Worker Retraining program can provide job training for people who wish to gain additional training in their existing field or get started on a new career pathway.

Worker Retraining Service 

  • Tuition and Fees 
  • Books and Tools 
  • Assisting with addressing barriers to academic or personal success
  • Liaison to Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), WIOA and other agencies
  • Education planning to help you efficiently complete your program of study  
  • Referrals to community and college resources 
  • Assistance with Commissioner Approved Training (CAT)/ Training Benefits (TB )application and TAA paperwork 


Worker Retraining Eligibility  

Anyone meeting one of the following criteria: 

  • Received a layoff notice 
  • Collecting Unemployment
  • Unemployed and Exhausted unemployment within the past 48 months 
  • Self-Employed, now unemployed within the past 48 months 
  • Discharged Veterans within past 48 months
  • Active duty military with a notice of separation (VIE-25
  • Displaced Homemaker, a person who has recently lost his or her primary source of income within the past 48 months 
  • Vulnerable Worker, who meets 2 of the following 3 requirements:
    • Your job is not in demand (Decline) (See the Local Area/ Demand/ Decline Occupations list).
    • You have not earned more than 45 college credits plus any certificates or degree related to their college course work. 
    • You must upgrade your skills to remain employed in your current job. 

Approved Pathways 


Information for Students Receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits


Attending School May Affect UI Benefits

When you’re receiving unemployment insurance benefits (UI), Employment Security (ESD) is paying you to look for work and be available to accept work. ESD considers school a conflict with availability, so you must request approval for your program and show why you need to upgrade your skills or change occupations. This is done through the CAT/TB application (see definition below). Worker Retraining provides assistance with this process and one-on-one appointments. 

Possible Permissions from ESD:

• Student Eligibility – does not change your requirements but allows you to go school as long as you continue your required job-search-related activities and do not turn down employment. Online application (in ESD eServices) is completed after you report starting training on your weekly UI claim.
• Commissioner Approved Training (CAT) – waives ESD’s job search and work availability requirement while you attend a full-time professional/technical program (job skill related).
• Training Benefits (TB) – waives the job search/availability requirement and gives an extension of unemployment payments while in your approved training program (max of 26 additional weeks). TB does not pay for school costs/tuition. Application deadlines may apply.

What ESD applications are required?

  • Approval for Student Eligibility is mandatory if you are receiving UI benefits and attending school, even if attendance is part-time and the courses are online or in the evenings.
  • CAT and TB applications are optional, but unless ESD waives the requirement you’ll need to continue to be available for work. If you turn down employment without having CAT or TB approval, ESD could require repayment of UI benefits paid during your training

How do I apply to CAT/TB?

  •  Schedule Appointment with a Workforce Team member  

What is an ESD Progress Report?

If approved for CAT, Employment Security will ask for progress reports approximately every 6 weeks to see how you are doing in school.

What do I do with my ESD Progress Reports?

During the quarter, ask one of your instructors to sign it, verifying attendance and satisfactory progress. Make a copy for your files, and fax and/or mail it to the address specified on the progress report before the deadline. If in-between quarters and an instructor is not available, contact the Workforce Education office; staff can check your grades and sign the form. You will then copy, fax and mail as above.

Does CAT/TB pay my tuition?

No. CAT is only approval to go to school and to suspend your job search. TB is only an extension of UI benefits. Tuition is paid through other sources such as Worker Retraining, financial aid grants, WIOA, scholarships, etc., depending on eligibility.


Additional Information and Resources

  • Advising
    Assistance with degree planning, quarterly class selection and goal exploration
  • Counseling Services 
    Counseling Service provide short-term mental health counseling and self-care/wellness education to GRC students. 
  • Benefit Hub 
    Benefit Hub helps connect students to rent, utility, financial coach and public benefits resources.  
  • ODEI
    The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) aim to empower, enhance, educate, encourage, and engage our diverse populations to have ownership of their narratives and to succeed in their educational journeys.
  • Tutoring Center  
    Tutoring Center is where students receive extra support with course work.
  • Veteran Services
    Veteran Services serves as a resources all veterans, active duty servicemember, National Guard, reservist, or dependent of a veteran/ servicemember by providing support and referrals throughout campus and our community. 



Contact Workforce Education

Phone: 253-931-6550

WorkForce Education is located on Green River College's main campus in Auburn in SA-270



Hours of Operation

Spring Hours

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday- Sunday


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