Worker Retraining

The Worker Retraining program provides tuition, fees, required textbooks and sometimes transportation for laid-off and dislocated workers who need training to return to the workforce. To qualify for the Worker Retraining program, you must enroll in an eligible training program and meet one of the eligibility criteria.

Do I qualify for the Worker Retraining program?

Eligible academic program options include:

Must meet one of the general eligibility criteria or two of the Vulnerable Worker eligibility criteria.

  • Meet one of the general eligibility criteria:
    • You are receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits 
    • You received a lay-off notice and will be eligible for UI benefits 
    • You have exhausted your UI benefits within the past 48 months and are still unemployed or underemployed 
    • You have closed your business within the last 24 months due to economic conditions and are currently unemployed 
    • You are a displaced homemaker with low-income due to an event that occurred within the past 48 months; eligible events include divorce, separation, or death of your spouse/partner 
    • You have separated from the U.S. Armed Services within the past 48 months
    • You are an active-duty military member and have received a separation order


  • Meet two of the Vulnerable Worker expanded eligibility criteria:
    • You are employed in an occupation that is “not in demand” according to the Occupations in Demand (OID) list; must filter by county where you are employed.
    • You do not have a college degree or certificate in current coursework and have completed less than 45 college credits
    • You need to learn new skills to keep your job

How do I apply for the Worker Retraining program?

  1. Take the Start Next Quarter survey to check your funding eligibility; the survey is not an application for funding.
  2. If eligible for funding, you should receive a Results page that lists the funding program(s) for which you may qualify. Click the ‘GO’ button to be directed to the Attend a Workshop page.
  3. On the Attend a Workshop page, enter your contact information then click the ‘GO’ button to be directed to the Get in Touch page.
  4. The Get in Touch page includes information for the Workforce Education Application and link; click on the link to open the application.
  5. Complete and submit the North Seattle College Workforce Education Application. You should receive a confirmation email upon submission.
  6. The confirmation email also includes information about our review process and additional enrollment steps you can take while you await your eligibility email. If you cannot find a confirmation email, make sure to check your junk/spam and if needed update your email settings to prevent emails from us at going to your junk/spam.

Worker Retraining General Questions

The Worker Retraining program can pay for tuition, fees and required textbooks. Specific funding information is provided on a quarterly basis to all students enrolled in the Worker Retraining program.

Yes, enrolling in the Worker Retraining program may help with funding gaps. For example, if your financial aid award only covers your tuition and fees; you would be expected to pay for your other school-related expenses including textbooks and transportation. Worker Retraining could pay for your required textbooks and a bus pass or a parking permit, therefore helping to decrease that funding gap.

Receiving UI benefits is one way to qualify for Worker Retraining funding. You can continue to receive your UI benefits while in school if you are fulfilling your weekly job search activities as required b Employment Security Department (ESD). If you would like to waive your job search requirement and receive UI benefits while in school, then you will need to apply and be approved for Commissioner Approved Training (CAT). If you would like to receive an extension of up to 26 weeks of additional UI benefits while in school, then you will need to apply and be approved for Training Benefits (TB). Additional information will be provided to you upon enrollment into the Worker Retraining program.

Commissioner Approved Training (CAT) and Training Benefits (TB) are programs through the Employment Security Department. You can attend an online CAT/TB orientation to learn more about these programs, find information about upcoming orientations here

If you have questions, contact Worker Retraining Specialist:

Darcie Callahan  
(206) 934-6063

*Please include your first and last name, phone number and ctcLink ID number (EMPLID) when leaving an email or voicemail message.