Gov. Locke to Speak at Technology Education Workshop April 29

TACOMA, Wash. — Gov. Gary Locke will be the keynote speaker at a Washington State
University-sponsored Technology Education workshop on Thursday, April 29, at the WSU
Salishan Learning Center, 1724 E. 44th St., Tacoma.
Pierce County and South King County businesses and agencies will participate in the event
that runs 2-4 p.m.
The WSU Technology Education program’s goal is to produce technically trained workers to
fill administrative assistant and technology assistant positions. The demand for technology
workers in the Puget Sound region is high, and the lack of skilled workers continues to pose a
major challenge for private industry.
According to Christopher Hendrick, Gov. Locke’s science and technology policy advisor,
what can slow down the continued success in expanding the technology-based economy in
Washington State is the continuing gap between the supply and demand for skilled labor.
“The reason why Washington state has the highest average technology industry wage in
the nation is the huge disparity between ever-growing demand for highly trained workers and
relative stagnant local supply,” Hendrick has said.
WSU’s program teams the university with industry professionals to train low-income and
unemployed adults along with contracted employee trainees using the Microsoft approved
WSU/Epic Learning curriculum. Using the WSU/Epic Internet-based competency-based training
and instructional coaches, students learn administrative and technology support skills in
demand by the local businesses.
With training being delivered through the Internet, students can access that training either
at the WSU Salishan Learning Center or at any remote location that has Internet access.
“The program’s primary aim is to provide noncredit training to the existing workforce while
also training low-income/welfare adults in some if not all of the same computer skills,” said Arno
Bergstrom, director of WSU’s Salishan Learning Center. “Low-income, welfare and public
housing participants are provided scholarships made possible through the registration revenue
from corporate and general public enrollments.”
The Technology Education Program is designed to be a self-sustaining collaborative
initiative that builds a partnership between employers, training interns and the business
community as clients and future employers for interns, Bergstrom added. “This initiative creates
a virtual technology education and training system designed to supply trained technology
workers to meet industry needs, standards and certifications.”
For more information about the Technology Education Workshop, please call Bergstrom at