ALCOA Workers

How do I get Started?

ALCOA Workers (Family Members too!) - Get Started at BTC

Bellingham Technical College is here to help you with your worker retraining. Sign-up for one our virtual information sessions. Plan for your future now. We understand that this is a stressful time and we have dedicated knowledgeable people to help you navigate selecting and enrolling in our programs.

Steps to Enrolling at BTC

Alcoa, Get Started in Three Easy Steps!

  1. Apply to BTC (it’s free!):

  2. Apply for the 2020-2021 Financial Aid (no cost to process):

  3. Assess your Starting Point

Assess Your Starting Point

Degree- or certificate-seeking students need to determine their math and English starting points, some programs require certain placement scores before starting program classes. Placement may be determined using one or more of the following:

Submit official transcripts from other colleges attended for evaluation.

You can request to send your previous college or university official transcript(s) to BTC.  Once we receive your official transcript, you will receive evaluation results within 10 business days to determine if your classes met the program entry requirements and if your classes would be transferred in for the general education classes.   Send transcripts to: Bellingham Technical College, ATTN: Admissions, 3028 Lindbergh Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225 or to if they are requesting an email.

Take the ACCUPLACER Placement Assessment

The ACCUPLACER is a computer-based assessment in three sections: reading, writing and math.  Your results place you in classes that match your skill level, it is not a pass/fail test.  We are currently offering the ACCUPLACER remotely, and take from your home through Zoom.  View more information on the Assessment Center page 

Requirements to take the ACCUPLACER:

  • Student ID Number. Receive your Student ID (SID) number from applying to BTC.

  • Appointment Needed. Schedule an appointment by emailing

  • Photo ID. You will show your photo identification.

  • Fee Payment. Pay the $25 fee at

  • Time.  This is not a timed test, but plan to spend about 2-2.5 hours taking the assessment.

  • Retest Policy.  You can take each of the subject area tests twice within 12 months of purchase.

  • ACCUPLACER Placement Assessment Study Materials:  We recommend you refresh and review your skills before you take the assessment, but it’s not required.  We have multiple resources to get your prepared for the ACCUPLACER. Printable Sample Questions:  View online on the Assessment Center page.

Enroll in Worker Retraining

The Worker Retraining program is designed to help unemployed or displaced workers update their skills or learn new, in-demand skills that lead to good jobs. If you’re eligible, you may also qualify for short term financial support through this state-funded grant.

Worker Retraining may provide:

Start-up or bridge funding to get you enrolled and started in your academic program or may provide financial support during a time when other resources are not available. Recipients may receive funds to cover tuition and books (may not cover 100%) during your first quarter at BTC. Additional program book costs may be covered contingent on WRT funding levels

Assistance coordinating with other agency programs and funding sources to help you pay for the rest of your program, including

  • Maintaining unemployment benefits while attending college
  • Applying for federal financial aid
  • Coordinating with other workforce funding and support program
  • Connecting with additional resources and benefits; and
  • Reemployment assistance upon completion of your academic program

If you are facing layoff and have not opened our UI claim, please contact the Worker Retraining Coordinator in advance to registering at BTC for important information:

To qualify, individuals must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Were laid off or have received a layoff notice (Notice of Separation from Alcoa is a qualifier for enrollment)
  • Receive or are eligible for unemployment benefits
  • Have exhausted unemployment benefits within the last four years
  • Were self-employed but closed a business due to economic conditions
  • Have been discharged from the Armed Forces within the last four years
  • Active duty received separation papers from the military.

To qualify as a displaced homemaker, individuals must meet the following criteria:

Individual who has been providing unpaid services to a family member(s) in the home has been dependent on the income of another family member but is no longer supported by that income; and is unemployed or underemployed, and is experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment.

How to Apply

Contact us at or call us at 360.752.8492.

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