BTC's campus will be closed Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day, and there will be no daytime classes Tuesday, May 28, for a Faculty In-Service Day.

WorkForce Funding

Welcome to WorkForce Funding at Bellingham Technical College.

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Opportunity Grant

With Opportunity Grant, low-income students can get ready for and enrolled in programs that provide high-demand skills for high-wage jobs. Eligible programs include:

  • Electrician, HVAC-R, Welding

  • Industrial Maintenance & Mechatronics, Instrumentation & Control, Machining, Process Technology

  • Automotive Technology, Diesel Technology

  • Surgery Technology, Radiology Technology, Nursing (full-time program students only), Dental Hygiene, Dental Assistant

  • Computer Networking, Computer Support Specialist 

  • NEW PROGRAMS ADDED - Medical Administration, Medical Office Support, Nursing Assistant, Paramedic and Emergency Medical Technician, Veterinary Assistant, Veterinary Technician

See the application for current eligible programs. 

You may qualify if you:
  • Are 18 or older

  • Have earned less than an associate’s degree (priority given to students with fewer than 60 college level credits. Students with prior degrees should still apply)

  • Are a Washington resident of at least one year

  • Completed the FAFSA, which shows financial need

  • Are highly motivated and committed to your educational and career goals

  • Have a family income within eligibility guidelines

    This income chart will help you determine if you meet this qualification

Family Size: 1
Annual Gross Income: $30,120

Family Size: 2
Annual Gross Income: $40,880

Family Size: 3
Annual Gross Income: $51,640

Family Size: 4
Annual Gross Income: $62,400

Family Size: 5
Annual Gross Income: $73,160

Family Size: 6
Annual Gross Income: $83,920

For each additional person (beyond 6), add $10,760 annually

You may receive: 
  • Tuition and fees for 45 college credits

  • $1,000 for required books and tools

To apply: 

Applications are not being accepted at this time. A link to the 2024-25 Opportunity Grant application will be posted once they become available.      

Learn more about Opportunity Grant:
  • Call 360.752.8461

  • Email

  • Drop-in to the Student Financial Resources office in the College Services building (CS 101) Thursday's from 10:00am - 1:00pm


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Basic Food Employment & Training

The Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) program helps eligible students access education that leads to good jobs.

You may qualify if:
  • You are receiving or eligible to receive federal Basic Food Benefits (SNAP, EBT, food stamps). Apply for Basic Food Benefits

  • You are not receiving TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)

  • You are registered for the current or upcoming quarter

  • You have a FAFSA for the current school year on file with our Financial Aid office

Priority is given to:
  • Students enrolled in Worker Retraining or Opportunity Grant and who have other sources of non-federal aid (state grant, scholarships)
You may receive:
  • Continued Basic Food Benefits while you’re in school

  • Scholarship worth up to $1,500 for program-related expenses like tools and supplies

  • Free textbooks for general education, prerequisite classes and program classes

  • Child care subsidy

How to apply:


In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.


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The WorkFirst program at BTC provides funding and services to low income parents. Funding and services support student success and help students reach their employment goals.

You may qualify if ALL of these apply:
  • You are a parent receiving TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)

  • You were referred by a DSHS Caseworker 

You may receive:
  • Paid tuition, fees and books, depending on other aid available to you

  • WorkFirst Work Study job

  • Child care subsidy through Working Connections Childcare (DSHS)

  • 1:1 support in educational planning, funding, and other strategies to help you succeed at BTC

How to apply:

1. Contact your Caseworker at DSHS to ask if you are eligible for TANF

2. If you do not have a Caseworker, see if you qualify for one by calling DSHS at 877-501-2233 or        filling out an application at

Learn more about WorkFirst at BTC:
  • Call 360.752.8442

  • Drop-in to the Student Financial Resources office in the College Services building (CS 101) Thursday's from 10:00am - 12:00pm.

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Worker Retraining

The Worker Retraining (WRT) program is designed to help unemployed or displaced workers. If you had an active unemployment claim in the past 4 years, or are eligible for unemployment due to a layoff in the past 4 years, then you may be eligible. 

If you need to re-train to learn new skills or update your skill set to qualify for in-demand jobs that lead to self-sufficient wages, then this program may be for you. Eligible students/claimants may qualify for 1-quarter of financial support through this state-funded grant. 


Who could qualify? Individuals who:
  • Were laid off or have received a layoff notice AND

  • Receive or are eligible for unemployment benefits in the last 4 years OR

  • Have exhausted unemployment benefits within the last 4 years OR

  • Were self-employed but closed a business due to economic conditions OR

  • Have been discharged from the Armed Forces within the last 4 years OR

  • Active duty who received separation papers from the military OR

  • Lives or works, or has lived or worked, in a county declared a disaster area at the time of a disaster within the last 24 months, and whose employment situation was impacted by the disaster OR

  • Qualify as a displaced homemaker:

    • An individual who has been providing unpaid services to a family member(s) in the home and who:

      • 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 OR

  • Qualify as a vulnerable worker:

    • A currently employed individual who requires retraining and meets two of the following three criteria:

      • Is employed in an occupation that is listed as "not in demand" on the region’s Demand-Decline List.

      • Has not yet reached the "tipping point", of one year (45 credits) and a certificate or degree related to their college coursework.

      • Is unable to meet new skill standards of current employment without retraining. 

Worker Retraining (or WRT) is intended to be start-up or bridge funding for 1-quarter to get you enrolled and started in your program, or provide financial support during a time when other resources are not available. Recipients may receive:

  • Funding towards 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 agencies, programs and funding sources to pay for the rest of your program, and to keep you in good standing with Employment Security if you receive unemployment benefits.

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

To receive WRT funding, students must have the most current FAFSA (Financial Application for Federal Student Aid) on file with BTC's Financial Aid office.

How to Apply
Learn more about other funding options:

WorkSource scholarships for displaced workers of up to 2 years may also be available for students already admitted to a program of study in a high demand field—be sure to ask about this if you are admitted to your program (prerequisites must be completed).

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Hours & Contacts

Regular Hours

Mon to Thu: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Friday

Adjusted Hours Closed June 10 - 21 for processing

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