Updated 1/28/2022: BTC is open and operating on a normal schedule except: All Student Services departments are operating limited in-person services Monday-Thursday 8 am to 5 pm and Fridays are virtual services only. 

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, Dental Hygiene, Dental Assistant
  • Computer Networking, Computer Support Specialist

See the application for current eligible programs. 

You may qualify if you:
  • Are 18 or older.
  • Have earned less than an associate’s degree.
  • 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: $25,760

Family Size: 2
Annual Gross Income: $34,840

Family Size: 3
Annual Gross Income: $43,920

Family Size: 4
Annual Gross Income: $53,000

Family Size: 5
Annual Gross Income: $62,080

Family Size: 6
Annual Gross Income: $71,160

For each additional person (beyond 6), add $4,540 annually

You may receive:
  • Tuition and fees for 45 college credits.
  • $1,000 for required books and tools.

To apply, complete and submit the Opportunity Grant Application Form

Learn more about Opportunity Grant:

Schedule an appointment with the Opportunity Grant Coordinator, call 360.752.8461, or email oppgrant@btc.edu

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Basic Food Employment & Training

Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) 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. Find out if you qualify

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

  • You are registered for the current of 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, 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
  • Financial assistance with program-related expenses like tools and supplies
  • Books for general education, prerequisite classes and program classes
  • Child care subsidy
How to apply:
  • Schedule an appointment with a BFET Coordinator, email us at bfet@btc.edu or call 360.752.8351

  • Meet with BFET Coordinator (Due to COVID, appointments may be through email, phone and/or Zoom)

  • Complete BFET 101 enrollment and onboarding requirements

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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 the DSHS caseworker
  • You have completed the DSHS Comprehensive Evaluation
  • Find out if you qualify
You may receive:
  • 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:

Contact your TANF Caseworker at DSHS to become eligible for TANF, contact DSHS or go to washingtonconnection.org.

If you and your DSHS Caseworker determine that training at BTC is your next step, your Caseworker will refer you to an orientation session at BTC.

Learn more about WorkFirst:

Schedule an appointment with a WorkFirst Coordinator or call 360.752.8442.

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Worker Retraining

This 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.

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

WRT is intended to be start-up or bridge funding, 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:

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 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 our UI claim, please contact the Worker Retraining Coordinator in advance to registering at BTC for important information.

How to Apply

Contact BTC's Worker Retraining Coordinator by email at wrt@btc.edu or by calling 360.752.8492.

Learn more about Worker Retraining

Schedule an appointment with BTC's Worker Retraining Coordinator or call 360.752.8492.

Learn more about other funding options:

WorkSource scholarships for dislocated 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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Passport to College Promise Scholarship for Former Foster Youth

Through the Passport to College Promise Scholarship program, students receive a scholarship that assists with the cost of attending college (tuition, fees, books, housing, transportation, and some personal expenses), and specialized support services from a college staff member.

Eligible students may receive up to $1,500 per quarter in financial assistance. Passport students also may opt-in for personalized help and support services from the College Success Foundation.

Passport serves former foster youth who:
  • Spend at least one year in foster care in Washington state after their 16th birthday
  • Emancipate from care on or after January 1, 2007
  • Enroll at least half-time in an eligible college by their 22nd birthday
  • Maintain Washington residency
  • Be working toward earning their first degree or certificate
To apply, complete the Passport Consent Form and send to:
Washington Student Achievement Council
Passport for Foster Youth Promise Program
PO Box 43430
Olympia, WA 98504-3430
Fax: 360.704.6246

If approved for Passport, students must notify the Passport Coordinator at BTC of their eligibility.

BTC Passport Coordinator:
Mark O'Connor

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Hours & Contacts

Regular Hours

M to Th: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday: Closed

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