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

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: $27,180

Family Size: 2
Annual Gross Income: $36,620

Family Size: 3
Annual Gross Income: $46,060

Family Size: 4
Annual Gross Income: $55,500

Family Size: 5
Annual Gross Income: $64,940

Family Size: 6
Annual Gross Income: $74,380

For each additional person (beyond 6), add $9,440 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:

 

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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. Find out if you qualify

  • 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

  • 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 bfet@btc.edu

  • Call 360.752.8351

  • Drop-in to the Student Financial Resources office in the College Services building (CS 101) Monday's from 12:00pm - 1:30pm, Tuesday's 10:00am - 12:00pm, or Thursday's 10:00am - 1:00pm



 

BFET FAQ's:
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WorkFirst

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 washingtonconnection.org

Learn more about WorkFirst at BTC:
  • Schedule an appointment with the WorkFirst Coordinator,

  • Call 360.752.8442,

  • Drop-in to the Student Financial Resources office in the College Services building (CS 101) Thursday's from 3:00pm - 5:00pm.

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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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Passport

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
passport@btc.edu
360.752.8377

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Hours & Contacts

Regular Hours

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

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