SBCTC to receive Climate-Ready Workforce project funding

June 12, 2024 

Media Contacts:  
Jennifer Korfiatis, interim public information officer, 509-682-6650, 

The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges is one of nine recipients of a $50 million grant through the Climate-Ready Workforce for Coastal and Great Lakes States, Tribes, and Territories Initiative. The CRW program supports communities across the U.S. by developing a skilled workforce capable of addressing the challenges that climate change poses.  

The nine programs selected for the grant will focus on training and job placement of underserved and economically disadvantaged communities, people of color, and Indigenous people.  

Wenatchee Valley College and the Colville Confederated Tribes are one of six colleges and five Tribes in Washington state included in the project.  

WVC and the selected colleges and Tribes will work to create partnership models, best practices, and new curriculums that will be distributed to the state’s 34 community and technical colleges to strengthen workforce partnerships with the 29 federally recognized Tribes of Washington. 

The SBCTC received $9,257,231 from the grant for a four-year project, “Tribal Stewards: Cultivating Tribal leadership and equity in natural resource co-stewardship and climate resilience.” The project will focus on the partnership between community colleges and Tribal Nations to cultivate a new generation of Tribal leaders and co-stewards adept in integrative natural resources management and climate resilience.   

The SBCTC explained that the program will train faculty to better serve Tribal students, integrate Tribal natural resource knowledge into college workforce programs, and recruit and support more Tribal students. The programs will be available on both campuses and Tribal lands, creating opportunities for Tribal students to enter natural resource careers and serve their communities.  

“Our collaborative partnership with the Colville Tribes is a great source of pride for our college,” said WVC President Dr. Faimous Harrison. “This exciting and innovative project will continue to strengthen that partnership and will work to cultivate a new generation of Tribal leaders focused on natural resources management and climate resilience. We hope that this project can serve as a model for other institutions of higher learning throughout the state and nation.”  

In a press release from the SBCTC, Glenda Breiler, SBCTC director of tribal government affairs and Colville Confederated Tribes member, described the vulnerability of Tribal communities to climate change due to their close ties to the natural environment. “As the First Peoples of this land, Washington Tribes have been leading the front lines of environmental protection and managing their lands since time immemorial” she said. “Tribal communities are the best protectors of natural resources as our culture, health, and livelihoods are tied to the natural environment.” 

The goal of CRW is to contribute to the development of a climate-literate workforce, informed by climate resilience, and skilled at addressing climate challenges with sustained and good jobs. The initiative fosters collaboration and addresses the needs of local communities and ecosystems by focusing on place-based work.  

CRW is funded by the Biden-Harris Administration's Inflation Reduction Act. It is a joint program of NOAA’s Climate Program Office, Office for Coastal Management, and National Sea Grant Office, with the grants being made by NOAA’s National Sea Grant Office. 



Wenatchee Valley College enriches North Central Washington by serving educational and cultural needs of communities and residents throughout the service area. The college is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion for all students and employees and provides high-quality transfer, liberal arts, professional/technical, basic skills and continuing education for students of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds. Visit our website, 

Wenatchee Valley College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity in employment and student enrollment. All programs are free from discrimination and harassment against any person because of race, creed, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a service animal by a person with a disability, age, parental status or families with children, marital status, religion, genetic information, honorably discharged veteran or military status or any other prohibited basis per RCW 49.60.030, 040 and other federal and state laws and regulations, or participation in the complaint process. 

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To report discrimination or harassment: Title IX Coordinator, Mish ee twie, 1321A, (509) 682-6716, 

To request disability accommodations: Student Access Manager, Wenatchi Hall 2131, (509) 682-6854, TTY/TTD: dial 711,