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Snohomish County announces Aerospace Grant Awards for Workforce Training

Workforce training grant to support the County’s leadership in aerospace

By Snohomish County Government | Press Release

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash., August 4, 2020 – Today, Snohomish County announced grant awards for the Aerospace Employment Recovery & Training Program (AERO-ERTP). This grant program is part of the county’s plan to use federal CARES Act resources to support those businesses and their employees impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were 24 applicants and 11 were notified that they are eligible for grant awards. Workforce Snohomish will be executing contracts with the companies that qualify before funds will be released. All funds must be expended by November 30, 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on Snohomish County’s aerospace industry. The significant decline in business and leisure travel has impacted Boeing and its suppliers and their highly skilled workforce.  To support the aerospace industry and retain the highly skilled workforce, Snohomish County launched the grant program that allows companies to develop customized, short-term training programs to increase the resiliency of local aerospace businesses and to facilitate the hiring or retention of furloughed workers.

“Helping companies in Snohomish County stay globally competitive will be a key part of our economic recovery,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “The businesses that have been awarded a grant will be able to use the funds to train current employees, recalled furloughed workers, and new hires to maintain a talented and dynamic workforce in commercial aviation and to help diversify into new markets.”

For some businesses, the grant funds will allow them to enter new market opportunities such as military aviation and space. This will help diversify the County’s aerospace industry and increase its competitiveness globally.  The grant is made possible from a portion of the CARES Act funds that were approved by the County Council to support businesses and their workers.

“Workforce training to support a company’s diversification into new market opportunities is important to the County’s economic recovery,” said Snohomish County Council Chair Nate Nehring. “This grant program not only allows workers to acquire new skills it provides an opportunity for our aerospace companies to become more resilient by being able to compete for opportunities in the growing defense and space sectors.”

Aerospace Employment Recovery & Training Program (AERO-ERTP)

The Aerospace Employment Recovery & Training Program (AERO-ERTP) was designed to increase the resiliency of local businesses and to facilitate the reintegration of furloughed workers into the workforce, primarily though cohort-based trainings. The program provides businesses with a grant for preapproved, direct, training-related costs. Funding is available up to $250,000 per business and training must be completed no later than November 30, 2020.

The AERO-ERTP is designed to accomplish the following:

  • Increase local business competitiveness
  • Minimize additional layoffs
  • Recall furloughed workers
  • Adapt to new skill requirements, processes, expectations, technologies, and/or changing local, state, federal, or international regulations or standards, due to COVID 19
  • Upskill current employees including those who were furloughed and newly hired employees
  • Backfill new positions with local talent pool

This program is part of the package of COVID-19 responses proposed by Snohomish County Executive Somers, approved by the County Council, and funded by CARES Act resources.  That package includes funding for Public Health and Emergency response activities, including PPE; economic stabilization; human/social services and housing; essential government services; and for emergency contingencies.

This grant program adds to the actions Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers has implemented to support businesses and workers, including:

  • Launch of two grant programs for small businesses.
  • Launch of a Blue Ribbon Economic and Workforce Recovery Taskforce and District Advisory Groups.
  • Creation of the Office of Economic Recovery and Resiliency.
  • Establishment of a Response Fund with the Community Foundation of Snohomish County and local partners.
  • Extension of a Deadline for Individual Property Taxpayers with County Treasurer Brian Sullivan.

For more general information, please go to, the County’s comprehensive page for residents and small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

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