Capital STEM Alliance Newsletter – September 2023

Girl students assembling computer in classroom

The Capital STEM Alliance is pleased to share its first regional Impact Report! Learn about our journey and all the services we offer. Read our Impact Report here.


Lewis County Thrives

The Centralia Prevention Coalition is hosting two cost-free Parenting Pre-Teens Together series for parents and caregivers with youth ages 9-14. Parents can connect with a community of other parents raising teens and preteens. We will be providing dinner and childcare. Please share with your friends, family, coworkers, clients, etc! All are welcome! We recommend signing up with a group of parent friends to make it more fun and keep the learning going after the series ends. Register at: Please see the flyer for additional details.

Upcoming Dates:

  • October Series — Thursdays, October 19 – November 16, 5:30–7:30 pm | Centralia High School
  • January Series — Thursdays, January 11 – February 8, 5:30–7:30 pm | Centralia High School


The Community Foundation is happy to announce that Give Local 2023 will take place from November 6–17, and registration is now open! Below are some important notes regarding Give Local 2023, as well as links to the registration and FAQ pages.

As our world continues to struggle with an ongoing epidemic and fights for human rights, it is more important than ever that our communities work together to create a better future for all. At the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound, we believe that generosity is a catalyst. It creates hope and possibility. It embraces the needs of real people. It celebrates our shared humanity.

We launched Give Local in that spirit back in 2017 to create a local online giving event where our generous community members are connected to the causes they love, all on one platform. Participating nonprofits from Lewis, Mason, and Thurston Counties are encouraged to reach out to new and returning donors to build enduring relationships that inspire positive change in our community that is born through generosity.

Registration Special Note:

Immediately after submitting your registration, check your email for a confirmation message from “Community Funded.” There will be a link in the email to “review your submission,” which must be opened within 24 hours of your submission to activate your account.

To register for Give Local 2023, please visit and select “Nonprofit Registration” at the top of the page.

To learn more about Give Local eligibility and guidelines, review the full Give Local 2023 Nonprofit Guidelines. For general information and resources on how you can participate in Give Local 2023, check out our Nonprofit FAQ.

Back to School and Mental Health: Supporting Our Children for a Successful Year Ahead
By: Sunny Patel, M.D., M.P.H., Center for Mental Health Services — Read the full blog post here.

“As the heat of the summer reaches its peak and (hopefully soon) gives way to the cooler autumn breezes, it’s time for children and youth to return to school. This transition — filled with excitement, anticipation, and some natural apprehension — is an annual ritual for millions of students across our nation. As we prepare for the new academic year, it’s crucial to remember that school readiness isn’t just about having the right supplies; it’s also about mental health.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is committed to promoting mental health and preventing substance misuse as a critical part of overall health and wellness. As part of this commitment, we want to equip parents, teachers, and students with resources and tools to foster a mentally healthy return to school.”


Pacific Education Institute is accepting applications for Student Projects. K-12 teachers—Do you have a group of students passionate about the environment and climate? If so, submit an application for them to present a project to their state leaders and legislators! In collaboration with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), PEI invites you to join us at our annual statewide Student Summit at Lacey Community Center on January 25th and 26th, 2024.

Applications to bring a student group are due September 15, 2023.

Pacific Education Institute will release its 2023-2024 OSPI Outdoor Learning iGrant application soon. The legislature approved HB 2078 earlier this year, which means there will be funding available to schools and districts wanting to increase hands-on, nature-based learning experiences such as habitat restoration and environmental stewardship, outdoor science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) education activities, integration of professional environmental and land management mentors in learning, and field-based immersion learning such as journaling, investigations, and group discussions.

The application is not yet available but should be soon. This is a great time to continue thinking about the projects you want to implement. You can include PEI in your grant proposal and proposed budget as a subcontractor for professional learning or consultation. We can also provide a modifiable grant proposal template to help you get started.

Grant awards will be up to $35,000/project. Funding is for schools that meet the eligibility criteria. You can find more information about the grant requirements by navigating to the OSPI website and expanding the “Grants for School Districts administered by OSPI” option. Keep checking back at that website often, as they will be updating it soon.


The Capital STEM Alliance Executive Committee will hold its Fall meeting on September 12, 2023, from 1:00-2:30 pm PT via Zoom. We hope you can join us!

Our agenda this quarter features:

  • Career Connect Washington’s Health Care Sector Lead, Amy Barto of SEIU
  • Damian Magista and Creed Tremain-Nelson of AJAC – Career Launch: Creating apprenticeship opportunities for youth and adults
  • Capital STEM Alliance’s first-ever Impact Report
  • Building a career explore or prep pilot project

Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council (PacMtn) plans to develop a Regional Strategic Workforce Plan for the next four years (starting in 2023). This local plan will serve as a blueprint for shaping a successful future for the region’s workforce. The planning process is designed to assess the current landscape across the PacMtn region, identify opportunities, and set a clear direction for collective efforts. Our goal is to build a regional workforce development system that serves employers and job seekers and strives to grow our economy by training workers for the jobs of tomorrow.

The local plan will serve as a guiding document that outlines priorities, objectives, and strategies for PacMtn over the next four years. It will provide a framework for decision-making, resource allocation, and collaboration across all of PacMtn’s partners. By developing this plan, we can maximize the impact of our work and create sustainable pathways to prosperity for job-seekers and businesses alike.

PacMtn believes that inclusive community engagement is vital to building a local plan that represents our region. Throughout this process, PacMtn will actively seek input from job-seekers, employers, and partners in the Regional Workforce System to understand current challenges and opportunities in our region and potential strategies or solutions to address those challenges.

All organizations within the PacMtn region are encouraged to support the development of the Regional Strategic Workforce Plan by completing this survey!

Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program (Recompete Pilot Program)

EDA released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) (PDF) on June 29, 2023, for the Recompete Pilot Program. Click here to apply.

Applications are due by October 5, 2023.

EDA is seeking economic development experts to participate in the Recompete Merit Review process. If you are interested, please click here to learn more and/or send your resume to [email protected] by August 25, 2023.

Questions about the Recompete Pilot Program?

The Recompete Pilot Program was enacted as part of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 (as the Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program). Congress appropriated EDA $200 million – of the $1 billion authorized for the program – as part of the FY 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.

The Future of Work Summit & Expo, hosted by the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce, invites employers throughout the Capital Region to join the conversation about how to inform, develop, and build pathways for career seekers of all ages. Now more than ever before, Businesses, Educators, and Students need opportunities to influence and prioritize how we can build the necessary skills for our future talent pipeline.

The Future of Work Summit & Expo welcomes Businesses and Educators on October 24, 2023, at Great Wolf Lodge from 8 am–3 pm to join the regional conversation about the future of Workforce Development and Education.

Employers will:

  • Gather tools to create a talent pipeline.
  • Learn how to develop an on-the-job training program.
  • Understand best practices in developing an internship program.
  • Find out how to use apprenticeships as a recruitment strategy.
  • Nurture community relationships with educators and other business owners.

Students and educators will:

  • Get an inside view of a variety of regional businesses that are actively looking for ways to build relationships within their local schools.
  • Learn how to find and apply for all types of apprenticeship and/or internship programs.
  • Talk with business leaders about the importance of participating within their local classrooms and meeting students.

Reservations must be made by September 23, 2023.

The Capital STEM Alliance is a proud sponsor of this event!

Launching the Career Connected High School Grant Program

For far too long, there have been invisible walls between K-12, higher education, and workforce systems treated like they’re set in stone–that you need to complete one before moving on to the next. But the reality is that there’s a lot more overlap, and it’s time to Raise the Bar and reimagine high school in this country.

That means that in high schools of the future, college is one, but not the only, pathway to a brighter future. And in high schools of the future, every student graduates with the tools they need to “Unlocking Career Success.”

That’s why today, at the Unlocking Pathways Summit in Aurora, Colorado, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced the launch of a new $25 million Career Connected High School Grant program. This program will provide grants to consortia of local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, and employers to pilot evidence-based strategies to increase the integration and alignment of the last two years of high school and the first two years of postsecondary education to improve postsecondary education and career outcomes for all students.

These grants – and these summits  – are part of the Raise the Bar: Unlocking Career Success initiative, aimed at helping young Americans access good-paying jobs created by President Biden’s Bidenomics agenda. This cross-government effort seeks to increase and expand access to high-quality career pathways to help young Americans pursue jobs in today’s in-demand fields and be prepared for careers of the future. These summits, which are co-hosted by Jobs for the Future and partnering federal agencies, including the Departments of Labor, Commerce, Energy, and Transporation, bring together state and local leaders to discuss their youth workforce strategies and efforts that they can lead to create high schools of the future and ensure that every student is on a path to success.

Grantees can use funds for a variety of different activities based on the needs of the region, including:

  • Additional dual enrollment classes
  • Covering the costs of tuition, books, supplies, and other related expenses for low-income students
  • Tutoring
  • Other academic supports
  • Transportation for students to work-based learning sites
  • The development of new career & technical education (CTE) programs in high-growth fields like clean energy or to support teacher training and new equipment that may be needed to launch these programs.

The notice inviting applications (NIA) is now live here, and for more information about how the Department is working to strengthen college and career pathways, sign up for our newsletter.