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Inslee to focus on apprenticeship programs, climate, and aerospace during 11-day trip

Governor Inslee leaves today for an 11-day overseas trip to Europe. The trip will take him to Switzerland to learn more about apprenticeships, Germany for COP23, and lastly Italy where he will meet with business and government leaders to discuss opportunities in aerospace.

Inslee, along with 45 delegates, will spend four days in Switzerland as part of a “study mission” to learn more about the Swiss apprenticeship model. Switzerland currently has a three percent unemployment rate and an 8.6 percent youth unemployment rate, which many credit, in part, to their highly successful apprenticeship program.  By comparison, the United States has a 10.4 percent youth unemployment rate and the state of Washington’s is 12.3 percent (2016).

The study mission will provide the opportunity for Washington representatives to meet with parents and students, companies and organizations that have successful apprenticeship programs, as well as international experts. According to a statement from the governor’s office,

“More than 740,000 job openings are expected in Washington State in the next five years and most will require some sort of postsecondary degree, certificate or credential. Inslee sees apprenticeships as an enormous opportunity to help high school students find a pathway to these good-paying jobs while also providing employers a flexible, well-trained workforce… Inslee’s vision is to create a cohesive system that gives students opportunities to train for jobs in industries such as health care, advanced manufacturing and IT.”

Inslee’s next stop will be in Bonn, Germany to attend COP23, the U.N.’s annual climate change conference. Inslee, along with California Gov. Jerry Brown and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, created the U.S. Climate Alliance in June and were invited by the president of this year’s COP, Fiji Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, to attend the conference.

While there, “the Alliance as well as the Pacific Coast Collaborative will host panel discussions, and the governor will be part of several events highlighting the importance of subnational leadership on climate and ocean acidification and states’ roles in fulfilling U.S. commitments to the Paris climate agreement.”

Gov. Inslee will end his trip in Italy’s Umbria region where he will meet with business leaders and government officials, including President Catiuscia Marini and Perugia Mayor Andrea Romizi, to discuss aerospace opportunities.