WorkFirst is Washington State’s welfare reform program that provides support to individuals who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) from DSHS. The goal of WorkFirst is to help students gain skills or earn a credential leading to higher wages, better jobs, and further advancement.

Scrabbles tiles spelling Life, Family, Balance, Work, and Career
  • Potential funding for school-related expenses, including:
    • tuition
    • course fees
    • textbooks and supplies
    • transportation
    • emergency aid
  • Education planning to help you efficiently complete your program of study
  • Advising to address barriers to academic or personal success
  • Help navigating college processes and services
  • Referrals to community and college resources

Parents receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance who are referred by their DSHS case manager and interested in an approved program of study.

What training opportunities are available?

Training options through WorkFirst include:

Who is eligible?

Parents receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) who have been referred to the college by their DSHS case manager.

How do parents sign up?

If you are receiving cash assistance (TANF) from DSHS, ask your caseworker or social worker to send a referral to Bellevue College.  You can also get started by attending a Workforce Education information session.

What testing is required before I can enter WorkFirst programs?

  • ESL / ABE / GED students may need to take a CASAS assessment.
  • Students pursuing a professional-technical degree or certificate may need to take math and English placement tests.

What services are available after I complete WorkFirst training?

All of our training and educational opportunities are designed to assist parents in gaining skills that will enable them to support their families. After training, we may assist with job search. We help students plan for future classes and programs that could help them with wage progression.

Is WorkFirst at Bellevue College part of the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and/or the Employment Security Department?

No, but we partner with those agencies in order to provide training opportunities for parents on TANF.

How do I get more information?

Attend a Workforce Education Information Session. You can register for a Zoom info session, held Tuesdays at 2:30pm, or download the info session PowerPoint to review on your own time.

Last Updated June 21, 2022