Centers of Excellence

Centers of Excellence are flagship institutions that build and sustain Washington’s competitive advantage through statewide leadership. Each Center focuses on a targeted industry that drives the state’s economy and is built upon a reputation for fast, flexible, quality education and training programs. A targeted industry is identified as one that is strategic to the economic growth of a region or state.

Centers are guided by industry representatives to lead collaborative and coordinated statewide education and training efforts to build a competitive workforce in a global economy.

Key roles of the Centers include:

  • Maintain an institutional reputation for innovation and responsive education and training delivery to their targeted industry.
  • Act as a broker of information and resources related to their targeted industry for industry representatives, community-based organizations, economic development organizations, community and technical colleges, secondary education institutions, and four-year colleges and universities.
  • Translate industry research into best practices.
  • Provide system coordination, coaching, and mentoring to assist in building seamless educational and work-related systems.
  • Build a competitive workforce for driver industries in Washington State.

Presentation to Workforce Education Council, February 2015

Centers of Excellence Websites


Walla Walla Community College’s Agricultural Center of Excellence provides collaborative leadership in addressing the emerging workforce and economic development interests of rural, urban, and related agriculture in Washington State. The Center is a hub for accessing fast, flexible services and education to meet employer needs.

Allied Health

The Allied Health Center of Excellence, located at Yakima Valley College, is dedicated to addressing Washington State’s healthcare workforce needs of today and tomorrow. Through collaboration and cooperation with industry partners, the center provides innovative programs to prepare qualified and competent health care professionals and leaders for the future.

Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing

Everett Community College hosts the Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing. The Center’s mission is to increase the competitiveness of manufacturers using composites and other advanced materials through workforce training and education.

Clean Energy

The Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy at Centralia College provides leadership for a growing alliance of energy industry and college partners. Together, industry and educational partnerships provide comprehensive degree and certificate programs, on-line courses, and regional classroom training opportunities that focus on the future of the energy industry.


The Construction Center of Excellence at Renton Technical College is a resource for industry professionals, colleges, and others interested in preparing a diverse workforce for the construction industry. The Construction Center of Excellence showcases innovative educational offerings, at Renton Technical College and elsewhere, and promotes awareness of career pathways within construction.


The Washington State Center of Excellence for Careers in Education, housed at Green River College, provides support, mentoring, and advising to community colleges and their K-20 partners for the creation and expansion of career-ladder programs in education. The Center provides a yearly best practices conference, a comprehensive web site, curriculum development and dissemination, and training for K-20 instructors and para-professionals.

Homeland Security

The Center for Excellence for Homeland Security Emergency Management is hosted by Pierce College and facilitates and coordinates Homeland Security Emergency Management initiatives with a coalition of 34 community and technical colleges, public agencies, and private sector organizations. The Center of Excellence provides support to Washington State community & technical colleges as they develop statewide innovative education and training programs to produce a skilled workforce focused on maintaining our national security and ensuring an effective response to all-hazard events.

Information and Computing Technology

The Center of Excellence for Information and Computing Technology (CoE for ICT) is hosted at Bellevue College. The CoE for ICT partners with the National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies (NWCET) to provide services, research, programs, and events that serve Washington State community and technical college faculty and students, as well as industry and the K-12 system.

The CoE for ICT performs as an information resource and solution-provider for model information technology education programs, best practices, up-to-date research, information dissemination, instructor professional development in new and emerging technologies. It also provides information on industry trends that impact employment, education, and business growth across Washington State.

International Trade, Transportation and Logistics

The Center of Excellence for Global Trade and Supply Chain Management is housed at Highline College and led by a statewide advisory committee. The Center facilitates linkages and partnerships among education, business, industry, community partners, and workforce intermediaries, advocating for Washington State both nationally and internationally in international trade, transportation, and logistics.

Marine Manufacturing and Technology

Skagit Valley College is home to the Northwest Center of Excellence for Marine Manufacturing and Technology. The Center is a hub for innovative discussions, resources, training and education services that create a repository of information and illuminate best practices related to industry trends and emerging technologies to foster economic vitality.

For information about the Centers of Excellence contact:

Kathy Goebel for:

  • Agriculture Center of Excellence
  • Center of Excellence for Information & Computing Technology
  • Construction Center of Excellence
  • Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy
  • Center of Excellence for Careers in Education

Kendra Hodgson for:

  • Allied Health Center of Excellence
  • Center of Excellence for Aerospace & Advanced Materials Manufacturing
  • Center of Excellence for International Trade, Transportation, & Logistics
  • Northwest Center of Excellence for Marine Manufacturing & Technology
  • Center of Excellence for Homeland Security

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