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Education for parents receiving Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF)

"A job, a better job, a better life."


WorkFirst eligibility

You must be:

  • A parent of a child 18 years or younger, pregnant, or other qualifying family member.
  • Currently receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), cash assistance from DSHS.
  • Approved for education or training and referred by your DSHS WorkFirst Program Specialist (case manager).


Educational programs available

Basic education

  • Improve fundamental skills for work-related purposes
  • Strengthen math & English skills
  • High school equivalency/GED
  • Adult high school completion
  • Career exploration

Job skills training

  • Prep classes for professional-technical certificates
  • Upgrade job skills
  • Computer training
  • Nursing Assistant (selective entry)

Vocational education (certificates)

  • Accounting & finance
  • Business administration
  • Computer information systems
  • Criminal justice
  • Early childhood education
  • Hospitality tourism
  • Massage practitioner (selective entry)
  • Medical assisting (selective entry)
  • Office administration
  • Patient care navigation & coordination

WorkFirst only covers prep classes for degrees listed below. These programs are selective entry.

  • Nursing
  • Physical therapist assistant
  • Visual communications


Next steps

  1. Contact your DSHS WorkFirst Program Specialist (case manager) to ask if you are eligible to be referred to WCC's WorkFirst program.
  2. Develop a plan with your case manager.
  3. Contact the WorkFirst staff at Whatcom.