The Washington State Skills Center concept is a terrific program. I had the pleasure of visiting several skills centers this year. Our college, Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) hosts a game programming & game art skills center at West Seattle High School. It has been a very successful program and an alternative vehicle for students to learn an important craft.
Washington State Skills Centers are an integral part of the education K-12 system, operating as an extension of the high schools within a local region. The primary purpose of Skills Centers is to give students the academic and work skills to successfully enter the job market or advanced education and training. Skills Centers provide cost-effective, quality job training in programs that would be too expensive to offer at every high school. (http://washingtonskillscenters.org/)
I feel this would be an excellent program to replicate in the nation. Many students are talented in tech and career skills but may not have the ambition and/or desire to pursue traditional higher education avenues. This opportunity has provided an amazing opportunities to Washington students and has provided excellent students for AIE. I applaud the efforts of the Washington State School Districts on this initiative.