Ready to Work

Ready to Work (RTW) was designed for residents who face immense barriers to learning English and gaining employment. The program combines English as a Second Language (ESL) classes with computer literacy instruction and case management to help immigrants gain job readiness skills and take steps toward economic self-sufficiency. Jump to here to learn more about the history of Ready to Work.

Download a general information flyer about Ready to Work. (Right-click, then select, "Save link as..." and save to your computer.)

We are accepting applications!
RTW Winter Quarter for Southeast Seattle begins January 8, 2018.
RTW Winter Quarter registration for North Seattle from January 1-4, 2018 (5:30 PM-8:30 PM).

Ready to Work - Southeast Seattle

If you or someone you know is interested in attending, please contact:
Ingrid at (206) 695-7553 | or
Getu at (206) 805-8950 |

Consider posting these informational Ready to Work - SE Seattle flyers in community spaces:

RTW Flyer - English RTW Flyer - Vietnamese RTW Flyer - Somali
English Tiếng Việt Af-Soomaali




RTW Flyer - Spanish RTW Flyer - Chinese RTW Flyer - Amharic
Español 中國語文 አማርኛ


Ready to Work - North Seattle

If you or someone you know is interested in attending, please contact:
Lauren at (206) 782-2050 |

Consider posting these informational Ready to Work - N Seattle flyers in community spaces:

Image of a RTW flyer from LiteracySource Image of a RTW North Flyer in ENglish RTW Flyer - Chinese RTW Flyer - Tigrinya
English Español 中國語文 አማርኛ


How RTW Came About

Mayor Ed Murray, the Seattle City Council and three City agencies – the Human Services Department (HSD), Office of Economic Development (OED) and the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) – along with a group of engaged stakeholders took action to create the Ready to Work (RTW) program. RTW was created as a prototype model of English language acquisition and employment. Our goal is to empower and support immigrants, refugees and others to overcome barriers to reach milestones on their difficult journey to economic stability, quality jobs and integration into life in Seattle.

Evaluating RTW

Ready To Work participants presenting their projects. The success of Ready to Work will be measured over the next two years (2015-2016) by the results it produces and by the degree to which its participants achieve their employment and English language proficiency goals. OIRA is contracting with RTI International to conduct an independent evaluation of Ready to Work with its findings to be reported to the Mayor’s Office and City Council.

Beyond 2016, the long-term success and impact of the Ready to Work program will be determined by the extent to which its outcomes are replicated and brought to scale in future years to produce a larger impact in Seattle’s workplaces and neighborhoods. The initial investments of resources, time and attention by our Steering Committee and partner organizations will be returned many-fold in future years when hundreds and eventually thousands of future immigrants and refugees become English language proficient, continue their education, achieve economic stability, and secure quality jobs.

Anticipated Long-term Effects of the RTW Program

A graduation handshake for one of the RTW graduates. Seattle’s low-income native born, and immigrants and refugees together confront similar economic challenges and labor market realities. We need to work together in new ways to achieve a “re-visioning” of traditional policies and practices in our education, workforce, social service and community development systems. Realizing such a vision will also require innovation and a re-energized commitment to work more effectively across our traditional organizational silos, strengthen our stakeholder partnerships, and leverage our mutual resources, knowledge and best practices. The result can be expanded economic and political democracy for all Seattleites.

Ready to Work Nationally Recognized

On January 9, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor highlighted Ready to Work as a national best practice model on how to leverage workforce funding to support immigrant integration in the labor force. More about this recognition here.

Ready to Work Expands to North Seattle

The City of Seattle 2017-2018 Adopted Budget expanded the program into Lake City and adjacent neighborhoods in North Seattle. Community-based organization Literacy Source in partnership with the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs will be operating the program and providing ESL classes, career development, and job placement services at its Learning Center in Lake City filling an important need for immigrant and refugee jobseekers in North Seattle.

Find Out More

For more information about the Ready to Work program, contact Glenn Davis at (206) 615-0207 or

Banner photo credit: Alabastro Photography.