WSU Tri-Cities to offer workforce training opportunities under expanded programming in collaboration with Port of Benton, City of Richland, and Visit Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities is offering workforce training opportunities under an expanded professional development learning program with initial collaboration offered by the City of Richland, Port of Benton, and Visit Tri-Cities. 

The courses in these certificate programs are designed for professionals at varying levels, including entry level workers, early-career supervisors, mid-level employees and managers, and business owners across organizations and industries. Professionals in non-business roles such as healthcare and those without an undergraduate or business degree can also benefit. Designed to enhance professional growth, these courses develop skillsets for an ever-changing workforce landscape. 

Joan Giese, associate professor of marketing and director of Lifelong Learning at WSU Tri-Cities Carson College of Business said, “The over-arching goal of these programs is to offer a professional development pathway to prepare, upskill and reskill employees. For employers, this program can help enhance employee experience, satisfaction and retention while resulting in organization-wide growth and stability.”  

“These courses offer a practical resource that can quickly address worker training and growth in a constantly evolving economy,” said Miles Thomas, director of economic development and government affairs at the Port of Benton. “Effective career skills result in job fulfillment, recruitment and promotion that the Port sees as a clear nexus for community investment.”

“Many of our hospitality related businesses are struggling to find and retain qualified candidates to support the services they provide. The courses offered under this program will help strengthen the industry and the visitor experience and will improve job satisfaction for tourism professionals,” said Kim Shugart, senior vice president of Visit Tri-Cities. “We appreciate the funding we received from the City of Richland through their Business License Reserve program which allowed us to participate.”  

Each course has been designed interactively with industry professionals starting with a needs assessment, development of topics and outcomes and finally testing the course. This fall, three professional development certificates will be offered: Wine Tasting Room Server certificate, Fundamentals of Business certificate, and Cultivating Service Excellence certificate. These certificate courses are delivered entirely online and can be completed whenever convenient. In addition, a course specifically designed for managers or owners, Financial Well-Being of the Organization, is scheduled for fall. This course will be delivered online with scheduled live training sessions and organization-specific application activities. Other courses specific to wine business and senior living are also offered.  

Individuals or businesses interested in career advancement can view upcoming course offerings and register through the Washington State University Tri-Cities website.

Scholarships for specific courses and series will be offered throughout the year by partner organizations. To determine eligibility and apply for scholarships as they are offered, please click here. Public and private organizations are invited and encouraged to join the initial group in extending workforce benefits by contacting Joan Giese at


Leslie Streeter, Office of Marketing and Communication, (509) 372-7333,