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Mason-Placek elected Chair of community college board

OLYMPIA (Aug. 10, 2023) — Chelsea Mason-Placek, Workforce Development Director for the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, was recently elected to serve as Chair of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Led by a nine-member governor-appointed board, the SBCTC advocates, coordinates and directs Washington state’s system of 34 public community and technical colleges.

“It was an honor to be elected by fellow board members to serve as the Chair for the upcoming year,” she said. “I’ve been on the board for four years now and never cease to be impressed by the innovation and commitment to student success from the agency’s staff and leaders, in addition to the presidents, trustees, faculty and staff from our system’s 34 colleges. It was especially noteworthy in response to the challenges the COVID pandemic brought to our system.”

Mason-Placek worked for the WSLC from 2008 to 2011, rejoining the council in her current position in May 2021. Previously, she worked for U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-9th), including as his liaison to organized labor and has served as legislative director, first for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA)/IFPTE 2001 and then for the International Association of Machinists (IAM) District 751.

Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges

“As the labor representative on the SBCTC, I’m particularly interested in the board’s work to lift up the ‘workers that help shape the workforce,’ the employees within the system,” Mason-Placek said. “Other priorities include ensuring that the system’s investments lead to high-quality jobs and economic mobility for community and technical college students and that registered apprenticeship programs have the opportunity to grow in partnership with our state’s colleges.

“I look forward to collaborating with others on these issues and more during the year ahead.”

Mason-Placek will also work to promote the Washington College Grant, which is one of the most generous post-secondary grant programs in the country. It is available for community and technical college, four-year college and university students, and apprentices.

The SBCTC’s vision statement reads: “Leading with racial equity, our colleges maximize student potential and transform lives within a culture of belonging that advances racial, social, and economic justice in service to our diverse communities.”

Learn more about the SBCTC at

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