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First Lady Dr. Jill Biden highlights technical education at Tacoma college

On Friday, the first lady visited Bates Technical College in Tacoma to highlight its workforce development programs.

SEATTLE — First Lady Dr. Jill Biden is visiting western Washington this weekend.

Biden arrived at King County International Airport just before 3 p.m. on Friday and departed to Bates Technical College in Tacoma to highlight its workforce development programs. The programs connect current high school and postsecondary students to resources and opportunities.

At Bates Technical College, Dr. Biden met with students and instructors, touring the HVAC and welding programs. She met students who were earning certificates and gaining employment while still in high school; some, in trades that earn $20-60 an hour. 

Bates offers programs for high school and professional students. Dr. Biden spotlighted the school as a great option for many careers. 

"Students are identifying their interests early so they're saving time and they're focused on what they want to do in life, and they have these dual programs," Dr. Biden said. "And I think that's the way to go. Not everyone wants a four-year degree. We have all different types of learning, all different types of students."

The classroom setting is familiar to Dr. Biden, with a career as a community college educator. Her office selected Bates Technical College for its position as a leading provider of technical education. 

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Biden will also attend and deliver remarks at a finance event for Sen. Patty Murray in Seattle at noon on Saturday, Oct. 8. 

Then, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Biden will be at Seattle's Pacific Science Center to attend a Hidden Helpers Coalition event that will celebrate children in military and veteran caregiving families. Murray and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough will host the event with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project.

The event is a part of the White House's Joining Forces initiative that supports military families, which includes families of service members and veterans, caregivers and survivors. 

Joining Forces was an initiative founded in 2011 with former First Lady Michelle Obama. 

Biden will also visit San Francisco, California during this West Coast trip.

The first lady previously visited Washington in March 2021. During that visit, she visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. She received a tour of the facilities and got to speak with military families about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The visit comes a day after U.S. Department of Transportation Secretay Pete Buttigieg visited Washington state. Buttigieg on Thursday toured an infrastructure project in Wenatchee and officially announced the Culvert Grant Program, which is aimed at helping fix culverts to help fish passage.

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