STTACC was organized to “contribute to the productive utilization of classified staff training organizations statewide by identifying and discussing staff development activities and needs; to assist member campus organizations interested in staff development; maintain communication with officers and member organizations concerned with staff development; and maintain association arrangements to implement statewide classified development activities.”

The STTACC organization began in 1978 when the Chancellor of Seattle Community College District VI announced that the college had received an Inter-governmental personnel Act (IPA) grant to share the District VI training model with all 24 community colleges within the state of Washington. In addition, the grant stipulated that a statewide-classified employee development advisory board should be developed by September 30, 1979.

A series of three two-day conferences were planned through early 1979 with three classified staff representatives invited from each college. The conference was held at St. Thomas Seminary in Kenmore, Washington. It included workshops in needs assessment, strategies for planning and implementation, and development of a statewide network.

A follow-up meeting was held in June 1979 that brought together one representative from each community college and set up a hierarchical structure that included a project director, newsletter editor, resource bank editor, and a steering committee made up of four regional directors. Big Bend Community College volunteered to publish the first newsletter and to report on the structure of the organization tentatively called Classified Development Network (CD Network), to be administered by Yakima Community College.

In August 1979, the IPA task force met and set up the organizational structure to continue the grant for another year. Each community college was assigned to one of four regions around the state. The function of a region was to share ideas and to establish a communication network, assist in defining classified staff development regionally, furnish material to a newsletter and resource bank once a quarter, and elect a regional coordinator who would coordinate those activities. Specific tasks were assigned, which included the quarterly publication of a newsletter and the conduction of regional workshops and a general conference to be held once a year.