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Workforce Development Programs

Workforce development in action

Teens experience maritime careers

The Port of Seattle’s strategic goal to create jobs in the maritime, aviation, aerospace, industrial and manufacturing sectors was in action as the Adventuress, a 133-foot wooden schooner circa 1913, recently docked at Shilshole Bay Marina.

Having a pipeline of skilled workers in our region is essential, and the next generation was aboard the Adventuress for a four-day field trip where they experienced first-hand what a job in the maritime industry could be like. The industry is responsible for more than 148,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Puget Sound area offering well-paying, diverse career opportunities.

One student aboard the Adventuress said of her experience “It’s much more involvement than sitting in a chair all day.”

The Adventuress came to the Pacific NW in 1952 and became the Puget Sound’s environmental tall ship in the late 80s. With a mission to educate and empower people to make a difference in our marine environment, the Adventuress offers learners the maritime experience of a lifetime! 

More about workforce development

Through the Office of Social Responsibility, the Port supports programs that provide:
  • quality job training;
  • job placement;
  • pre-apprenticeship; and
  • other education and career development services.

We help to ensure our port tenants, customers and connected industries have access to skilled workers by partnering with nonprofit organizations, area economic and workforce development agencies, and through direct staff efforts, while striving for equal access to economic opportunity and community inclusion in all of our efforts.

The links below will direct you to more information about the port’s other workforce development efforts.

Port Jobs
The Office of Social Responsibility manages the Port’s contract with Port Jobs, under which they provide a range of high-quality workforce development services focused on the airport, transportation, logistics, construction, and other port-related industries.
Port Jobs serves both employers and job seekers. Their Airport Jobs office serves as a centralized airport employment hub where they connect community members looking for work and airport tenants and related employers who need qualified candidates. They also offer job skills and college credit classes on-site at the airport through Airport University, helping workers advance and businesses be more productive. Port Jobs also conducts research to identify trends in the local economy to ensure that their workforce development services continue to meet the evolving needs of industry and the community.

Some highlights from the Port Jobs’ work in 2013 include:

  • Assisted more than 7,000 job seekers
  • More than 1,275 clients obtained employment at the airport
  • Their job placements generated more than $20 million in new wages for local families
  • Provided job skills training to over 250 people, though courses such as computers, customer service and food handler permit preparation
  • Over 83 airport workers earned college credits through courses offered on-site at the airport in partnership with Highline Community College
Apprenticeship Opportunity Project
Through OSR the Port contracts with Port Jobs to support Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Employment for Women's (ANEW) Apprenticeship Opportunities Project (AOP). AOP supports unemployed or under-employed King County residents who want to pursue a living-wage career in the construction industry or other skilled trades. Services include individualized assessment and referrals, pre-apprenticeship training, assistance applying for apprenticeships, support to help ensure successful apprenticeship completion, and job placement assistance.

Some highlights from the Apprentice Opportunity Project in 2013 include:

  • 236 people were enrolled in AOP services
  • 92% of the participants were low-income
  • 156 started a Registered Apprenticeship
  • Average starting wage was $20.07/hr.
  • These new apprenticeships mean over $5.2 million in annual earnings for local families
Apprentice Utilization
At any given point in time, the Port has a number of major construction projects underway, ensuring that our facilities continue to meet the growing needs of the community and the businesses that rely on them. The construction projects create good living wage jobs.
Apprenticeship is the main workforce development strategy within the construction industry. To help ensure that the training pipeline for the skilled trades meets the needs of industry and the community, the Port sets apprentice utilization requirements and diversity goals for the contractors on all of its large construction projects. OSR supports these efforts by tracking and monitoring actual apprentice utilization on these projects, in partnership with the Port’s Labor Relations department.

On the Port’s large public works construction projects in 2013:

  • 12.3% of hours were worked by apprentices – a total of 24,749 hours, bringing in over $792,000 in wages to 130 area families
  • Over 170 apprentices, who have worked on major Port construction projects over the last several years graduated to Journey status
  • 17.0% of apprentice hours were by minorities
  • 4.9% of apprentice hours were by women
  • Apprentice utilization requirements were met on 25% of the projects that closed in 2013
  • 106 Apprentices who got a portion of their training on port projects reached Journey level

OSR and the Port also support apprentices and increased representation of women and people of color in apprenticeships and the trades through our support of the Apprenticeship Opportunity Project.

Maritime Industry

As a part of the Century Agenda, OSR is helping the Port to increase work force training, jobs, and business opportunities for local communities in port-related industries such as maritime, trade, travel and logistics.

Members of the maritime industry have expressed workforce development needs, and OSR is working with the Port Commission and other Port staff to support regional collaboration to meet these needs so the sector can continue to grow. We are supporting research to better understand the current and future workforce needs across the maritime industry in our region; bringing together employers, training providers, policy makers, and the public; helping to increase training opportunities and career events related to the sector; and working to bring grant funds to our region to fund these workforce development efforts.

Our workforce development work in the maritime sector is still in its early stages – additional strategies and projects are in development.

Fellowships and Internships
The Port provides a number of internships and other “on the job” learning opportunities to members of the community, including high school and college students as well as veterans.

Together, the Port’s Human Resources and Development, Community Relations, Marine Maintenance and OSR departments worked with “host” departments last year to provide the following opportunities:

  • Internships for 45 high school, college, and graduate students
  • Internships and career transition support for six veterans
  • Real-world aerospace and maritime learning experiences for 100 students, in partnership with the Seattle and Highline public school districts

Veterans Fellowship Program
The Office of Social Responsibility has partnered with the Port's Human Resources & Development department to create the Veterans Fellowship Program (VFP). The program helps facilitate veterans’ transition from military service to civilian employment by providing short-term (six month) employment and individualized career assistance.

National Urban Fellows
National Urban Fellows (NUF) is a national program that develops accomplished and courageous professionals of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, particularly people of color and women, to be leaders and change agents in the public and nonprofit sectors, with a strong commitment to social justice and equity. Each year, the Port of Seattle provides a 10-month mentorship opportunity to a National Urban Fellow for a unique chance to participate in the day-to-day operations of a large public organization.

Port of Seattle runs an Internship Program, which is designed to ensure we have the future workforce we need in Port-related industries. We provide qualified candidates with valuable experience and an opportunity to excel in their field of study by offering paid internships for graduate, undergraduate and high-school students in a range of Port-related career fields.

In addition to internships funded by the Port, we also partner with the Seattle Public School District’s C-WEST Program and the City’s Seattle Youth Employment Program to provide internships opportunities in our Marine Maintenance department for students interested in a career in the skills trades

ICT Intern finds project-based position at the Port of Seattle

Oliver RESIZED.jpg

Stepping into the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Department at Pier 69 you may find yourself greeted by an intern with a superb smile and a friendly demeanor.
His name is Oliver Lindseth, and he is one of 11 interns for the ICT High School Internship program. Lindseth will be a senior at Roosevelt High School in Seattle.
“I like the opportunity [Port of Seattle has] given to me and all the support,” Lindseth said.
The ICT High School internship program is supervised by Content Services Manager Amberine Wilson. Wilson’s goal is to give local youth the opportunity to gain work experience in business analysis, project management, and SharePoint solution development. The project-based learning program gives interns access to real business problems in which they design and deploy solutions.
“[Wilson has] facilitated this entire thing for us,” Lindseth said. “Without her we wouldn’t have this opportunity.”
This summer, the Port of Seattle is offering over a 100 summer internship positions in different department for young students. Lindseth received his opportunity as an intern for the ICT High School internship program through Seattle Youth Employment Program. Seattle mayor Ed Murray funded the program’s initiative to get more students job opportunities during the summer as well as throughout the year.
The Port of Seattle is striving to get its interns first-hand experience in tech jobs and hopes to prepare for the next wave of working class citizens in those career fields. Seattle is fortunate enough to have several tech industry companies searching for workers that can fill up job positions in the field. Through the ICT High School internship program 11 interns are prepared for the future; where technology experience will be essential.
“I just want to be the best I can be and have all the experiences I can have,” Lindseth said.
Marine welding a dying trade?

Vigor Industrial and a local college partner to give students real-world training to meet the "huge need" in the maritime welding industry. Watch a KING clip highlighting this marine workforce development program.



Contact us by phone (206) 787-5775 or email.