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Economic Development

The Port’s Economic Development Division is responsible for spurring our regional economy, sustaining and creating family-wage jobs by supporting small businesses, workforce development, tourism and leveraging real estate development to create jobs.

North Pacific fishing fleet offers $1.6 billion economic opportunity for the region

North Pacific fishing fleet modernizationThe Port of Seattle and the Washington Maritime Federation released a detailed analysis of the North Pacific fishing fleet infrastructure and factors related to modernizing the fishing fleet.

With more than 400 vessels over 58 feet, and an average age of 40 years, the report found that there is a need to replace (or refurbish) older vessels. This need represents a significant economic opportunity for the region for the next ten years and beyond.

The report also finds that while the North Pacific fishing fleet plans to spend $1.6 billion on modernization in the next decade, shipyard competition, economic conditions, and public policy will determine how much of this vessel construction will be done in Puget Sound.

Opportunity analysis and more

Highline students learn about careers in skilled trades

Highline students learn of skilled trades at Sea-TacHighline high school students explored careers in the skilled trades recently at Sea-Tac Airport. Hosted by the airport’s aviation maintenance department, the Feb. 14 event included behind-the-scenes tours of Sea-Tac’s mechanical and electrical systems. Students were able to see the airport’s boiler shop and where repairs are made to Sea-Tac’s satellite train system.

The high school sophomores learned about careers connected to plumbing, HVAC systems, welding, pipefitting, water systems and all types of electrical and electronic systems. More than 300 people work at the airport in these jobs, as well as in other skilled trades, such as carpentry and auto mechanics.

The airport maintenance staff leading the event spoke about the educational and training pathways they took to their present careers, including military service, trade schools, and apprenticeships.

Employers throughout the region are experiencing a shortage of workers in skilled trades, making them high-demand occupations. Careers in skilled trades provide good jobs without requiring a four-year college degree. Read more about one man’s career in skilled trades at Sea-Tac Airport.

Learn about more workforce development success stories here.

Des Moines Creek Business Park

The Port owns land around Sea-Tac Airport that is being redeveloped to support our airport communities and the region. The Des Moines Creek Business Park has seen high demand among businesses to locate there. In June 2016 the Port participated in a groundbreaking celebration for the new FAA Regional Headquarters that will be built there, bringing 1,600 employees. Greencore Group, a leading international manufacturer of convenience foods, is building a new facility at the Business Park for 400 employees. In total, the City of Des Moines will see more than 6,000 new jobs come to their city from the Business Park, diversifying the economic base.

Des Moines Creek Business Park aerial
Des Moines Business Park rendering


 Click the images to enlarge


Economic impact report

The most recent economic impact report commissioned by the Port of Seattle, based on business activity data collected in 2013-2014, showed that greater than 216,000 jobs were generated by Port activity, including over 129,000 direct jobs. These jobs generated $4.2 billion of direct wages and salaries. In addition, businesses providing services at the Port-owned properties received $19.8 billion of revenue and generated $894 million of state and local taxes.​​​

Supporting local communities

economic development
The Economic Development Partnership Program was developed to support local community economic development activities. To date, the Port of Seattle has partnered with 60 cities in King County and granted
nearly $1.8 million. 


Supporting local businesses

Small Business Development
The Small Business Development Department has aggressive goals to both grow the number and increase the percentage of dollars spent on women and minority business enterprises (WMBE).