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Workforce Development Programs

The Port’s Century Agenda vision is that we will add 100,000 jobs to the region through our economic development efforts.  Growing the local economy requires a skilled workforce. 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 that connect to port tenants, customers, and associated industries.  We do this through a combination of contracts with nonprofit organizations, partnerships with area economic and workforce development agencies, and direct staff efforts.  We support community inclusion and strive for equal access to economic opportunity. 
The links below will direct you to more information about the port’s 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.




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