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Advanced PortGen 2022 Success

October 24, 2022

“Where is Kara? I’d like to thank her. She helped me win a project that I’m not sure I would have won without her help.” Natalia Viguie of Soper Hill Construction, asked me when I met her at the Advanced PortGen Networking event on October 4th. Natalia explained to me that she had reached out to Kara Skinner after Kara had presented at one of the Advanced PortGen training sessions and that it was thanks to her assistance that Natalia was able to secure the bond that she needed to win a project.

I met Kara earlier during the event and her demeanor was the same as during her presentation online- approachable, warm, and engaging. I expressed my admiration to Kara for how she made an essential, but notoriously dry, topic like bonding interesting and even fun. Kara, however, confessed to me: “I don’t expect people to remember most of what I say. What I do want them to remember is that they know to reach out to me, and that I am their resource, when they do need my services.” Well, mission accomplished, Kara!

Natalia’s success, with Kara’s assistance, is precisely what the Advanced PortGen Workshop was made for. The Advanced PortGen Workshop Series began on August 23rd and occurred every Tuesday afternoon online for 6 weeks and was capped off by the in-person networking event on October 4th which was held at Tabor 100. The training was geared towards businesses and entrepreuers who had little to no experience in government contracting and each workshop session featured: 1) an educational topic 2) introductions to different government agencies and their contracting process, and 3) introductions to different technical assistance agencies. Participants joined on a drop-in basis.

Thanks to our incredible partners at Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center and U.S. DOT Northwest Small Business Transportation Resource Center who organized the workshop series on the Port’s behalf, we were able to achieve the following highlights:
• An average number of 33.5 participants at each workshop
• A total of 25 government agency and technical assistance hours who presented
• A total of 470 course hours completed by participants
• A record of 137 registrants for the networking event which explained the jampacked room

The recordings and materials from all the sessions can be found here [link to be inserted]. If you have any suggestions or ideas for our next Advanced PortGen Workshops, such as what topics you want to learn about or specific agencies/organizations that you want to be introduced to, please send them to If you also have a success story from your experience through the Advanced PortGen training, we want to know that too! Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you at our Advanced PortGen Workshop Series in 2023!

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