Time sure flies when you’re doing the right thing! Happy 10th Anniversary to the Port’s Office of Social Responsibility (OSR).
For the last decade, this team has supported the Port’s priorities of promoting economic opportunity and social equity. On a daily basis, the OSR team develops and maintains positive external relationships with community leaders, non-profits organizations, labor organizations, airport and seaport tenants, small and large business owners and advocacy organizations, contractors, veterans, workforce development organizations, and civic and business groups.
The Office of Social Responsibility works with all departments at the Port to promote social impact, recommend policy, develop internal and external socially responsible strategies, and ensure that Port activities are conducted within a framework of equity, inclusion, and equal access for all.
The Office of Social Responsibility works on the Port’s behalf to:
- Become a catalyst for equity and social impact at the Port and in the communities we serve
- Support commitments and policies that promote social responsibility
- Facilitate communication between the Port and the region’s socio-economically disadvantaged communities, minority advocacy organizations, and immigrant and refugee communities
- Help people achieve their full potential
Over its history, the OSR team has worked on these programs, which have been the cornerstone of the Port’s community efforts.
Small Business Program
Managed outreach and support to help small businesses better navigate how to contract with the Port. The program has evolved into the Diversity in Contracting Program. Here are a few case studies of successful businesses who have worked with the Port:
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE)
OSR managed this federal program required for all federally assisted projects, which includes construction and consulting services.
Workforce Development Program
These initiatives support the Century Agenda’s objective of increasing workforce training, job, and business opportunities for local communities in maritime, trade, travel, and logistics.
- Airport Jobs, a program of the non-profit Port Jobs, which connects Airport tenants (airlines, concessionaires, etc.) that are hiring with job seekers from diverse backgrounds. Link
- Airport University, an education and training program for workers employed at the Airport to improve their job skills, success on the job, and future advancement opportunities. Link
- Pre-Apprenticeship Training and Apprenticeship Pipelines, by supporting Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Opportunities for Women (ANEW) and its Apprenticeship Opportunities Project (AOP) to help women, people of color, veterans, and other community members learn about apprenticeship opportunities, gain needed skills, and access the resources to reach journey status. Link
- Veterans Fellowship Program that helps veterans transition from military service to civilian employment. The current cohort is the twentieth class of the program. Link
Community Giving Campaign
Port employees participate in financial donations, through payroll deductions, to advance educational opportunities, meet health care needs, and provide food for the hungry and services for those in need. Recipient organizations help clean our environment, rescue animals, support veterans, and provide emergency disaster relief. We also partner with TutorMate to help students in under-resourced schools and communities learn to read. Link
Milestones in Social Responsibility
Here’s a snapshot of just a few of the many milestones in the Port’s history of social responsibility in the region:
- OSR was created to lead the development and implementation of Port-wide strategies that promoted the Port values in the communities impacted by Port activities.
Managed the Port Jobs contract, supported the drayage clean-truck program at the Port, and managed the Community Giving Campaign.
- Developed and implemented the new small business program based on the King County Small Contractors and Suppliers (SCS) certification program, joining King County and Sound Transit in supporting regional small businesses.
- Port adopts the Century Agenda with a goal of adding 100,000 jobs through economic growth. OSR supported the objective of “using the Port’s influence as an institution to promote small business growth and workforce development.”
- Expanded the workforce development program. Link
- With the human resources team, launched the Veterans’ Fellowship Program, designed to facilitate veterans’ transition from military service to civilian employment. Link
- Began outreach efforts of the new Airport Dining and Retail (ADR) program to inform the business community of new leasing opportunities at Sea-Tac Airport and publicized events about how to do business with the Port.
- Completed a disparity study of Port contracts that showed under-utilization of women- and minority-owned businesses based on their availability in the marketplace. In response, OSR proposed several remedies, including asking the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to change the designation of the Port’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program from “Race-Neutral” to “Race-Conscious.”
- Fully supported the outreach efforts of the new Airport Dining and Retail (ADR) program to inform the business of the upcoming opportunities.
- Engaged in significant conversations with community leaders and Port Commissioners and executives regarding the Port’s equity and inclusion efforts in contracting.
- Began outreach efforts of the new Airport Dining and Retail (ADR) program to inform the business.
- Organized the first Airport Dining and Retail (ADR) mini-expo and outreach event for small, minority and women owned businesses to inform them the upcoming opportunities at Sea-Tac Airport. The Port. Many of the attending businesses didn’t know how to engage with the opportunities at the airport. Link
- Led the 34th Annual Diversity Conference in Seattle, which is the signature event of the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) at the Westin Seattle. Over 1,000 small business owners and government officials from all over the country came to Seattle for three days of networking and learning. Link
- Supported the first “Día de los Muertos” festivities at the Port offices and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Pier 69. Link
- Sponsored the African Chamber of Commerce to conduct a series of “Cultural Awareness” workshops for Port staff to better understand the immigrant communities from Africa.
- Sponsored the African Chamber of Commerce to conduct a series of “Customer Service” workshops for taxi and transportation network companies drives at the airport, to assist them with better understanding of their role in creating an excellent customer experience for Sea-Tac passengers.
- Assisted with the Launch of the Diversity in Contracting program, a rejuvenated program that focuses on training, outreach, and awarding contracts to women- and minority-owned businesses. Link