Menu Home

Expanding Opportunities for SEA Taxi Drivers

May 7, 2024

The Port is expanding career training and resources to include Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) taxi drivers, considered an important group that supports the airport. The Port partnered with nonprofit Serve Ethiopians Washington to survey SEA taxi drivers about the career-related skills they want to develop. Their feedback will help shape a program to better serve drivers through existing Port programs or developing new programs.

To gather feedback from as many drivers as possible, Serve Ethiopians: 

  • distributed fliers at community centers, business centers, coffee shops, and restaurants frequented by taxi drivers
  • spoke to local business owners about the survey 
  • recruited culturally competent interviewers that conducted the survey in English, Spanish, Punjabi, Amharic, and Somali
  • worked with known and trusted representatives from community and religious centers 
  • helped drivers take the survey in person or through QR code 

Through these strategies and the organization’s rapport with drivers, Serve Ethiopians exceeded their goal of reaching 70 percent of drivers — 298 out of 400 drivers responded to the survey (nearly 75%).

Here are some key findings from the survey:

  • Over 80% of participants are interested in professional development training opportunities (basic car maintenance was the most popular area)
  • Nearly three-quarters (74%) of participants reported that they are extremely or very interested in training for a new job
  • Participants were asked about interest in training for four specific career paths: shuttle bus driver, ground service equipment mechanic, aviation maintenance technician, and skilled construction. While interest in all four areas was relatively high, training to be a shuttle bus driver received the most interest
  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) reported that they are extremely or very interested in attending an informational session about possible career paths and training programs at the Port

As a result of the survey, the Port will create pathways in transportation so that taxi drivers have access to equitable opportunities in King County. This increased support for taxi drivers includes providing:

  • information about existing workforce development programs funded by the Port including aviation and construction programs  
  • information about other workforce training programs in the region (technical colleges, training organizations, etc.) 
  • list of resources available in South King County 

To make taxi drivers and the broader community aware of these opportunities the Port recently held a Training and Resource Fair at the SEA Conference Center. Representatives from programs and organizations whose work connects with taxi driver interests and Port-related industries were on site and around 250 community members attended. 

Related to Expanding Opportunities for SEA Taxi Drivers

Back to Top