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Doubling Down on Workforce Development and Maritime Infrastructure

May 02, 2024

I am honored to champion workforce development programs and maritime and economic development projects on the Port of Seattle Commission. Through the budgetary process, I’ve helped secure $579 million over the next five years to enhance safety and sustainability, bolster the growth of well-paying maritime industrial jobs, and position our region as a leader in the maritime industry.

Maritime Innovation Center

This past month marked a significant milestone at Fishermen’s Terminal with the commencement of construction of the Maritime Innovation Center (MInC), a Port project that will turn an old warehouse into a bustling hub for small business incubators, accelerators, events, and commercial anchor tenants. As fencing was installed around the Ship Supply Building on April 15, 2024, it heralded the beginning of an exciting phase. Over the next few weeks, the Forma construction team will start selective demolition in preparation for relocating the building at the start of June. This activity coincides with the return of our fishermen and -women to the terminal, who I had the pleasure of recently meeting with during the 96th Annual Blessing of the Fleet ceremony. I'm proud to note that our project team has developed a comprehensive communications and engagement strategy to ensure stakeholders are well-prepared for the increased activity at the terminal.

Doubled Workforce Development Investment


The Port of Seattle is committed to creating economic opportunities in King County through trade, travel, and commerce. One of the goals I set upon joining the Port in 2022 was to ensure that these economic opportunities benefit all communities and contribute positively to the legacy of our region.

We are proud that 200,000 jobs in our region are tied to Port-dependent economic activities. Port-connected industries provide quality jobs that offer stable employment, living wages, opportunities for career advancement, personal growth, and health access. However, for decades many communities have faced systemic barriers to accessing these quality jobs.

One of the solutions to this problem can be found in the Port’s workforce development programs. Since I joined the Commission, the Port has doubled our investments in these programs. I’m proud to have sponsored Order No. 2022-02, which enabled a $4 million investment in various workforce development programs. I am especially proud to have helped establish the framework of the Youth Maritime Career Launch, a program designed to prepare and introduce young individuals ages 16–24 for outstanding careers in the maritime sector. In alignment with Resolution No. 3776, which prioritizes workforce development as a key aspect of economic development at the Port of Seattle, I had the honor of attending the first graduation ceremony for the inaugural cohort, marking their successful training completion and transition into maritime careers.

Today, the maritime sector stands at a critical crossroads, offering numerous rewarding career paths that provide both financial stability and a sense of accomplishment. Despite this opportunity, there remains a significant gap — a shortage of skilled professionals from diverse backgrounds prepared to step into these roles. The graduates from the Youth Maritime Career Launch are crucial at this juncture. Having sponsored the Commission Order that established this program, I was deeply moved to see the first group of graduates emerge, ready to spearhead a new era in the maritime industry.


I am profoundly thankful to our partners — Maritime Blue, The Urban League, The Polytech, and the maritime employers who have offered priceless internship experiences.

Special thank-you to Tuuli Snow of Snow & Co., Jennifer Sarthou of the Center for Wooden Boats, Tyler Allen of M.E.R. Equipment, Washington State Ferries, and many others. My gratitude also extends to the Port staff, including Director Bookda Gheisar, Director Kenny Lyles, Director Delmas Whittaker, and many others, whose unwavering commitment has been crucial in the successful launch of this program.

In 2024, the Port stands ready to play our part in a region that has always been defined by innovation and change! I am proud to be a product of this region made up of diverse businesses, industries, and people. A place characterized by opportunity, the amplification of which is crucial for our success in 2024.

I hope you will continue to track these projects and investments that will continue to shape the legacy of our region!



Hamdi Mohamed
President, Port of Seattle Commission


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