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12 South King County Organizations to Receive $2.5 Million to Support Equitable Economic Recovery

August 24, 2022

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Supporting an equitable recovery in our communities and helping to recruit a new generation of workers to Port-related industries, the Port of Seattle announced today the 12 organizations that will receive $2.5 million in grants through the South King County Community Impact Fund Economic Recovery Program. The 12 organizations in communities surrounding Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) will each receive up to $250,000 in funding for projects that stimulate economic recovery in communities hit hardest by COVID-19, through education and job search assistance, skills-based learning, pre-apprenticeship programs in Port-related industries, habitat restoration and green jobs programs at Port habitat sites.

“This funding supports projects that effectively and intentionally create jobs and work opportunities where they are needed most,” said Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed. “We are thrilled to introduce a new generation of workers to Port-related aviation, maritime, construction, and green job careers that provide good wages and benefits.”

With ties to all of Washington’s key economic sectors and connections to more than 500 employers operating at our facilities, the Port stands uniquely positioned to help lead an equitable recovery. Workforce development investments take on particular importance now as so many Port-related industries continue to experience staffing shortfalls. The Port awards contracts to organizations serving communities most deeply impacted by the current economic crisis for projects connected to Port-related industries, including aviation, maritime, construction trades, and green career industries.

The Port pledged to invest $10 million dollars in the South King County Community Impact Fund (SKCCIF) between 2020 and 2024 with $1.5 million available for 2021.

Multi-year funding key to success

For its second year of funding the Port worked to remove barriers that made it difficult for community-led projects to achieve their goals. Based on community feedback that short-term grants made it difficult to invest in long-term planning and implementation, the Port offered multi-year awards. All 12 grantees received multi-year funding — 10 organizations will receive three years of funding and two organizations will receive two years of funding.

“Multi-year investments in community-based organizations create opportunity to build on good ideas designed by the community, to address the most urgent needs of the community,” said Bookda Gheisar, Port Senior Director in the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. “The $250,000 investment in each of the 12 South King County nonprofits reflects the Port’s commitment to a skilled and well-prepared workforce g that includes communities of color.”

Returning recipient El Centro de la Raza will provide outreach to Latinos in South King County communities on pre-apprenticeship programs via its Federal Way office.

El Centro’s Youth Services Department, workforce development programs, and comprehensive wraparound services create opportunity for a strong partnership in providing comprehensive and culturally relevant outreach for Port-related jobs.

“Latina/os continue to be one of the fastest growing demographic groups, keeping the workforce young and growing. El Centro De La Raza has always been rooted in community, giving us the trust necessary to bring opportunities that elevate and empower our folks within the various industries provided by the Port of Seattle. We are proud to serve as a liaison and connect Latina/os to career opportunities that will generate positive impact throughout King County,” said Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro de la Raza.

Returning recipient African Community Housing & Development will use Port funding to continue its pilot program to provide education and job search assistance in Port-related industries.

"We thank the Port of Seattle for this multi-year funding. We build our programs to have deep and positive effects for years to come. We believe in consistency, and we appreciate that Port of Seattle's funding responds to our needs. This consistency in funding is critical to our workforce development and will enable us to build a more meaningful and impactful program," said Hamdi Abdulle, Executive Director, African Community Housing & Development.

12 new and returning recipients


African Community Housing & Development supports the African Diaspora immigrant communities in South King County with a pilot program to provide education and job application assistance in technical Port-related industries such as construction and aviation.

Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) serves human trafficking survivors and at-risk youth living in the near-airport communities of Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Normandy Park, SeaTac, and Tukwila. This project furthers economic recovery in South King County by delivering employment readiness training, supporting employers in Port-related industries, and creating paid internships and job opportunities for human trafficking survivors and at-risk youth in Port-related industries.

CARES of Washington supports people with disabilities and low incomes to realize their purpose, potential, and strength. The Connect for Success project supports BIPOC communities living around Port of Seattle’s facilities to enter and successfully complete pre-apprenticeship programs in Port-related industries such as construction, green industries, manufacturing, and aerospace.

El Centro de la Raza provides outreach, education, and referrals for Latinos and other multi-cultural program participants to relevant pre-apprenticeship programs in port-related industries such as the construction trades to obtain permanent employment. This project focuses on communities surrounding the new Federal Way office.

Partner in Employment provides economic security and mentorship to newly arrived refugees and immigrants in South King County. This project has two tracts, one that provides support services for immigrant job seekers impacted by COVID-19 in the aviation industry, and the other continuing the youth green jobs training program started in the summer of 2020 under the Port’s opportunity motion.

Washington Maritime Blue operates the Maritime Youth Accelerator Project, which aims to provide culturally relevant skills-based learning to prepare young people for livable-wage jobs in the Maritime field. The project is specifically designed for youth of color and opportunity youth from underserved communities, who have an interest in learning about the maritime sector and in designing/developing an entrepreneurial project.


Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committees (AIAC) The Manufacturing Academy is an aviation and maritime-focused pre-apprenticeship program for South King County residents. It is offered to participants at no cost and offers a solid foundational career pathway into aerospace and advanced manufacturing fields. The program offers college credits and the opportunity to earn industry-recognized certificates of completion.

Key Tech Labs will prepare participants to secure quality employment in green jobs through a hybrid learning environment. Through the in-person portion of the program, participants will work directly with sub-partner Dynamic Waters LLC, to learn about stormwater management and installation of rain gutter systems. Another sub-partner, Yes Farm, will train participants on invasive plant removal and urban gardening. Participants will construct greenhouses with Garden of Eden Urban Farming and they will receive hands-on experience in the maintenance, installation, and upkeep of solar panels with KB Electric and in green construction projects with Henry’s Landing LLC. 

Latino Civic Alliance Building Future Industry Leaders (BFIL) is an Apprenticeship program with a focus on different trades (Marine Technology (Technicians), Software Development (related to maritime digitalization), Carpenters to include LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental design) certification and Transportation CDL Training School. BFIL will partner with contractors, unions, and employers to make sure students who graduate from the program will meet the industry skill standards.

Neighborhood House Aviation Technology Career Pathways the Upskill/Backfill project model consists of career pipelines in aviation technology and manufacturing through partnerships with training providers and employers. The goal is to connect job seekers with career pathways that lead to career advancement and wage progression in the aviation sector.

Evergreen (Seattle) Goodwill’s Project supports youth facing barriers that are interested in exploring aerospace and green careers and help them prepare for further education or careers. The students participate in the Youth Aerospace Program in South King County (YAP South), which builds confidence, social skills, and knowledge of the aerospace sector while also providing invaluable social capital, professional networks, and paid work experience in the aerospace sector.

World Relief Seattle strives to boost the local economy by creating clear pathways for refugees and immigrants out of poverty and entry-level jobs into highly skilled, higher-paying jobs at SEA. Partners will achieve this objective through comprehensive employment, work-related wraparound services, and partnerships with existing SEA employers that offer higher wage jobs ($18-$19+ per hour). 

Learn more about this year’s grant recipients 

Read more about SKCCIF recipients’ economic recovery work

About South King County Community Impact Fund

The Port of Seattle established the South King County Community Impact Fund in 2019 to develop equity-based partnerships and provide resources and support to historically underserved near-airport communities. The fund initially addressed airport noise, environmental health, and sustainability. In response to the devastating impact of COVID-19, the Port Commission added economic development as an additional focus for the South King County Fund.

Stay tuned for the next round of funding launching September 15. You may register for one of two upcoming virtual pre-application workshops now:

Learn more about South King County Fund Economic Recovery Grants


Perry Cooper | Port of Seattle Senior Media Officer
(206) 787-4923 |

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