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Priority Hire Frequently Asked Questions

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The Port of Seattle Priority Hire Program supports access to good family-wage jobs to qualified construction workers from Economically Distressed Areas of King, Pierce, and Snohomish County by increasing access to Port of Seattle projects. The program leads to economic growth and job creation in areas that experience economic distress. It also provides jobs to historically underrepresented individuals in the construction industry, such as women and people of color.

The following FAQs should answer any questions you have about the Port's Priority Hire Program.

What is Priority Hire?

Priority hire:

  • Is a Port of Seattle policy that prioritizes local workers living in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.
  • Creates access to training and employment within the construction workforce.
  • Supports women and people of color to become part of the trained construction workforce, with direct access to a construction career.
  • Creates a better work environment with safety protections, dispute resolution, and a grievance process.
Why Priority Hire?

Priority hire is a shared mission to address projected worker shortage and provide contractors with access to a trained workforce. It:

  • Creates a diverse construction workforce by adding more women and people of color.
  • Creates economic inclusion and growth in economically distressed areas.
  • Strengthens opportunities for communities to access living-wage careers. 
Who can become a Priority Worker?

Priority Workers are individuals prioritized for recruitment, training, and employment opportunities because the individual is a resident in an economically
distressed area. Economically distressed areas are predetermined zip codes that allow workers who reside there to become a priority hire. 

The zip codes are:

Zip code: Location:

98001.................
98002.................
98003.................
98007.................
98023.................
98030.................
98031.................
98032.................
98036.................
98037.................
98043.................
98047.................
98055.................
98057.................
98087.................
98092.................
98101.................
98102.................
98103.................
98104.................
98105.................
98106.................
98107.................
98108.................
98109.................
98118.................
98121.................
98122.................
98125.................
98126.................
98133.................
98134.................
98144.................
98146.................
98148.................
98168.................
98178.................
98188.................
98198.................
98204.................
98208.................
98251.................
98321.................

Auburn
Auburn
Federal Way
Bellevue
Federal Way
Kent
Kent
Kent
Lynnwood
Lynnwood
Mountlake Terrace
Pacific
Renton
Renton
Lynnwood
Auburn
Downtown / International District
Capitol Hill / Eastlake
Green Lake
Downtown / International District
Laurelhurst / University District
Delridge
Ballard
South Beacon Hill / South Park
Queen Anne
Rainier Valley / Rainier Beach
Belltown
Central District
Lake City
Delridge
Bitter Lake
Industrial District
Mount Baker
White Center
Burien
SeaTac / Tukwila
Rainier Beach
SeaTac / Tukwila
Des Moines
Everett
Everett
Gold Bar
Buckley

What Is a pre-apprentice training program?

A pre-apprentice training program is an education-based program recognized by the State of Washington Apprenticeship and Training Council and endorsed by one or more registered apprenticeship sponsors. The focus is to educate and train students to meet or exceed minimum qualifications for entry into an Apprentice Training Program upon graduation.

What is a pre-apprentice?

A pre-apprentice is a student enrolled in a construction pre-apprentice training program recognized by the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council. Training programs include:

  • Apprenticeship and Non-Traditional Employment for Women (ANEW)
  • Seattle Vocational Institute (SVI)
  • Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Education (PACE)*
  • YouthBuild/YouthCare.

* Note: PACE is under ANEW.

What is a pre-aprentice graduate?

A pre-apprentice graduate is an individual who completed a pre-apprentice training program and has been accepted into an apprentice training program including those who are still completing their first year of apprentice training.
 

What is an apprentice?

An apprentice is a person who is learning a trade on-the-job and is enrolled in an apprentice training program. An apprentice program focuses on teaching specific skills needed to work independently in that trade or position

What is a Journeyman Worker?

A journey-level is an individual who has sufficient skills and knowledge of an occupation, either through a formal apprentice training program or through practical on-the-job work experience, to be recognized by a state or federal registration agency and/or industry as being fully qualified to perform the work of the occupation. Practical experience must be equal to or greater than the term of an apprenticeship.

What is a Preferred Entry?

Preferred entry refers to an agreement provided by a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) that allows pre-apprentice graduates and Helmets to Hardhats veterans who are also priority workers to enter into an apprentice training program ahead of other applicants.

The PLA is a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement with one or more labor organizations that establishes the terms and conditions of employment for a specific construction project.

What is an Economically Distressed Area?

An Economically Distressed Area is a geographic area defined by zip codes in King County that have a high concentration of individuals who are:

  • at or below 200% of the federal poverty level;
  • unemployed, and or;
  • without a college degree, compared to other zip codes.

King County zip codes with a high density per acre of at least two out of the three criteria are identified as economically distressed areas. 

The list of King County zip codes that qualify as economically distressed are as follows:

Zip code: Location:

98001.................
98002.................
98003.................
98007.................
98023.................
98030.................
98031.................
98032.................
98036.................
98037.................
98043.................
98047.................
98055.................
98057.................
98087.................
98092.................
98101.................
98102.................
98103.................
98104.................
98105.................
98106.................
98107.................
98108.................
98109.................
98118.................
98121.................
98122.................
98125.................
98126.................
98133.................
98134.................
98144.................
98146.................
98148.................
98168.................
98178.................
98188.................
98198.................
98204.................
98208.................
98251.................
98321.................

Auburn
Auburn
Federal Way
Bellevue
Federal Way
Kent
Kent
Kent
Lynnwood
Lynnwood
Mountlake Terrace
Pacific
Renton
Renton
Lynnwood
Auburn
Downtown / International District
Capitol Hill / Eastlake
Green Lake
Downtown / International District
Laurelhurst / University District
Delridge
Ballard
South Beacon Hill / South Park
Queen Anne
Rainier Valley / Rainier Beach
Belltown
Central District
Lake City
Delridge
Bitter Lake
Industrial District
Mount Baker
White Center
Burien
SeaTac / Tukwila
Rainier Beach
SeaTac / Tukwila
Des Moines
Everett
Everett
Gold Bar
Buckley

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