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Opportunity Youth Initiative

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“Our COVID-19 regional recovery strategy connects the most vulnerable and impacted communities to job opportunities available in Port-related industries.  Underserved youth need jobs more than ever now, not just to begin developing their own careers but to support their families,” said Commissioner Stephanie Bowman.  “At the same time, employers face unprecedented economic and operational challenges, this Port initiative and our partners can help lower those barriers for nearly 200 youth eager to work in Port-related industries.”

In 2020 in response to the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on youth of color in our region, the Port created the Opportunity Youth Initiative. The highly successful youth training and professional development program is back for another year and is more expansive than last year’s inaugural program.  

The 2021 program is investing $2 million into the community and will train nearly 300 youth (275 interns and 32 youth-mentors). The Port is excited to continue our partnership with Partner in Employment, Seattle Goodwill, Seattle Parks Foundation, and Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle.

With ties to Washington's key economic sectors, the Port stands uniquely positioned to help lead our region's economic recovery. The Opportunity Youth Initiative is one example of how the Port is leading that recovery by centering equity and providing opportunities and career development for communities that have historically been left behind. 

Partnering Organizations

Partner in Employment

Partner in Employment (PIE) works to guarantee the long-term economic stability of newly arrived refugees and immigrants in King County by providing tailored assistance in language acquisition, housing stabilization, workforce entry, and job training in higher-wage industries.

PIE, in partnership with Forterra and Mid-Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group, will provide youth participates with training and professional development in park forest restoration and salmon habitat restoration. Additionally, in partnership with Machinists Institute Youth Academy, PIE will provide youth participants with training and development in aerospace and advanced manufacturing to gain skills needed for entry-level work and a career pathway into the aviation/aerospace and manufacturing industry.

Seattle Goodwill

Seattle Goodwill is a non-profit organization founded in 1923. They currently operate five job training centers, 24 retail stores, and over 40 donation sites in King, Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, and Kitsap County. They employ over 2,000 people in our region.

Through their Youth Aerospace Program, participants will build essential aviation-related skills and gain experience in one of the in-demand aviation industry sectors that they have chosen to pursue. Youth will be introduced to technical skills like precision machining, composites, 3D printing, welding and fabrication, engineering technologies, and mechatronics. They will have the opportunity to design and complete projects in those areas during their internships. 

The Youth at Work Program will provide youth with training in environmental green jobs and exploration of green careers. The Youth Maritime Program will support youth on a pathway towards a living-wage career in the maritime industry.

Finally, in partnership with Seattle Central College, the Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Training (PACT) program will prepare youth for a career in the building and construction industry.

Seattle Parks Foundation

Seattle Parks Foundation brings community leaders, donors, and public partners together to create a thriving, accessible, and connected system of public space for the health and happiness of all people. For this program, Seattle Parks Foundation is partnering with Friends of Georgetown History (FoGHI), Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Duwamish Valley Youth Corps (DRCC), Cultivate South Park’s (CSP), and Duwamish Valley Sustainability Association (DVSA). 

With FoGHI, interns will research environmental issues that affect the Georgetown neighborhood, including stormwater management, green stormwater infrastructure, air pollution, carbon emissions, and habitat restoration. They will take part in hands-on learning activities and field trips regarding industrial and environmental history in Georgetown and with the Duwamish Tribe.

DRCC will provide youth with training on environmental projects related to green jobs and maritime careers. Participants will work on projects that include habitat restoration and cleanup along the Duwamish River, understanding air pollutants and carbon emissions, and will learn about public safety related to green jobs and maritime construction.

CSP's Urban Innovators program engages youth in bringing about positive environmental change in the neighborhood, such as increased recycling and composting, community-based decision making, and environmental stewardship to address better solutions for clean air and water. Participants will gain the skills necessary to pursue green careers.

DVSA trains youth in green careers. This program gives youth experience with identifying environmental solutions through renewable energy, such as controlling pollution to the river and creating solar energy in public green spaces.

Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (ULMS) was established in 1930 to become one of approximately 90 affiliates of the National Urban League. Today, ULMS implements its mission within its Seattle/King County service area through advocacy, direct programming, community outreach, and coalition building in five major pillars of focus: housing, education, workforce development, health, and policy.

Urban League’s Constructions Trade Program will provide youth with construction readiness training and hands-on pre-apprenticeship construction training in building tiny homes. The program helps youth obtain certifications and provides them with mentorship and career support in construction. 

Urban League is also partnering with YouthCare and ANEW (Apprenticeship & Nontraditional Employment for Women). With both YouthCare and ANEW, participants will learn foundational construction-industry skills needed to build tiny homes, and participants will have the opportunity to earn certifications, such as  Flaggers and Forklift credentials. The key objectives and goals are to remove barriers to employment, help youth explore construction career pathways, and prepare them for jobs or apprenticeships in construction and trades.

Related to Opportunity Youth Initiative

Documents for Opportunity Youth Initiative

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