The Port’s Opportunity Initiative will provide jobs for nearly 200 youth who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Opportunity Initiative will connect youth between the ages of 16 and 24 with paid learning opportunities designed to build skills to succeed in the workplace, create learning opportunities that connect young people to a long-term career path in a port-related industry, strengthen community, and support young people and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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.”
The $1.5 million initiative provides funding and support to four local non-profit organizations: Partner in Employment (PIE), Seattle Goodwill, Seattle Parks Foundation, and Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle.
These four community-based organizations specialize in educational opportunities, cultural enrichment, mentorship, and career readiness training in port-related industries: aviation, maritime, construction trades, and green careers. The Opportunity Initiative offers youth the opportunity to explore career interests, develop work-readiness skills, and strengthen civic and leadership abilities.
Using Data to Support Communities
During the COVID-19 pandemic, residents of South King County are experiencing disproportionate increases in both unemployment and COVID-19 exposure.
In the map below, black dots represent unemployment claims between March and May of 2020. The larger the dot, the more claims. Additionally, the map defines areas with high exposure to environmental pollutants and various socio-economic factors (e.g., housing cost, transportation, livable wage jobs, and additional indicators). The more environmental pollutants and negative social-economic factors, the lighter the color. For instance, residents of White Center face many barriers (e.g., high exposure to diesel admissions, high traffic density, few parks and green spaces, etc) so the community is represented on the map as a very light color. By contrast, residents of Vashon Island do not face many environmental and socio-economic barriers, so that community is represented on the map as a dark color.
By cross-referencing environmental and socio-economic factors with data on COVID-19 and unemployment, the Port identifies communities to invest resources, funds, and support. Click on the map to get additional information about the COVID-19 rate and Index scores per census block. COVID-19 data is obtained from King County and unemployment claims from the Washington State Employment Security Department.
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.
This organization has a long history of providing student-centered culturally competent programs within King County. The Youth Maritime Program (YMP), Youth Aerospace Program (YAP), and Youth at Work (YAW) program have years of successful delivery with strong outcomes of college enrollment and obtaining internships or employment. Seattle Goodwill and its partners will connect up to 60 youth with career opportunities within port-related industries.
If you are a youth interested in applying, contact LeAsia Johnson at email@example.com.
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.
ULMS, along with Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Employment for Women (ANEW), and the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), will prepare and employ youth to help build tiny cottages for the homeless. This project will add skilled labor and diversity to the construction trades workforce that underrepresents people of color. ULMS, ANEW, and LIHI will educate and mentor up to 70 youth to receive hands-on construction readiness training (with appropriate COVID-19 safety measures) that will prepare them for a living-wage career in the construction trades.
If you are a youth interested in applying, contact Lawrence Willis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 is partnering with Forterra and Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group to employ youth of color in South Seattle and South King County. Through Forterra’s existing Green Cities partnerships, youth employed through this program will work at job sites located within City of Tukwila Parks, City of Burien Parks, and City of Seattle Parks to conduct park forest restoration. Through Mid Sound Fisheries partnership with the City of Auburn’s Park Department, youth will also be employed to work along the Green River on City of Auburn’s Park properties engaging in salmon habitat restoration.
If you are a youth interested in applying, contact Hien Kieu email@example.com.
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.
Seattle Parks Foundation is partnering with Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Duwamish Valley Youth Corps (DRCC) and Friends of Georgetown History and Industry (FoGHI) to provide youth internship training for green job careers. Training topics will include historic preservation, environmental and economic health and well-being, and habitat restoration.
If you are a youth interested in applying, contact Michelle B. Benetua Michelle@seattleparksfoundation.org.
Partnering Organization Requirements
The Port requires each participating organization to comply with the following:
- Benefit areas with the highest rate of youth unemployment, youth of color, and youth in communities most impacted by Covid-19 (this data is provided by Seattle-King County Public Health and Workforce Development Council)
- Provide opportunities within Port-related industries
- Career trajectory for students as part of a workforce development program
- Work with organizations that have established and effective youth employment programs, a strong track record in youth employment and/or workforce development, can deliver results that fall within Port authority, and have cost-effective programs
- Provide salaries/wages/stipends for youth at a $15/hour minimum wage