Port of Seattle Connections, March 10, 2017

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Welcome to Connections newsletter, a community resource covering opportunities and activities at the Port of Seattle.

Workforce development

Organizations join forces to foster youth employment

large albro

Port Commission President Tom Albro, pictured at podium next to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, recently spoke at the 2017 program kickoff of the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative.

The Port is one of several partners in this endeavor to provide internships that prepare Seattle youth for meaningful and successful careers. The initiative builds career pathways for young people and creates a recruitment pipeline for local businesses seeking skilled workers.

Challenged by the Port Commission’s commitment to workforce development, the Port successfully tripled the number of its summer internships from 34 in 2015, to 115 in 2016. This year the Port plans to host 150 high school, college, graduate and public-private partnership interns.

Read more

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Subscribe to text updates for the latest on what is happening at Sea-Tac Airport. Text "info" to (206) 347-8045.

Managing director advocates for airport infrastructure investment


Sea-Tac Airport Managing Director Lance Lyttle, pictured here, recently testified in front of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Aviation Subcommittee on the theme of "Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: State of American Airports."

Along with the leaders of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Allegheny County Airport Authority, Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority and Ventura County Airports, Lyttle made the case for increased investment in airport infrastructure, and specifically for more authority for airport commissions to set the rate for the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC); this fee currently is capped by the federal government at $4.50 per ticket. 


Lyttle discussed Sea-Tac’s nation-leading growth, its significant current and future infrastructure investment needs, and the thinking behind why removal of the federal cap on PFCs is essential to give the Port of Seattle Commission multiple options for future airport financing. Without additional PFC authority, Sea-Tac would be less competitive with other West Coast airports.

He also highlighted Sea-Tac’s focus on security and commitment to partnering with communities on issues like aircraft noise, the environment and small business utilization.

As the ninth busiest airport in the country, this opportunity to testify before a Congressional committee is indicative of Sea-Tac’s growing national profile and importance. 

For additional details about Sea-Tac’s federal advocacy efforts, contact Eric Schinfeld at schinfeld.e@portseattle.org

Recent samples of media coverage of this topic included KING 5 and AVweb.com

 Read the testimony

Port of Seattle Commission actions

March 14 meeting

Port of Seattle Commissioners will consider a request to improve signage and wayfinding at Sea-Tac Airport. They also will hear a status report about the Port’s capital improvement projects, and a briefing on the Port’s 2016 financial performance.

See the agenda

Feb. 28 meeting

The Commission heard briefings about two environmental initiatives: the Airport Community Ecology Fund and recommendations of the Energy and Sustainability Policy Committee. The Ecology Fund aims to provide $1 million to support projects and programs that improve the natural environment in the airport communities of Burien, Des Moines and SeaTac. The Policy Committee recommendations include innovative initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Watch the video

Encouraging small business

PortGen showcases goods & services opportunities


The Port of Seattle spends millions of dollars annually on goods and services—everything from light bulbs and software to janitorial services and escalator repair.  

To help make sure small business owners know about these opportunities, Port staff recently dedicated the second in the PortGen series to the topic of goods and services procurement.  PortGen is designed to share information with such entrepreneurs and provide them with coaching and technical assistance.

At the March session, small business owners visited Port Marine Maintenance facilities for an overview of their goods and services needs. Mark Fitzgerald, pictured above changing a light bulb, is a Marine Maintenance utility worker pursuing his goal of becoming an apprentice electrician.

Get details on future Port Gen sessions by contacting Tina Boyd at boyd.t@portseattle.org

Tabor 100 hears about Port's small business & other initiatives

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Port Commissioner Stephanie Bowman was guest speaker at a recent gathering of Tabor 100, an association that focuses on small business opportunities, education and government relations. 

Commissioner Bowman, pictured here (left) at the event with Tabor 100 President Ollie Garrett, provided an update on Port activities, growth at Sea-Tac Airport, economic development and other initiatives. 

She also spoke to the group about contracting opportunities for local, small and disadvantaged businesses in connection with dining and retail leases coming up for renewal at Sea-Tac Airport, and related to airport infrastructure projects.

Economic development

Port conference reinforces Seattle ties with Kobe, Japan


The 150-year-old Port of Kobe, above, shares a commitment to sustainable and innovative business practices with its sister port in Seattle.


The Port of Seattle’s Michael McLaughlin, left, director of Cruise and Maritime Operations, recently traveled to Kobe, Japan, to speak at the International Port Conference in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Port of Kobe.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the sister port relationship between the Port of Seattle and Port of Kobe, and the tri-port relationship between Seattle, Kobe, and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

McLaughlin spoke during the tri-ports seminar and Kobe's sister and friendship ports meeting that were part of the larger conference. He shared about the Port of Seattle’s business operations and the current waterfront development in Seattle. He also participated in a panel discussion about the global cruise industry.

Additional celebrations are planned for May in Kobe, and July in Seattle, to mark not only the sister port 50th anniversary, but the “sister city” relationship formed between the cities of Seattle and Kobe 60 years ago.

In the community

Iconic event this weekend to honor fishing industry

Fisher Terminal

Seattle's commercial fishing heritage will take the spotlight this Sunday, March 12, at the 89th Annual Blessing of the Fleet at the Fishermen's Terminal memorial site.

Organized by the Ballard First Lutheran Church and the Fishermen's Terminal Tenants Association, this event is open to the public and will include refreshments and live music. Officiants will bless the 36-foot gillnetter St. Anthony, operated by Capt. Ron Kerzic, on behalf of the entire-Seattle based fishing fleet. Speakers are expected to be Pastor Erick R. Wilson Weiberg of Ballard First Lutheran; Pastor Laurie Jones, Central Lutheran Church, Eugene; Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman and other elected officials. 

Fishermen's Terminal is one of four marinas owned and operated by the Port of Seattle.  

Commissioner shares with boaters about Port's role 

Port Commissioner Stephanie Bowman talked about the impact of the North Pacific Fishing Fleet, homeported at Fishermen's Terminal, when she presented to members of the Bellevue Sail and Power Squadron recently. 

Her overview presentation also touched on the Port as an economic engine, upcoming capital investments, the Economic Development Partnership Program, Northwest Seaport Alliance and planning for the future. She also spent time responding to questions about a variety of topics related to Port activities.


Black History events offer employees time to reflect


Port of Seattle employees recently had the opportunity to gain insights through three Black History Month educational programs sponsored by the Port chapter of Blacks in Government (BIG).

The most recent program featured former Port Director Charles Blood, pictured here (left) receiving an award of appreciation from BIG Chapter President Kenny Lyles. 

Blood spoke on the value of knowing your history.  He is remembered for his contributions to Port Community Outreach, Human Resources, Police and Fire, and Maritime and Airport Operations.  At this event, BIG members also acknowledged Port Chief Financial Officer Dan Thomas for providing senior level support for their chapter.

The other two Black History Month programs featured inspirational speaker Verna Myers on overcoming biases; and former National BIG President and U.S. Army veteran Oscar Eason, known for his humanitarian work in Somalia and a number of local contributions. 

In the media

Commissioner addresses Snoqualmie business community

Snoqualmie Valley Record reported on Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman’s presentation to the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce meeting, where she spoke to representatives of area businesses and city governments about tourism, how the Port is addressing rapid growth and how it can support the Eastside cities.

Airport director profiled on Jamaican television

Television Jamaica broadcast an interview with Sea-Tac Airport Managing Director Lance Lyttle on its “Profile” program. Lyttle, a University of the West Indies graduate, discussed how operating Sea-Tac is much like managing a city. 

In case you missed it on social media

The Transportation Security Administration and Sea-Tac work together to keep checkpoints secure and moving. Results: Wait-time goal accomplished!

Last but not least

Connections brings home award of excellence


Aw shucks. We are just a little proud to announce that the Port of Seattle received a Totem Award this week for our bimonthly Connections newsletter.  

According to the Public Relations Society of America-Puget Sound, the Totem Awards symbolize creativity and accomplishment for the public relations industry. These annual awards recognize work that demonstrates excellence in public relations and rises above the competition.

Connections helps show how the Port of Seattle connects people to the world via Sea-Tac Airport and through global trade and tourism. We are a community resource that reports on opportunities and activities throughout the Port.

Sign up to receive news about the maritime industry

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) is a marine cargo operating partnership of the Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma. To subscribe to Breakwater, the NWSA e-newsletter, click here. To subscribe to the Port of Tacoma's Pier Side e-newsletter, click here.  


Photos by Don Wilson and Port of Seattle staff

Watch for the next issue of Connections March 24.