Strengthening communities by building resilient communities: Port Townsend, Port of Bellingham
In February, Joshua Berger, who serves as Gov. Inslee’s maritime sector lead, visited Port Townsend High School students to highlight new job opportunities. The maritime sector is the third-largest economic driver in our state, and there is a critical need for engineers and application developers in that space. Washington’s diverse maritime industry directly supports over 69,000 jobs and has a combined economic impact of over $37 billion annually. Maritime reaches from urban centers to rural towns up and down the state’s working waterfronts. In March, Commerce awarded a $100,000 WorkStart grant to help the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding launch a new marine systems training program in Port Townsend. These funds will help address the industry’s high demand for skilled marine systems technicians and help create good-paying jobs.
In late January, the Port of Bellingham secured a $125,000 workforce development grant from Commerce so that solar panel manufacturer ITEK Energy can train new workers. The grant will fund training for up to 125 workers; 40 of those will be new hires.