August 24, 12:26 PM click here to comment > 7
Jobs Plan charts path to sustainable, shared prosperity
Mayor Mike McGinn’s Seattle Jobs Plan is a vision for next-generation economic development that creates a sustainable economy with shared prosperity in Seattle and the Puget Sound region. It consists of a framework of new and existing policies, programs, engagement strategies, and investments that, together, will help create quality jobs, protect the environment, and ensure that taxpayers get true value from the city of Seattle’s public investments.
“It’s tough out there. People are hurting. We have important choices to make to position ourselves for the future – to be competitive, to take care of the environment, to take care of each other,” said McGinn. “I am making job creation a core priority for my administration, a priority supported by my Youth and Families Initiative and Walk Bike Ride. We need to start transitioning toward the future. I will fight hard to expand quality job opportunities and will make sure city government is doing all that it can to partner with businesses big and small to help us meet the future.”
The Seattle Jobs Plan is focused on making critical investments in workforce development and training for local residents, entrepreneurial activity, key sectors of our economy, and next generation infrastructure.
Efforts to support shared prosperity through sustainable investments in the Seattle Jobs Plan include Community Power Works and Emerald Cities Seattle. Community Power Works will leverage $26 million in federal grant funding to complete more than $140 million of retrofit projects across six building sectors in a target district that includes parts of Seattle’s downtown core, Central District and Southeast neighborhoods. Together with Community Power Works, the Emerald Cities Collaborative will drive market demand for building retrofits by creating financing tools, targeting investment to create jobs for low-income community members and developing broad-based community support for retrofit policies and public investments in retrofit projects. These two efforts offer a pathway to address environmental challenges while creating pathways for sustainable careers.
Investing in Seattle’s Residents, Youth and Young Adults. The Seattle Jobs Plan includes focused efforts to increase the skills of our youth and low-income residents and bolster our most challenged businesses.
The Plan’s workforce education and training strategy emphasizes partnerships with businesses, philanthropic and educational organizations that provide cradle-to-career education and vocational training that culminates in good-paying jobs. Specifically, the city will commit up to $2 million of existing investments in the Seattle Jobs Initiative to align with commitments from our partners to double the number of low-income job-seekers who complete at least one year of postsecondary education or training that results in a living wage job with opportunities for career advancement.
“Over the next eight years there will be over one million job vacancies in Washington State from new jobs and job openings due to retirement. Two-thirds of these vacancies will require postsecondary education and training,” said Jill Wakefield, Chancellor of the Seattle Community College District. “We have to be prepared for the future. I’m looking forward to working with the city of Seattle, the business and philanthropic community to dramatically increase the number of Seattleites who complete a college degree or certificate that will get them a real job.”
The city will also provide new financing for loans between $20,000 and $100,000 for new entrepreneur start-ups, business expansion and operations and will invest $300,000 in targeted minority and immigrant business support to improve access to needed credit and expert advice.
Investing in Seattle’s Entrepreneurs. The city can play an important role in fostering a business climate and environment where all businesses can thrive. The Seattle Jobs Plan includes new efforts by the city to connect businesses to resources and to remove unnecessary hurdles that inhibit their success. The city today launched www.growseattle.com, an all-new business services web portal developed and maintained by the city of Seattle that quickly connects new and existing businesses to frequently-used city services and programs.
The city and its lending partners have also developed several new financing programs to increase access to credit for Seattle-based companies. Over the next 12-18 months, the city and its partners will distribute $50 million in financing that targets disadvantaged communities and small businesses. The financing will fund equipment purchases, energy efficiency improvements, working capital, and even development projects.
“My family and I just celebrated the fourth anniversary of our business,” said Teferi Gebretsadik, Owner of the UPS Store at Othello and Martin Luther King Way. “The city of Seattle and its business finance partner, the Rainier Valley Community Development Fund, helped to make that possible.”
Investing in Seattle’s Economic Strengths. Over the next year, the city will call together industry, government and community leaders to identify actionable steps to support sustainable, and smart growth in the key industry sectors that anchor our city: manufacturing and maritime; healthcare and life sciences; content technology; energy efficiency; and retail, food and hospitality.
“Our union represents tens of thousands of entry level workers in the healthcare industry who deliver long term care to the aging and infirm,” said David Rolf President of SEIU Healthcare 775NW. “We know that the demand for healthcare services will increase dramatically over the next decade. We are pleased to be working with the city, health care workers, employers and other partners on innovative new strategies that will increase the supply of qualified healthcare workers and provide real opportunities for career advancement for entry level workers.”
Cascade Designs Inc., an innovative international manufacturer based in the Duwamish, hosted the official announcement of the Settle Jobs Plan.
“For nearly 40 years, Cascade Designs has proudly called Seattle home,” said John Burroughs, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder of Cascade Designs. “We appreciate the City’s recognition of the contributions that manufacturing businesses make to the vibrancy of Seattle. We are pleased to learn of the city’s strategies to support and grow companies.”
Investing in Next Generation Infrastructure. Smart infrastructure investments can create jobs while laying a physical foundation for our future that is socially and environmentally sustainable. Over the next four years, the city will be investing heavily in new capital projects and in the maintenance of existing capital assets. The 2010 Adopted Capital Improvement Program totals over $700 million in investment, supporting over 2,500 direct jobs annually in the public and private sector and at least as many indirect and induced jobs. Key projects include building a broadband fiber network, improving the future capacity of major state road corridors, expanding Walk Bike Ride options, upgrading utility infrastructure, and investing in new fire stations.
Counting What Matters. The City will monitor and report semi-annually on five key economic indicators: business income, job growth, business start-ups, performance of local K-12 and postsecondary education systems, and distribution of income.
“These reports will track the health of our local economy as well as the progress of the city’s initiatives,” said Steve Johnson, Acting Director of the city of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development. “Measuring and publicly reporting on our progress will help us stay focused and identify new opportunities to support our local economy.”
“Seattle is already a great place but we can always work together to make it better,” said McGinn. “I know that Seattle will rise to today’s challenges through realizing our value of shared prosperity to strengthen and diversify our economy.”
City’s Office of Economic Development (OED)
OED supports a healthy business environment and empowers companies to succeed and grow. We provide services directly to businesses through advocacy, retention and expansion assistance, and workforce development. OED has several financing options for businesses, including options for small to medium to large businesses. To learn more, visit www.seattle.gov/economicdevelopment
To watch past Mayor videos please visit the Seattle Channel website
Posted by: Aaron Pickus, Spokesperson