City of Seattle

Ed Murray, Mayor


SUBJECT:   Mayor McGinn gives progress update on Seattle Jobs Plan, focuses on work ahead to support local job growth
10/17/2012  10:00:00 AM

Mayor McGinn gives progress update on Seattle Jobs Plan,
focuses on work ahead to support local job growth

Seattle economy growing at a faster rate than region, state and country

SEATTLE - Standing with business, labor and community leaders two years after the launch of the Seattle Jobs Plan, Mayor Mike McGinn updated the public on progress made and future efforts to support job creation in Seattle.

"This year has brought some of the most favorable economic news we've seen in Seattle since the Great Recession began in 2007," said McGinn. "Seattle's diverse economy is outperforming the region, the state, and the country in our rate of job growth and our retail sales. Existing businesses are expanding and new ones are being launched. This positive news is a testament to the hard work and creative thinking of Seattle residents and businesses."

An August report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics claims Seattle is fourth in the U.S. for job growth this year.

Since 2010, the City has made significant investments in youth and young adults, entrepreneurs, economic strengths and infrastructure. Some of these investments and outcomes include:

  • Committing $2 billion in capital improvements, creating or retaining 6,204 jobs;
  • Distributing $71.4 million in financing to 110 businesses, resulting in 1,242 jobs created or retained;
  • Community Power Works generating over $27 million in public and private investment and creating over 100,000 hours of work for more than 700 local residents;
  • Investing over $7.5 million to support business district initiatives and community projects in our neighborhoods;
  • Seattle City Light completing 2,281 business and multifamily oriented conservation projects and providing $34.5 million in Seattle City Light incentives;
  • Visiting 1,268 businesses and connecting 577 businesses with resources to solve problems and grow their companies;
  • 1,425 individuals receiving training and employment services resulting in 476 job placements; and
  • Assisting 96 businesses with issues ranging from permitting, public safety, transportation, and land use through the Citywide Business Advocacy Team.

"Our growing life sciences sector in the South Lake Union neighborhood has benefited from the City's infrastructure investments in the area, and also from technical assistance directly to businesses," said Chris Rivera, president of the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (WBBA). "The new north downtown substation and other investments will help increase job growth in our sector."

"The people of Seattle are building this recovery, but we still face challenges," said Mayor McGinn. "To solve them we will partner with businesses and residents to build an innovative economy that is sustainable, that enhances our quality of life, and that helps more people share in our prosperity."

Looking ahead, this Jobs Plan update includes specific, actionable items to help Seattle innovate, educate our children, and build for the future. Our next priorities include:

  • Investing $5 billion in major capital projects that will renew our infrastructure, enhance our quality of life and create thousands of good jobs, including the Elliott Bay Seawall project, Mercer Corridor West, First Hill Streetcar and innovative Green Stormwater infrastructure projects;
  • Creating attractive urban neighborhoods, with landmark projects in the South Lake Union, University District, and redevelopments of Yesler Terrace and the Central Waterfront;
  • Supporting the expansion of our manufacturing and maritime industries through the Industrial Development District program;
  • Building a new North of Downtown substation and amend the fire code to support life sciences, global health and high tech businesses in the South Lake Union neighborhood; and
  • Helping working adults obtain skills to get better jobs through Pathways to Careers, a pioneering partnership comprised of businesses, educational institutions, government agencies, labor and nonprofit organizations to build educational pathways to middle-wage jobs in the Seattle region. This initiative focuses on four sectors: Health Care, Manufacturing, International Trade and Logistics, and Business Information Technology.

"I want Seattle to be known as a place where you can get training and education, get a job, and have the opportunity to move up - that we have a community that invests in its people, and have employers that are ready to hire those people and continue to be competitive in our global economy," said Jill Wakefield, Chancellor, Seattle Community Colleges District. "To realize this dream, we all need to partner together, differently - that's why we're proud to be a part of Pathways to Careers initiative because it brings different partners to the table around this shared goal."

Since launching the Pathways to Careers partnership this past January, 266 individuals have enrolled in training and education programs. Over the next three years, Pathways to Careers will reach 1,500 students and double student completion rates within targeted training pathways.

Seattle Jobs Plan
Mayor Mike McGinn's vision for next generation economic development that creates a sustainable economy with shared prosperity in Seattle was launched in August 2010. It consists of new and existing policies, programs and investments designed to help create quality jobs, protect the environment, and ensure that taxpayers get true value from the city of Seattle's public investments. For more information, visit

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. Visit www.growseattle.comto access city services for businesses, and for more information about our office, visit

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Office of the Mayor