Priority Hire

The City promotes access to construction careers for women, people of color and others with social and economic disadvantages. In 2015, the City created a priority hire program for City public works construction projects of $5 million or more and, in 2017, expanded the program to public/private partnership projects with significant City investment. Using City-funded and public/private partnership projects, the Priority Hire Program prioritizes the hiring of residents that live in economically distressed areas, particularly in Seattle and King County. In addition, City projects and public/private partnership projects have apprentice utilization requirements and women and people of color aspirational goals.

Construction training and education

Apprenticeship GuidebookThe City contracts with community organizations and construction pre-apprenticeship training programs to recruit, place and train women, people of color and those living in economically distressed areas.

Interested in construction training? For more information on where to begin, contact the City job and training advisor at 206-512-9737 or


Experienced workers

Workers with more than five years of construction experience and industry certifications in a specific craft may request entry directly into a union. Schedule a meeting with a business agent at the appropriate union hall. Bring construction work paystubs, industry certifications, letters of recommendation and military experience documentation. Processes for entry vary and may result in entry as a first-year apprentice, an advanced apprentice or journey-level worker. Call the apprenticeship training coordinator, union or the City job and training advisor at 206-512-9737.

For contractors

Community workforce agreement
The City partners with labor unions through a Community Workforce Agreement (CWA), giving contractors working on City projects access to a local, qualified workforce. This access will help contractors meet their workforce diversity requirements and goals. One CWA was negotiated for all covered City projects.

CWA contracting documents


Climate Pledge Arena

Community workforce agreement
Oak View Group (OVG), the owner of the Climate Pledge Arena, negotiated a community workforce agreement (CWA) with labor unions for the project. The CWA gives contractors working on the project access to a qualified workforce, prioritizing those who live in economically distressed ZIP codes. The City is the third-party administrator of this CWA and monitors and enforces the labor and social equity provisions included in the City's development agreement with OVG.

CWA and social equity contracting documents

Handouts and resources