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John Creighton Praises the Seattle Port Commission's Century Agenda

The Seattle Port Commission on Tuesday approved an aggressive 25-year program that positions the Port of Seattle as a leader to help create 100,000 new jobs in the region while reducing the port's environmental footprint.

SEATTLE PORT, Wash., Dec. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- "We established bold but achievable goals for the port and regional stakeholders in our Century Agenda," said John Creighton, Seattle Port Commissioner. "It builds on the 100 plus year role the port has played in creating economic growth for the Puget Sound region and the state of Washington. The Commission thanks the hundreds of citizens who worked with us to a set a path forward for the next 25 years."

To achieve its objectives, the Century Agenda identifies four strategies for the port to pursue with its business partners and stakeholders augmented by four regional initiatives that identify near-term opportunities for regional coalitions to collaborate and leverage the collective power of a shared agenda.

The port's strategies and objectives include:

  • Position the Puget Sound region as the premier international logistics hub – Goals to help achieve this include growing the annual container volume to more than 3.5 million; tripling air cargo volume to 750,000 metric tons; tripling the value of outbound cargo to more than $50 billion; and doubling the economic value of the fishing and maritime cluster.
  • Advance the region as a leading tourism destination and business gateway – The Agenda seeks to leverage both Sea-Tac Airport and existing cruise ship activity to achieve this goal. One focus is to make Sea-Tac Airport the west coast "Gateway of Choice" for international travel by doubling the number international flights and destinations. In addition, the Agenda focuses on meeting the region's air transportation needs and encouraging the cost-effective expansion of domestic and international passenger and cargo service. The second focus is to double the economic value of cruise traffic to Washington state.
  • Use the port's influence as an institution to promote small business growth and workforce development  – This includes increasing the portions of funds spent by the port with qualified small business firms on construction, goods and services to 40% of the eligible dollars spent. The Agenda also supports an increase in work force training, job and business opportunities for local communities in maritime, trade, travel and logistics.
  • Ensure the Port of Seattle is the greenest and most energy efficient port in North America – Over the next 25 years, the port will implement a multi-faceted approach to reduce energy use, air pollutants, carbon emissions and storm water runoff. This includes reducing air pollutants and carbon emissions from all port operations by 50% from 2005 levels and reducing aircraft-related carbon emissions by 25%. In addition, the Agenda calls for the restoration, creation and enhancement of 40 additional acres of habitat in the Green/Duwamish watershed and Elliott Bay.

The four regional initiatives include:

  • Strengthen access to global markets and supply chains for Northwest businesses – This includes aligning the efforts of organizations already working on these issues to strengthen the region's role as a premier logistics hub and grow exports from Northwest businesses. The initiative also seeks to improve policies on taxation and land use.
  • Make Washington a preferred destination for international tourists from countries with direct flights to Sea-Tac Airport – This initiative focuses on encouraging business and tourism travelers to make longer visits to the region. It calls for strengthening the Washington Tourism Alliance and fostering closer coordination of efforts by tourism stakeholders to make Washington a "must visit" location.
  • Establish an educational consortium to serve the needs of maritime industry for workforce development, applied research and business growth – Today, the region boasts three times the national average in maritime industry jobs. This initiative seeks to strengthen this position by undertaking the steps necessary to create an educational magnet to incubate new technologies and bring more maritime-related businesses to Washington.
  • Foster a coordinated effort between Puget Sound ports to support Washington state's pursuit of a healthier Puget Sound – This initiative encourages Puget Sound ports and other regional organizations to work together to restore the vitality of Puget Sound and protect and improve the shared environment while ensuring the vitality of the manufacturing and industrial districts.

View the full Century Agenda page here.

According to Commissioner Creighton, the Century Agenda's regional initiatives were laid out as they are because they involve broad tasks that the port cannot accomplish alone.  "To strengthen access to global supply chains for Northwest businesses, our network of state highways needs to be working efficiently; city governments, particularly Seattle and cities in the Green River Valley, need to be implementing policies that encourage local industrial, trade and logistics businesses to sustain and grow jobs; and area technical colleges need to be offering the right training programs that match the skills taught with the skills needed by modern industrial businesses," said Commissioner Creighton.

A second example cited by Commissioner Creighton is the regional initiative to make Washington a preferred destination for international travelers from countries with direct flights to Sea-Tac Airport.  To do that, the port will need to work with local governments from Bellevue and Kirkland to Walla Walla, visitors' bureaus and chambers of commerce from Redmond and Auburn to Spokane, to make sure that the region has the right campaigns in place to market the region to out-of-state and foreign tourists, and the right programs in place to incentivize visitors to stay longer, travel further across the state and spend more money during their visit than they otherwise would have.

"Because we understand that the port cannot accomplish the Century Agenda on our own, the Port Commission has been engaged in intensive outreach to our stakeholders over the last year," said Commissioner Creighton.  "We have been meeting with city councils, chambers of commerce, labor officials, academic leaders, environmental advocates, community groups and others to gather feedback on our Century Agenda and see where we have mutual interests whereby we can all benefit by setting and working toward common goals."

If you see a role for your organization or stakeholder group working with the Port of Seattle and other regional partners on the Century Agenda's regional initiatives, please contact Commissioner Creighton or one of his colleagues on the Port Commission.

Media Contact: Bethany Martinez, 800-249-9017, [email protected]

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SOURCE Seattle Port Commission

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