By Lorilyn C. Lirio
The City of Olympia, LOTT Clean Water Alliance and the Port of Olympia are working together to plan a new technical and business training center and plan to seek experts to develop programs to address current and future workforce challenges. ‘work.
At Olympia’s finance committee meeting on September 21, Olympia’s director of economic development, Mike Reid, briefed the committee members on the interlocal agreement of the technical and commercial training center concluded by the government of the city of Olympia, LOTT and the port of Olympia in February 2022.
He said that the collaboration with the two key partners – LOTT and the Port of Olympia, is in line with the objectives of the city’s comprehensive plan – to collaborate with local economic organizations to maximize economic opportunities and create new jobs and maintain existing jobs.
“The Port of Olympia and LOTT are two key partners that create gainful employment in our community,” said Reid.
Summary in seconds
Reid said they recognize the need for a cohesive “elevator pitch” to explain the project to the community.
According to Reid, the organizers have retained Nancy Campbell, the consultant responsible for the project. She began to interview all interested parties to identify and prioritize the objectives of the technical and commercial center project.
Among those included in the scoping interview are individuals from the education sector – South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC), The Evergreen State College (TESC), Olympia School District (OSD), Tumwater School District, North Thurston School District and St. Martin’s University.
“One of the areas the organizers have agreed on is that they recognize the need to invest in the next generation of workforce. But we are not educators. We can organize this exercise, discuss training and workforce development. We should step back and let the subject matter experts do the work in a facility like this,” Reid told committee members.
Reid said the group involved in this project also agreed on some priority areas for their elevator pitch:
- A versatile training center that will serve as an interface between industry and environmental sustainability
- A center that can foster business education and training programs as well as workforce development, economic development and environmental sustainability
- A center where education and training experts can partner to expand and develop the programs needed to address current and future maritime labor and water resources issues.
Participation in education
Reid mentioned that they plan to hold a larger stakeholder retreat, tentatively scheduled for October 28. “The resulting work will determine some future timelines associated with the project.
Finance committee chair Lisa Parshley said she pushed for education to be at the table. “After talking to the Olympia School District, they hired five people to explore the idea of business training from elementary school through high school — because not all high school students will leave and go to school. ‘university.”
She added that the Tumwater and North Thurston school districts could do the same.
Committee member Jim Cooper suggested checking out three models that could be useful in technical and business training programs:
- United Association Local 26 Hawks Prairie location plumbing, steam installation and HVAC training and apprenticeship program.
- New Maritime High School in the Port of Seattle
- Smart Heroes Program – service members can receive free sheet metal industry training, including welding and HVAC services, for active duty military and recent veterans.
The Smart Heroes program is offered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in DuPont, Washington, and Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“We are very supportive of this work; it’s a great project,” said Thurston Economic Development Council executive director Michael Cade, who said Shaking that “this is something that EDC would consider very important for our young people as well as for the private sector to help them build a talent pipeline”.