WPPA 2021 Job Creator of the Year Award Submission

Date: May 21, 2021

Just creating jobs is not enough in this day and age. With the cost of living increasing and people struggling to get by on minimum wage, it's important for high-quality, family-wage jobs to be available. These jobs ensure that people can provide for themselves and their families, alleviating the stress of surviving and increasing their overall quality of life.

The Port of Bremerton works tirelessly to build up Kitsap County's economy. The Port strives to provide living-wage jobs and improve the quality of life of those who live here. Through efforts over the past five years, jobs at the Port grew 255%, bringing in many more high-quality, living wage, and impactful jobs for the community.

Back in 2015, all the Port's buildings were fully occupied, and all developed land had been leased. Thousands of acres of Port-owned land were available but not ready for development. With a look toward the future, the Port started to emphasize the importance of creating pad-ready sites for future businesses looking to start or expand their operations. When this expansion was started in 2015, the 35 Port tenants had 987 employees.

Fast forward two years to 2017, those employees of Port tenants grew to 1,143. Currently, the Port has 65 tenants with 2,516 employees. More than half of these jobs are through government contractors, ensuring that their employees have high-quality and impactful jobs. Those employees brought $348,000,000 in labor income to Kitsap County helping to support not just the direct employees with living-wage jobs, but other new businesses serving those people as well. The Port's tenants also directly generated $455,400,000 of business locally and indirectly generated $1.187 billion with businesses around Kitsap County.

As the number of Port tenants has grown, those tenants have helped the community by either directly referring or generally creating interest to bring in others to grow the area. WRG Fire Training, Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management, Amazon, and so many more have joined us at the Port of Bremerton.

Due to the proximity to Seattle, the cost of living in Kitsap County has increased as more and more people commute to Seattle for jobs. By creating more local positions and increasing the number of high-quality jobs offered, commute times have reduced and the quality of life for the community has improved.

The Port of Bremerton's mission is to increase the economic opportunity for all of Kitsap County by generating jobs, developing infrastructure, and improving the local quality of life. We are a regional leader in creating economic and recreational opportunities for our community and supporting a sustainable local economy through strategic public investments and stewardship of our natural environment. We're looking forward to the continued growth of the Port and the increase in the number of high-quality, impactful jobs for our community as we further develop our land into pad-ready sites for more and more businesses to build upon.