Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Washington Governor Launches Strategy

By Karen Robes Meeks

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee’s Maritime Blue Strategy kicked off Jan. 8 at Pier 66, where stakeholders met to discuss an effort to grow the regional economy through sustainable innovation by 2050. Leveraging business, academic, port, labor and community partnerships will be key to the strategy’s success.

"I welcome the opportunity to support the development and implementation of Governor Inslee's Maritime Blue Strategy representing the Port of Seattle on the Innovation Advisory Council," said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman, who served as a member of the Maritime Blue Advisory Committee.

“The Port is committed to creating a competitive maritime gateway, based on industry and labor prospering while decreasing their carbon intensity and environmental footprint,” he said. “There is no better region in the nation to lead this effort than the Pacific Northwest where our maritime heritage runs deep and the spirit of innovation is part of our cultural fabric."

The Maritime Blue strategy includes the development of a Maritime Innovation Center, a business incubator space being considered for Fishermen’s Terminal, and a push to bring shore power to maritime facilities.

Nichols to Build High Speed Ferries

By Karen Robes Meeks

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders recently signed a contract with Bremerton, Washington-based Kitsap Transit to design and construct two new high-speed passenger-only ferries, with an option for a third.

The new ferries, which will each carry 250 passengers and 26 bicycles, will augment Kitsap’s Kingston service and add service to Southworth in 2020.

“We really appreciate the opportunity to work with Kitsap Transit on the development and implementation of this new transportation system networking the Olympic Peninsula with Seattle,” said Nichols Brothers CEO Gavin Higgins.

“Using Puget Sound as a water highway to reduce the Seattle metro traffic congestion and expand housing market with very reasonable travel times is a great model for the other counties around Seattle to follow.”

Carnival Long Beach Terminal Wins Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

Carnival Cruise Line’s Long Beach Cruise Terminal was recently named Most Improved Cruise Terminal as part of the Porthole Cruise Magazine’s annual Editor-in-Chief Awards. Winners will be featured in the publication’s January issue.

Editor-in-Chief Bill Panoff picked the winners “based on his personal experiences with various cruise operators throughout the year,” according to the Carnival Cruise press release.

Last year, the Long Beach Cruise Terminal, which Carnival opened in 2003, went through a massive multi-million-dollar makeover that more than doubled the size of the facility housed inside the former Spruce Goose dome. The new 142,000-square-foot facility features a mural of the Sierra Mountain and other natural elements native to California, a starry night sky ceiling and retro 1980s-style arcade games.

“The Long Beach Cruise Terminal has always been a very popular homeport for Carnival Cruise Line, and we could not be more elated to see this stunning facility recognized for its jaw-dropping renovation,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Thousands upon thousands of satisfied guests sail from Long Beach each year, and we can’t wait to welcome the new Carnival Panorama to Southern California later this year.”

Carnival, which runs three year-round ships from Long Beach, is growing operations this year with the new Carnival Panorama joining Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration in December for seven-day Mexican Riviera sailings. This trio is anticipated to carry 600,000 passengers annually from Long Beach, according to Carnival.

Everett Waterfront Hotel to Open in June

By Karen Robes Meeks

The first private development at the Port of Everett’s Waterfront Place Central in Fisherman’s Harbor recently celebrated a milestone on Jan. 9 when the final beam of the new Hotel Indigo was put in place.

Port and local government leaders commemorated the moment by signing the last beam before it was put into position.

Port Commissioners Glen Bachman, Bruce Fingarson and Tom Stiger, Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin and Snohomish County Council Chair Terry Ryan attended the event.

Expected to open in June, the 98,000-square-foot, $36 million Hotel Indigo will feature 142 rooms, over 7,000 square feet of event space, a restaurant, bar, and indoor pool and outdoor plazas.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Hueneme Signs Groundbreaking Labor Agreement

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the first time in its 81-year history, the Port of Hueneme has signed a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) that prioritizes union hiring on projects greater than $250,000 for the next three years.

The Oxnard Harbor District Board of Commissioners inked the PLA in December.

“The port’s priority has always been to hire contractors and labor from our local community, the PLA formalizes this priority and ensures that our projects directly support our local workers and families,” said Oxnard Harbor District President Mary Anne Rooney. “We are eager to continue moving the Port forward as the leading provider of homegrown good-paying jobs, real ladders of economic opportunity, and strong environmental leadership for our community.”

The contract mandates that at least 30 percent of all construction labor hours go to those living in Oxnard and Port Hueneme first, before extending those opportunities to Ventura County residents and then those living in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

The agreement also prioritizes work for veterans through the “Helmets to Hardhats” program.

“Although our cargo comes from all over the world, this agreement guarantees that we will continue to provide economic opportunity for our local workforce first and foremost,” denoted Oxnard Harbor District Board Secretary Jess Ramirez. “Our projects, and the millions of dollars the Port is planning on investing in our community, is now guaranteed to directly support our local families and workers who help us modernize our port.”

Seattle Hires New Diversity Director

By Karen Robes Meeks

Small Business Program and Policy Manager Mian Rice has been elevated to Director of Diversity in Contracting for the Port of Seattle.

"Mian Rice brings over 23 years of public and private sector experience to this position, having managed complex projects in limited time-frames while delivering results,” said Economic Development Division Director, Dave McFadden.

Rice, whose promotion is effective immediately, will be key in the port’s new effort to bolster spending on WMBE contracts by 15 percent and triple the use of women and minority business suppliers over the next five years.

“I look forward to improving opportunities for small and WMBE businesses, to promote diversity in Port contracts, and to provide economic equity across the region,” said Rice. “For me, this is the role my work experience has led me to, and it will be an honor to help others succeed.”

New Longview Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Allan Erickson is the newest member of the Port of Longview Board of Commissioners.

Erickson, who represents the Commission’s 3rd District, was chosen to fill the seat left vacant by former Commissioner Bob Bagaason, who resigned in September after serving since 2007.

“On behalf of the Board, I want to welcome Mr. Erickson to our team,” said Commission President Jeff Wilson. “We look forward to Allan’s participation in continuing the Port’s success.”

A University of Washington graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Erickson worked in the printing industry for more than four decades before retiring and becoming involved in community organizations.

“I am honored to help guide port leadership as we build on the momentum of recent successes,” said Erickson. “One of my goals as commissioner is to work toward building more family-wage jobs for the citizens of the port district.”