Vigor Industrial and South Seattle Community College have partnered to launch an industrial training center at the shipyard on Harbor Island. The Harbor Island Training Center, which opens with a ribbon cutting ceremony June 7, will provide students with the industrial skills they need to get family-wage jobs at the region’s industrial manufacturers.
“There’s a disconnect between industry and a lot of talented, hardworking people in this country,” explained Sue Haley, Vigor’s senior vice president of human resources. “People want to work and industry needs a highly skilled workforce. However, Vigor and other manufacturers can’t find enough workers with the right skills to fill good-paying jobs. This training center will bridge that disconnect by providing motivated local people with critical industrial skills.”
Partnering with South Seattle was a natural fit, she said, with Vigor providing the location, equipment and a real-world industrial workplace, and South Seattle Community College’s welding and manufacturing programs bringing their long expertise in skills training and instruction. The center is already garnering wider community support, including a partnership with the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters and Local 32, which donated welding machines and will provide additional training options.
The center is located on-site at the shipyard, and includes a computer lab, classroom space and an industrial training floor with weld-booths and industrial machining equipment. The shipyard location will also allow students to experience how the facility works and learn from veteran workers. The college worked closely with industry to design a curriculum that imparts marketable welding and fitting skills for maritime and other manufacturing industries and will administer the program.
South Seattle Community College President Gary Oertli said, “The training program will allow its graduates to obtain the skills that they need to contribute to this booming industry and will keep the Seattle maritime industry a key component of our local economy for many years to come.”