Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The state budgets are written and negotiated beginning in January, so you will increasingly hear about education funding and how Washington will meet its “paramount duty” to our kids. It is an incredibly important debate about a critical need that must be met. In addition to this pressing issue, I want to let you know it isn’t the only thing on my agenda in Olympia this year.

As your representative, I take the job of helping boost our economy seriously. From advocating for our county in the maritime industry to helping small businesses succeed to ensuring that transitioning military and veterans find work as civilians, jobs are always a top priority. I am happy to report our unemployment rate is a little lower than the statewide average, but 5 percent is still too high. Whether you are working, retired, or looking for a job, here is some information on employment and the economy in Kitsap County I hope you’ll find useful.

More than numbers

As I mentioned, the unemployment rate in Kitsap County is improving. But as anyone who has been out of work knows, numbers don’t tell the whole story. Many who are employed are under-employed. Perhaps you took time out of your career to take care of children or a loved one and are having a difficult time re-entering the workforce. And sometimes, even the hardest workers find themselves falling on hard times. If this sounds familiar to you or someone you know, take a look at the resources below:

Save time in your job search with e-mail alerts:

  • For alerts on government job with Kitsap County, click here.
  • For alerts on state government jobs, click here.
  • For federal job alerts, create an account for alerts by clicking here.

The Olympic College website is a wonderful resource: 

  • For resume templates, advice on writing a resume, tips for interviews and searches, please click here.

Apprenticeships and job re-training:

  • For an apprenticeship program search by county, please click here.
  •  For everything you need to know on apprenticeships, please click here.
  •  Do you want or need a change? Check out job re-training programs here.

For more in-depth information on employment trends in Kitsap County, please click here.

Maritime Industry

BremertonNavalShipyardI mentioned in a previous e-news that I was appointed to a newly formed joint task force, called the Joint Task Force on Economic Resilience of Maritime and Manufacturing in Washington. Although it might have the state’s longest name, the purpose is clear – to study the maritime and manufacturing industries in Washington and provide recommendations to the Legislature on ways to maximize support for this crucial, job-creating sector of our economy.

To this end, we recently laid the groundwork for what we will do over the next year in order to submit final recommendations to the Legislature on November 1, 2015. A key part of this work is to be out in the field, visiting sites around western Washington where manufacturing is actually taking place. Tours discussed include locations in Skagit County, Ballard, Bremerton, Vancouver, and Tacoma, and the sites could range from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to a number of different boat manufacturers to sea food processors, maritime training facilities, and port facilities.

I am encouraging the group to tour the Naval Shipyard in Bremerton. It would be my hope to invite others along, including members of the legislative Veterans’ and Military Affairs Committee, so they can see the ancillary businesses in the area that provide important support and jobs, particularly in the Bremerton and Silverdale communities.

Hiring Heroes

Speaking of the military and the impact it has on our economy, there are over 35,000 veterans living, working, raising families and retiring in Kitsap County. Their service to our country continues in our county as they lend their experience and dedication to this community.

FlagFor newly transitioning service members, however, the switch to civilian life can be a challenge. In recent years, Washington has made a concerted effort to not only ease this transition, but recognize the value their experience brings to work outside of the military.

Apprenticeships can be a great opportunity for career training or re-training, and community and technical as well as four-year colleges offer a great many additional benefits and support to veterans and their families. If you or someone you know is a veteran, I hope you’ll find the links below to be useful.

 

  • Here you’ll find a great tool called “Veterans Military Crosswalk” that helps translate your work in the military to a job that suits you in civilian life.
  • Olympic College offers a variety of support services, tuition assistance options, and distance learning opportunities for veterans and military. To learn more, please click here.
  • Here and here are some veteran specific job searches.
  • Click here for information on apprenticeships for veterans.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for subscribing to my newsletter.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Warm Regards,

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