Category Archives: Employment

WA Women in Trades – The 38th Annual Career Fair

The 38th Annual Washington Women in the Trades Career Fair will be held at Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion on May 12th.

This event for students and work-ready women (and men!) will be a venue to teach, recruit workers, submit applications and in some cases land a high-paying job.  There will more than 80 exhibitors including colleges, vocational schools, government agencies, businesses, trades representatives and organizations offering apprenticeships. Schools from all over the region attend. Middle & High School aged students are introduced to the high paying, spirit empowering positions in the skilled trades.

Exhibitors include apprenticeship programs, governmental agencies, colleges, vocational training and corporations. Among many others, past participants have included King County, Gary Merlino Construction Company, Inc., the Boeing Company, and the Seattle Fire Department. Training programs include apprenticeships with the Sprinkler Fitters, Carpenters, Laborers, Operating Engineers, Pipefitters, Electricians, Elevator Engineers and of course, the Ironworkers. The Port of Seattle will be an exhibitor as part of the Port’s effort to build a workforce to meet future needs in maritime industries.

Some of the exhibits are outdoors. Don’t miss Seattle City Light’s famous climbing pole next to the equally famous Seattle Center Fountain!

Photo credit: The Library of Congress via / No known copyright restrictions


Proposed changes to Iowa workers compensation cruelly target elderly employees

Today’s post comes from guest author Jon Rehm, from Rehm, Bennett & Moore.

Anti-worker changes could be coming to Iowa workers compensation. To me the cruelest reform would be the proposal to end permanent total disability benefits at age 67 and limit workers who are over 67 who become permanently and totally disabled to 150 weeks of benefits. One memorable client of mine demonstrates the callousness of the proposed Iowa reforms.

My client Doris Newkirk was 83 years old when she was injured working as a hostess at Lone Star Steakhouse in west Omaha in June 2006. She was near a bathroom door when a large male co-worker came barreling into the bathroom and caused Doris to fall back and injure multiple parts of her body. Like many retirees, Doris worked because she needed the money. After her injury she was unable to work. Fortunately Doris was able to receive permanent total disability benefits to make up for the income she lost because she wasn’t able to work. Those permanent benefits started in September 2007 and continued for five years and 10 ½ months until her death on July 21, 2013.

If Nebraska law limited those injured over the age of 67 to 150 weeks of permanent total disability benefits, Doris wouldn’t have been paid anything for the last three years of her life. To her credit, Doris travelled from Omaha to Lincoln in her late 80s to testify against similar legislation when it was proposed in Nebraska. According the Business and Labor committee clerk at the time, the state Senator who introduced the bill at the behest of insurance interests made a motion to kill the bill after listening to her testimony.

Workers compensation is a cost of business. But according to CNBC, Iowa has the second lowest cost of doing business in the country. Iowa, like Nebraska, generally ranks well in national surveys of business climate. Iowa’s weakest area when it comes to business climate,  according to CNBC, is quality of workforce. Unlike Nebraska, Iowa lacks vocational rehabilitation for injured workers. If Iowa is looking to reform its workers compensation system, they should consider investing in vocational rehabilitation so injured workers can fully regain their ability to contribute to the economy in Iowa.

Port of Seattle Intern Program – Call to Sponsors

The Port of Seattle recently kicked off a campaign to hire 150 high school and college interns to work at Port of Seattle facilities and for private employers this summer. Because recruiting young people to maritime industries has been challenging, there is a lack of future workers in the pipeline to meet the future demand. These jobs offer competitive pay and benefits, but those who could benefit the most may not be aware these opportunities exist. 

Examples of recent news media coverage about the need for maritime workers included stories by Q13 FOXKNKX and KOMO NEWS.

The Port of Seattle urges businesses in Port-related industries to join in by hosting student workers over the next few months. The Port of Seattle’s Intern Sponsor Program places future leaders with small businesses connected to the port, the waterfront, and local manufacturers.

Photo credit: Port of Seattle

Sea-Tac Airport Hiring 76 Screeners, Good Pay and Benefits

The Port of Seattle is recruiting and hiring 76 workers to screen Sea-Tac Airport employees who enter the secured areas of the airport. Plans are to launch this new screening procedure this spring. 

Those who are hired for these new positions will receive competitive benefits and an hourly pay rate of $20.37. There will be three full-time shifts available, and the positions will be overtime eligible and represented by International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 9.

Requirements include a high school diploma or GED; one year of operations, security or customer service experience; and the ability to earn a certification within 60 days and pass background checks and drug testing. 

Employee security screening is becoming common at large U.S. airports as a way to enhance security efforts, mitigate risks and protect employees and travelers. 

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