On Wednesday, June 20th the Prosperity Partnership hosted a cluster tour focused on the region’s maritime industry, which employed nearly 17,000 workers in 2011. The tour began with a visit to Argosy Cruises aboard the Royal Argosy to learn about the thriving marine tourism business. Argosy employs around 250 employees, including captains, sales and reservation agents, culinary staff and entertainers. These employees support over 4,500 ship departures and host about 600,000 guests annually.
From there, participants received a tour of Vigor Industrial shipyards on Harbor Island (the former Todd Pacific Shipyards) and saw the beginnings of the first of the two new 144-car ferries being built for Washington State Ferries. Vigor Industrial employs around 2,000 employees, 1,200 of who work in Washington. These highly skilled workers earn in the range of the low $40,000s to the high $110,000s.
Next, the tour visited the facilities at the Port of Tacoma, which supports more than 43,000 jobs in Pierce County, and 113,000 jobs in the state. Around 70% of the cargo that comes in through the Port of Tacoma is bound for locations outside of Washington. Recently, their biggest growth has been in “break bulk” cargo, those large specialized items that cannot be shipped in containers.
Heading back north, the Port of Seattle presented their Century Agenda at Fisherman’s Terminal in Seattle, home to the North Pacific Fishing Fleet. Attendees then boarded a tug provided by Western Towboat and took a tour of the ship canal, wrapping up the day at Kvichak Marine.