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Dave Gering
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Seattle Industry is published by the Manufacturing Industrial Council of Seattle

In This Issue

SI eBulletin

Hello - We Must Be Going

Posted: November 16, 2011

SODO Inc. grad Ryan Gookstetter –
still on the job at Washington Chain

The SODO Inc. job training program is receiving a “best practice” award from Governor Christine Gregorie for its success in helping young adults prepare themselves for entry-level industrial jobs. Unfortunately, the award comes as the program is closing because government funding is expiring.

Seattle Industry readers have been connected to the program through the Manufacturing Industrial Council of Seattle which finds companies to take on SODO trainees as interns. More than 50 Seattle industrial firms participated. Internships were found for more than 260 trainees. About 50 of the interns landed fulltime jobs with the companies, including Ryan Gookstetter. Many of the others continued on to another employer.

The last group of trainees will be available for internships starting on November 21, 2011. If you’re interested, call Christine Jones at 206-762-2470.

Intern candidates qualify for the training program by their past difficulties entering or remaining in the workforce. Through SODO Inc. they earn OSHA safety cards, certificates in forklift operations and basic instruction in other workplace skills including employer expectations for acceptable on-the-job behavior. Interns are legally employees of King County government which pays wages and insures them while they are interns. So, it’s a low risk for employers to give them a try.

Employers were, and are, free to dismiss the interns if they don’t work out. But most of them completed the internship and their training combined with the job experience to help produce that great endangered American resource – taxpayers.

Skill training for the program was provided through South Seattle Community College. Program management and support services were provided by King County Employment and Education Resources Program. The program was funded through the Workforce Development Council of King County with funds from the federal Recovery Act grant.

A video about the program is available here.

Hard to Swallow

Take a gulp from a glass of City of Seattle drinking water and you’ll probably quench your thirst. But if you pour a glass of the same water into the Lake Washington Ship Canal from a shipyard dock in Ballard, it’s a lead pipe cinch you’ll violate the shipyard’s State of Washington stormwater permit.

That’s because city drinking water contains such small amounts of copper it is considered safe for human consumption. But the copper trace elements are also high enough to qualify as a potential environmental health hazard to fish.

Which suggests we might be:
A) not sensitive enough to copper hazards for humans, or
B) overly sensitive to copper hazards for fish, or
C) simply not aware of the ever-evolving complexities of the stormwater regulations that continue to pile up along Seattle’s industrial shorelines.

We are not scientifically qualified to pick between A and B. The science seems clear that fish are more sensitive to copper than humans are. But the ship canal is also linked by osmosis to every ocean in the world and it can be difficult for a layperson to grasp the degree of danger actually presented to fish by their contact with vastly diluted amounts of City of Seattle drinking water. And what on earth happens to fish that live in Seattle-based fish bowls and aquariums?

But of the three choices, C is a no-brainer.

Four different layers of government exert some type of stormwater jurisdiction over Seattle’s industrial shores – the feds, the state, the city and Metro.

And the complexity of the stormwater landscape jumped up a notch in 2011 with the introduction of new state regulations, based on federal law, that require a growing number of companies and public agencies to reduce the amounts of fecal coliform (FC) in the stormwater that flows off their properties.

Unlike copper and other heavy metals, FC is a living organism created by every warm-blooded animal and rotting plant around the globe. FC can endanger humans because of its potential to include E. Coli and other dangerous pathogens.

So, it makes abundant good sense to keep FC well under control in waterways used for swimming and drinking. But the new regulations also apply to waterways such as the Duwamish River and Elliott Bay where it makes abundant good sense to not drink the water or swim in it.

In brackish, polluted and/or saltwater waterways, the FC situation is clouded by passing sea gulls, geese and other FC sources that are far beyond the reach of shoreline property owners. Yet, those who fail to adequately swab up their tiny corners of FC runoff are subject to fines, imprisonment and civil lawsuits.

The new FC regulations and other stormwater issues will be discussed Tuesday, November 22, at the monthly meeting of the Manufacturing Industrial Council of Seattle, beginning at 4 p.m. The session will include input by experts from the new Washington State Stormwater Center.

In 2012 the stormwater center will begin providing a new assistance service to companies dealing with the ins and outs of stormwater regulations. Learn more about the stormwater center here.

You can also call the Environmental Council of South Seattle (ECOSS) for technical assistance about upcoming stormwater workshops.

RSVP for the November 22 meeting by emailing Pam Romine at

The meeting will be held in Room B113 of the Georgetown campus of South Seattle Community College, 6770 East Marginal Way. For more information about the meeting call Dave Gering at 206-762-2470.


Business Breakfast Series

Pacific Associates & the Puget Sound Industrial Excellence Center present a Business Breakfast Series for Business Owners, Executives, Hiring Managers, Training Professionals, and HR Professionals

Cass Tang, PMP, Owner & Principal, Synergy Corps presents Leadership Methods in Project Management*.

Thursday, December 1st, 2011, 7:30am – 10:00am (7:30am breakfast & program starts @ 8am) at the Georgetown Campus of South Seattle Community College, 6737 Corson Avenue South, Administration Building C, Seattle, WA 98108 (free parking). MIC members get discounts, call for discount code.

$30 per person - Space is Limited! Register @ . More event info or questions, contact: Dan Bernard,

*This program is pending approval for 2.0 recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR, & GPHR recertification through the Human Resource Certificate Institute (HRCI).

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