The Voice for Industry
June 24, 2009
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Seattle First - Helping Seattle Industry

Value of Work

"Coming to work everyday."

That might not seem like the best part of your job, but Juan Romero says it without hesitating when asked what he likes most about working for a Seattle construction firm, The Finish Company.

Bored and struggling with school a year ago as a 17-year-old, Juan used an internship at The Finish Company to earn a fulltime job that brings him regular paydays, a productive place in life and the confidence to think that he might someday enroll in an apprenticeship program to become an electrician.

Juan found the intern opportunity and his GED through King County YouthSource which is now offering job training and internships for low-income young people ages 18 to 21 through the King County Summer Youth Employment Program.

Internships will last for three to four weeks each and wages will be paid by federal stimulus dollars. Before they can apply to a company, each intern candidate must pass drug tests and attain CPR/First Aid, Flagger and OSHA Industrial Safety Certification, along with 40 hours of training in basic electrical and tool skills. Training is provided at the Apprenticeship Training Center at the Georgetown campus of South Seattle Community College.

King County is conducting the intern program in partnership with the Manufacturing Industrial Council of Seattle (MIC). The MIC and King County will help find intern candidates that best match up with each work place. As with real jobs, candidates must interview for internships and companies don't have to hire candidates who don't pass muster.

To learn how your company can participate, call Erin Evetts at the MIC, 206-762-2470 or email Participating companies so far include Northwest Grating, Western Neon, Outdoor Research, Highland Refrigeration, the Rudd Company, Baley Roofing and SeaTac Marine.

Why would a business owner or manager provide an internship?

Michael Grabham, an owner of The Finish Company, says internships provide him with a way "to help people who didn't get all the breaks that I did while I was growing up."

But, there's a more practical benefit, too, he said. "We get to train them in how we do our tasks and we hopefully get an employee out of it."

Ground up training is important because, as the name says, The Finish Company focuses on the painting, carpentry and tiling jobs for commercial and residential builders that come at the end of projects. Delays in those finishing touches can drive property owners' nuts and The Finish Company sets itself apart by staying in close touch with customers, returning phone calls promptly and finishing jobs on time.

The approach requires workers to understand the company's overall game plan and although Juan had a tough time with classroom routines, he fit in at The Finish Company just fine.

So far, The Finish Company has taken on three interns. Two turned into fulltime employees. The interns require a little extra supervision time, but so do many new employees. "We know we'll put in a little extra time," Grabham said, "but it's worth it if we get a new employee."

Of Juan, Grabham said, "He's great. Juan's a rock star. He works hard and shows up as promised."

Rock and Roll Marathon Roads Closed
The Inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon will take place this Saturday, June 27, 2009.

The course starts in Tukwila on Interurban Ave, runs along Lake Washington, on to the I-90 express lanes, over and onto the Alaskan Viaduct, north to N 39th St, and back to Qwest field. Whew that's a lot of running!
See the course map.

There will be road closures that may impact you. Starting at 5:30 am on June 27, Police and event personnel will implement a soft closure along the entire race course, with roads closing at 6:00 am. The race begins at 7:00 am, and streets will reopen on a rolling basis as soon as the last participant has passed and all course support materials have been removed. Most road closures and detours will be in effect between 6:00 am and 3:00 pm.

There is still time to volunteer at the event. Go to their website

You're Invited to a Barbeque
The South Seattle Viking Bank team is hosting its annual summer barbeque on Wednesday July 8th from 11:00-1:30pm at 5701 1st Ave S, Georgetown.
Stop by and enjoy a great lunch with your local bankers. Hope to see you there.


The westbound mainline will be closed beginning July 5 for up to three weeks. All westbound traffic will use the center roadway. Only two ramps from Mercer Island to westbound I-90 will be open during construction: 77th Avenue SE and Island Crest Way (express lanes)

Unprecedented backups are expected when all westbound traffic is shifted into just two express lanes. During the past construction, travel times improve when drivers shifted when they commute. Changing driving habits will be crucial for drivers who want to avoid the July backups. So talk to your employer now to see about flexible scheduling, working from home and vacation time. Remember biking across the I-90 Bridge will be a great alternative to slogging through traffic in July. Two temporary bicycle bridges are being built around the construction zones to keep the I-90 Trail open.

For maps, go to:


Watch Out For Mariner Traffic
Over 23,000 fans are expected to show up at Safeco Field for the Mariner's afternoon game tomorrow, Thursday, June 25, at 1:40 p.m. Please expect extra heavy traffic throughout the SODO area before and especially after the game as the afternoon peak commute traffic gets underway around 4 p.m. Plan your commute accordingly!

Westbound S Spokane Street has been reopened and returned to its normal configuration as of Tuesday, June 23. This eliminates both the detour between Airport Way South and 6th Avenue South and the jog between 6th and 4th Avenues South.

For more information about the project you can review the project website at, or call Art Brochet, at 206-240-1106 with specific questions.

I-5: Travel Time Signs
Three travel time signs will be installed at key decision points on Interstate 5. The signs will provide real-time travel information to help drivers decide which route to take to their destinations.

Thursday, June 25 - Crews will close the three left lanes on northbound I-5 at 216th Street from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. for construction work.
Tuesday, July 1 - Crews will close three left lanes on northbound I-5 at SR 518 from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. for construction work.


LOCATION: I-90/Keechelus Dam to Cabin Creek - Eastbound milepost 59.55 to 64.23
DETAILS: No loads over 12 feet wide beginning Monday June 22 - 7 p.m., through Friday, June 26 - 7 a.m.

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Spring 2009
Issue is Here.

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Past eBulletins

Summer Youth Employment & Your Business
Natural Gas Boom
Signs of Economic Hope
Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Expo
17th of May

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