Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative develops nearly 2000 opportunities for Seattle youth

DSC00095 - CopyMayor Ed Murray recently announced that his Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative has created nearly 2,000 positions for young people across the city, from summer jobs through Seattle Parks and other City agencies, to internships at private-sector employers. Financial support from private donors generated twice as many opportunities for Seattle youth as last year.

“In this year’s State of the City, I called for double the number of positions for Seattle youth,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “Our private-sector leaders are expanding the youth employment program with new opportunities and energy. Through these partnerships, young people will develop new skills for success in the workplace, building toward a bright future.”

To support the effort, JPMorgan Chase awarded the City of Seattle $500,000 over two years to fund youth internships and deliver national best practices to increase employer engagement in the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative. Russell Investments and Russell Wilson’s Why Not You Foundation have pledged an additional $75,000 to fund internships.

OED interns speak with the press.

OED interns speak with the press.

“I can think of no better way for the private sector to invest in our city than by embracing our youth,” said Councilmember John Okamoto. “Employers participating in the Mayor’s initiative are developing talent that will drive our economic future.”

Starbucks Coffee Company has hired interns this summer, along with other private sector contributors, including Amazon, Bank of America, The Boeing Company, Center for Infectious Disease Research, Google, Ivar’s, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Swedish Medical Center, and Vulcan.

In Seattle, the youth unemployment rate is over 13 percent and for low‐income youth and young people of color, it’s even worse. Nationally, youth unemployment is 12.1 percent in June 2015, double the 5.3 percent national average.

“As a major employer and partner of our K-12 schools, community colleges, and non-profit workforce training providers, JPMorgan Chase views closing the Skills Gap and providing meaningful career pathways to good paying jobs as two of the most crucial issues of our time,” said JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Pacific Northwest, Phyllis Campbell. “We feel our support of the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative is an important way we are helping to build the long-term success of the local economy.”

This year, through the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative, eligible youth and young adults will receive paid work experience in positions at various city departments and at private sector placements based on their career interest. To date, the City has identified 1,972 positions and expects to surpass the goal of 2,000 opportunities well before the end of the year.

“When you give a young person their first summer job, you’re opening up a pathway to meaningful employment and lifelong opportunity,” said Blair Taylor, chief community officer for Starbucks, which is participating in this year’s program and plans to hire 10,000 disconnected youth across the U.S. by 2018. “This is ultimately about coming together to provide the skills, training and job opportunities young people need to participate in the 21st century economy.”

Employment opportunities for young people not only provide needed income and skills training, they can result in healthier, safer lives for youth. In one Chicago study, for example, young people from high-crime neighborhoods were nearly half as likely to be victims of violent crime when they had summer jobs.

The Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative has been able to leverage $855,080 of private sector funding to match the $2.5 million investment of the Human Services Department’s General Funds. These contributions were critical for expanding this year’s summer youth employment program, and to further expand the program moving forward.

“Russell Investments is proud to support the much-needed Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative,” said Len Brennan, president and CEO of Russell Investments. “Increasing employment and internship opportunities for Seattle’s youth continues a nearly 80-year tradition of helping improve the quality of life for people in the communities where our associates live and work.”

The summer internship program is open to youth and young adults, ages 14-24 who live in Seattle. In 2015, Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative received over 3,700 internship applications, up from 432 youth applications last year—an increase of 81 percent.

It is expected that the demand of young people seeking employment will continue to grow in the coming years.

To ensure that all eligible youth are able to participate in the program, the City of Seattle is inviting additional employers to participate either by hosting internships next summer or during the school year. If employers are unable to host interns, they can contribute to the pool of funds to pay the wages of students placed at other companies.

Seattle Businesses: Join the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative

Mayor Murray is calling on Seattle employers to participate in the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative, which aims to improve connections between Seattle’s youth and employers, and increase employment opportunities for Seattle youth.SYEP Partner Button

You can become a Proud Employer Partner in one of two ways:

  1. Hire a youth intern at $11.00/hr to work part-time for 7-weeks in the Seattle Youth Employment Program, or
  2. Make a contribution of $2,600 to support a youth internship slot.

 Make your pledge today!


Seattle Youth Employment Program – Summer Internships

  • 7-week internship for youth ages, 16 to 24
  • Internships start on July 1 and end on August 19
  • Internship hours are up to 25 hours per week; for a total of 175 hours
  • All interns participate in job training preparation prior to internship and are supported by a youth staff member throughout the internship.


What can employers expect from the program?

  • A youth intern recruited and prepared by youth staff members for success in the workplace.
  • A single point of contact with a youth staff member who will work with the employer and the intern during the 7 week internship.
  • A match with a youth intern who best fits the skills requirements outlined by the employer.
  • Support for the young person on meeting employer expectations.
  • Support for the employer supervisor on how to best support the youth on the job.
  • Guidance and help with questions about hosting a youth intern.


Employers agree to:

  • Provide a structured work environment with clear tasks.
  • Provide supervision for a young person for 25 hours per week for 7 weeks this summer.
  • Participate in an employer supervisor orientation – in person or online.
  • Complete a background check.
  • Obtain a youth work permit for interns ages 16 and 17; (a 10-minute online application; permit is free).
  • Communicate with youth staff member weekly regarding intern’s engagement.

 Make your pledge today!


Questions? Contact Nancy Yamamoto in the Office of Economic Development: or 206-684-8189

Seattle business owners: Chime in about broadband services

The City of Seattle is looking for input about broadband from Seattle-area businesses. This survey will ask you about your current broadband services and whether they meet your needs; your satisfaction with the services that are currently available to business owners in Seattle; and what you believe the City’s role should be in bringing high-speed connectivity to residents and businesses in Seattle. The survey should take just around 10 minutes to complete. Thank you in advance for your participation!

Take the Broadband Survey

A Look Back At Some Of The Top Office Of Economic Development Stories Of 2014

As we get ready to say goodbye to 2014, The OED Digest team took a look back through the stories of the year. These top stories represent a cross section of the work of the Office of Economic Development to invest in and strengthen our local economy, from supporting small businesses, investing in neighborhood business districts, growing our competitive industry sectors that range from film and music to manufacturing and maritime, nurturing our local startups and restaurants, and investing in our local workforce. Enjoy a look back at these highlights from the past 12 months.

  [Read more…]

In Good Company Profile: Copacino + Fujikado

Copacino + Fujikado is a Seattle-based advertising agency that provides strategic planning and creative marketing communications for leading regional and national brands. Headquartered in downtown Seattle, the firm uses collaborative imagination as a business tool to help local businesses tell their story. From its client base, to many of its campaigns, the agency puts its heart and soul into promoting what makes Seattle such a special place. Its successful multimedia campaign for Visit Seattle received national attention and solidified Seattle as a year-round tourist destination. With 16 years in the business, Copacino + Fujikado is recognized for its creative approach and innovative solutions for clients big and small, its commitment to promoting Seattle, and its civic engagement in Seattle’s local economy.

Check out the video profile of Copacino + Fujikado here:



In Good Company: A Seattle Business Showcase, is brought to you by the Office of Economic Development, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and the Seattle Channel to recognize businesses that embody Seattle’s pioneering spirit and reflect Seattle at its best. The ongoing showcase of businesses spotlights locally owned businesses for being unconventional, transformative and exemplary.

OED is Hiring a Public Relations Specialist

The Office of Economic Development is now accepting applications for a Public Relations specialist position via the city’s Career Center. This position will be located at OED and will support the City’s economic development agenda and mission to create a vibrant economy that benefits the whole city by promoting access to economic opportunities for all of Seattle’s diverse communities, and strengthening existing industries. This position will provide direct support for community outreach and public engagement for OED programs across OED’s lines of business, including the Office of Film + Music (OFM), at the intersection of public policy with the city’s business environment, industry sectors, workforce development partners, and neighborhood business districts.

Reporting to the Communications Director, the Public Relations Specialist will service both City functions (OED & OFM) through marketing, communication, and outreach tasks that support the City’s economic development agenda and mission. The position is a ½ FTE (Full-Time Equivalent), or 20 hours a week, and there may be the opportunity for additional hours up to 0.75 FTE in 2015. We are looking for a candidate that is willing and able to work additional hours as funding is available.

Responsibilities include:

  • Writing, designing, preparing, developing, and producing a variety of public information materials including: articles relating to news on Seattle business and economy, website content, blog and social media posts, program brochures, office newsletters, event promotional collateral, reports, advertising, slideshow presentations, news releases, etc.;
  • Assisting with the planning and implementation of marketing strategies for a variety of departmental projects and programs;
  • Participating in the design, development, production, and distribution of promotional materials, including the production of foreign language materials and other strategies from the City’s Inclusive Outreach and Public Engagement toolkit;
  • Supporting the planning, developing, and evaluating methods to encourage resident participation in departmental programs and projects;
  • With support and supervision, assessing Office and audience needs and evaluates effectiveness of communication efforts for OED’s programs, including creating monthly analytical reports on OED’s communications assets using such tools as Google Analytics;
  • Serving as a technical assistant to various citizen advisory committees by conducting research on issues, scheduling meetings, taking meeting minutes, or other similar activities;
  • Providing data entry and maintenance of OED Communications databases for newsletter distribution, media lists and other tools; and
  • Responding to inquiries from the general public by phone, in person, or in writing.

Knowledge of the following programs will determine a candidate’s effectiveness in this role:

  • Microsoft Suite, Adobe Suite, In-Design, PowerPoint, Constant Contact, DreamWeaver, FTP programs, CMS programs, WordPress and other website back ends, and Social Media platforms.

Competitive candidates will have a Bachelors degree in a related field, 2-5 years of work or internship experience in communications/marketing field and demonstrate ability to write and edit quickly in a fast-paced work environment across multiple communications channels and to a variety of audiences.

The position will close on Tuesday, December 2 at 4 pm.

For a complete job description, full list of qualifications, and instructions on how to apply please visit the Career Center and use the search term “Public Relations Specialist”.

Restaurant Success Initiative Makes it Easier to Open a Restaurant in Seattle

Initiative to be a model for streamlining regulations, boosting restaurant industry across the state

Mayor Ed Murray, City Councilmember Sally Clark, Governor Jay Inslee, and King County Executive Dow Constantine joined the Washington Restaurant Association and restaurant entrepreneurs today in Capitol Hill to announce the launch of Restaurant Success, a new initiative to provide better service and support for prospective restaurateurs.

Mayor Rest Success“I’m excited about this effort because opening a restaurant is a common entry point into the economic mainstream for communities of color, and our business assistance support will be working to reach a broad spectrum of business owners,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We also expect to use this initiative’s approach to shape how we break down silos within government and make it simpler for businesses in Seattle to start and grow. We’re committed to helping businesses succeed here.”

Restaurant Success is a public-private partnership between the state of Washington, city of Seattle, King County and the Washington Restaurant Association. The initiative was developed in collaboration with more than 17 agencies and organizations, and includes:

  • A comprehensive, one-stop online guide with city, county, and state permitting and licensing information, and tools to help restaurateurs easily navigate the process.
  • Dedicated customer service and technical assistance in the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development led by a new Restaurant Advocate, Jennifer Tam.
  • Ongoing regulatory reform and process improvements across city, county, and state agencies that interact with restaurant entrepreneurs.

“We know that small business is a key generator of jobs and economic activity. Starting a restaurant is one of the most frequent ways that people launch a small business career. That’s why I have supported this effort and why this is a great example of the kind of work that the City can do to make it easier to run a business in Seattle,” said City Councilmember Sally Clark.Sally and Taylor

The Restaurant Advocate’s role is to provide direct business support and navigational help to restaurant entrepreneurs as they start and operate restaurants in Seattle. In addition to conducting outreach to businesses, specifically ethnic business owners, the Restaurant Advocate will work with partners to improve policies or programs across the public-private partnership.

“We have already benefited greatly from the City’s Restaurant Advocate, Jennifer Tam, as she has introduced us to a number of critical resources that will help us successfully open our new Indian restaurant,” said Gita Bangera, co-owner of a restaurant preparing to open in Pioneer Square in the coming months. “Getting clear information, helpful referrals, and assistance mitigating obstacles, definitely are making a big difference in our new startup venture of opening a restaurant. We are extremely appreciative of this resource.”Mayor Taylor Gita Jennifer Tam








Restaurant Success is located at

King County Executive’s Small Business Awards


The King County Executive’s Small Business Awards are dedicated to celebrating the importance and the accomplishments of small businesses throughout King County. On October 15 over 200 smallbusiness owners, entrepreneurs, and supporters of small business from across the County gathered at this year’s awards program. Seattle winners include: Fremont Brewing Company, awarded Small Business of the Year, Fryer-Knowles, Inc., awarded Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year, Cascadia Consulting Group, awarded Green/Sustainable Business of the Year, and Community Attributes, awarded Workforce Development Small Business of the Year.

Three Public Meetings To Inform The Minimum Wage Ordinance

Seattle’s new Minimum Wage Ordinance will take effect on April 1, 2015. Many employers and employees have many questions about how the Minimum Wage Ordinance will be implemented. The Seattle Office for Civil Rights is hosting three public meetings to gather information for the administrative rulemaking process.

minimumThe first meeting will be heldMonday, November 3 in the Bertha Landes Room at Seattle City Hall from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

The second meeting will be held Wednesday, November 5 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at NewHolly Gathering Hall.

The third meeting takes place on Thursday, November 13 from 8:00- 10:00 a.m. at Northgate Community Center.

Neighborhood Businesses Growing from Community Loan Pilot with Community Sourced Capital, OED



Four local businesses launched loan campaigns aimed to help them grow this week as part of a new partnership between local finance company Community Sourced Capital (CSC) and the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED).

The four businesses are B & O Espresso, Jude’s, Plum Bistro, and That Brown Girl Cooks, representing an assortment of food-based ventures, collectively raising up to $125,000 this month.

Businesses use the CSC lending platform to borrow 0% interest money directly from people in their community.

“Businesses borrowing from their community have high repayment rates. They want to pay back people they know. It’s relationship lending, not anonymous lending, and it changes the way people think about their money in their community,” says Rachel Maxwell, CEO of Community Sourced Capital.

OED’s Only in Seattle Initiative works with businesses, property owners and other community leaders to organize around a common vision for a business district and attract investment.

This partnership to help local businesses launch funding campaigns in Seattle’s neighborhood business districts aligns perfectly with Only in Seattle. CSC, with the input of OED and Only in Seattle partners, selects businesses that fit with neighborhood business district goals.

In this first cohort in the CSC-OED partnership is former Capitol Hill establishment B&O Espresso, which closed in 2012, and is looking to reopen in the Belltown neighborhood.

Lottie’s Lounge, Columbia City’s neighborhood bar, is planning to open a new sister establishment, Jude’s, in “old town” Rainier Beach.

The owner of Plum Bistro and its sister ventures on Capitol Hill wants to open the first v
egan sweet shop in Capitol Hill, to be named Sugarplum.

Local Black Eye Pea Hummus producer That Brown Girl Cooks is raising money to revamp their kitchen in the Central District and expand product distribution.

Some of these businesses may stand to further benefit from matching loan funds from local nonprofit lender Craft3, who partners with CSC on deploying capital to businesses which meet certain criteria.

“It’s a vote of confidence in Seattle’s neighborhood-minded sensibilities that the City is promoting community lending models in this way” says Maxwell. “It’s a totally new concept that everyone can participate in. We live in an amazing city filled with people who are excited about new ideas and models of commerce. And it’s about time that our dedication to progress and innovation made its way to finance.”

OED is pleased to cover the set up costs for each funding campaign in this pilot program, and plans to assess the success of the pilot and determine if an ongoing program would be beneficial as part of its ongoing support of local businesses and neighborhood business districts.

“Our office partners with neighborhood business district organizations year-round to support local businesses,” said Steve Johnson, Director of the Seattle Office of Economic Development. “We’re pleased to work with Community Sourced Capital in helping local businesses to grow, which adds to the unique and vibrant nature of our neighborhood business districts.”

The ongoing Only in Seattle Initiative elements include yearly investments in neighborhood business districts, peer network events, and other resources to help neighborhood business districts and their businesses thrive.

Find out more about these four business campaigns at the OED Community Sourced Capital website.