News Releases

Senator Murray Provides Funding for "Airport University" Jobs Skills Program at SeaTac

Jun 21 2007

Program provides many employees with access to higher education; Helps employees advance and helps airport businesses retain a skilled workforce

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray announced that she has included $100,000 for a program that helps airport workers get the education and training they need to move toward higher paying jobs. The program is run by Port Jobs in partnership with South Seattle Community College and is located at SeaTac International Airport. Senator Murray included funding for the program in the Labor, Health, Human Services and Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill – the annual spending bill that funds labor priorities. Senator Murray is a senior member of the LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee. 

"This funding will help entry–level airport workers access college courses so they can advance to higher-paying family-wage jobs," said Senator Murray. "I am committed to building a better trained, higher skilled workforce in Washington state, and this program does just that by bringing college to the workplace."

"Airport University" transforms the workplace into college by offering on-site college courses tailored to the airport environment, schedules that fit worker needs, and on-site career and educational advising resources.  The program has offered on-site classes in areas that have been identified as high priorities by airport employers, such as computer skills, customer service, and leadership and supervision.  

For many workers this program is their first connection to higher education. Preliminary data indicates that Airport University is also helping workers retain their jobs and advance their careers. The funding Murray provided will enable Port Jobs and South Seattle Community College to expand on this already successful model.

Now that Murray's funding has passed the committee, it will move to the full Senate floor for consideration.  Senator Murray will continue to use her position in the Senate to help workers access the training they need, while seeking to create the family-wage jobs that strengthen and diversify the local and regional economies of communities across Washington state.