Career exploration day connects youth to opportunity in the maritime industry

Students aboard the SS Virginia V.

This summer, the Youth Maritime Collaborative’s first-ever South Lake Union Day event provided a chance for youth who are participating in internships or training programs to learn about maritime career opportunities, get hands-on experience with real maritime skills, and explore the history behind transportation and industry in the Puget Sound region.

Sponsored by the Port of Seattle, the all-day event featured hands-on activities from SS Virginia V and partnering organizations including The Center for Wooden Boats, Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI), Northwest Seaport, and Puget Sound Maritime. Over a hundred students from six local youth-serving organizations—King County Airport interns, Goodwill Youth Maritime Program, WA-BLOC (Washington Building Leaders of Change), Seattle Skills Center Vessel Operations Program, Port of Seattle and SS Virginia V–split into groups and rotated through several stations throughout the day.

At the first station, students boarded the historic Virginia V and were taken on a voyage around Lake Union. Crewmembers provided narration of departure and docking procedures, gave tours of the engine room and wheelhouse, and performed demonstrations of knot tying and firefighting basics.

A scavenger hunt inside MOHAI was a chance for students to explore the exhibit and learn about local maritime history. The Center for Wooden Boats’ station gave students a chance to row out together on an umiaq (a type of open skin boat, similar to a canoe, historically used by Yupik and Inuit peoples), while Northwest Seaport’s station took students aboard the 1911 halibut schooner, Tordenskjold, to learn about the fishing industry.

Students on the Virginia V learn about the engine’s operations from a crewmember.

The value of this kind of career exploration was clear from speaking with one student aboard the Virginia V expedition. A high schooler enrolled in Freedom School, the student got to know a few crewmembers and had the chance to ask them questions about the ship’s operations. The student expressed a goal of majoring in mechanical engineering at Washington State University: “I don’t really know what I want to do in mechanical engineering, but it’s something I definitely have an interest in.” Crewmembers were eager to answer the student’s many questions about their work, particularly in the engine room, where the student’s interest in engineering was apparent as he asked about all of the vessel’s many moving parts.

On his way out, one of the crewmembers said goodbye to the student with a handshake and a pamphlet with information about the Virginia V’s volunteer program, saying, “Hopefully I’ll see you here in a couple weeks!” Coming into South Lake Union Day, the student didn’t know that volunteering at a place like the Virginia V was an option. Now, he has personal connections with the crew and knows that he will be welcomed back.

That student, and many others like him, left South Lake Union Day with a new understanding of the maritime industry and the careers they could pursue in the field. Over one third of students who responded to an after-event survey said that they are now more interested in pursuing a maritime career than they were before the experience.

Maritime is a huge and vital industry with an aging workforce. In response to this growing need for workers in the industry, the Youth Maritime Collaborative was founded in 2016, comprised of members from the Port of Seattle, regional maritime organizations, youth serving organizations, industry leaders, educational programs and local government agencies. As a team, YMC works to increase awareness of and guide youth toward maritime-related careers through experiential events, high school internships and thoughtful career exploration.

The Office of Economic Development’s partnership with YMC is part of a larger effort to provide opportunities that give young people a window into Seattle’s economy and how they can join the maritime workforce. Employer tours, experiential learning events, and internships expose youth to maritime education and career pathways; events like South Lake Union Day show students first-hand that there are exciting, rewarding, living-wage jobs waiting for them in maritime that they may have otherwise never known about.

Have ideas for other career exploration experiences, or interested in finding out about upcoming events? Contact us at

Lake Union Park business remain open as repair work begins this summer

Seattle Parks and Recreation(SPR) closed the Lake Union Park Bridge due to lateral movement of the bridge east abutment. SPR worked over the past two years to determine the overall cause of this movement, design corrective measures to remedy this and secure the necessary funding.

We recently awarded the construction contract to Jansen Construction. The project will remove and repair specific site elements and lighten soil loads by using geofoam to minimize future settlements. Jansen will begin to mobilize on site on Monday, July 10, 2017 and they anticipate work lasting four months. This repair work must be carried out during the drier months of the year.

Construction will include:

  • Replacing existing soil with lightweight geofoam under paved walkways along the western portion of the park “peninsula” west of MOHAI.
  • Modifying bridge abutment.
  • Repairing the boardwalk between the bridge and the bulkhead.
  • Reinstalling all paved walkways once the lightweight geofoam has been installed and the abutment modified.

Lake Union Park partner organizations will remain open and offer fun summer events and programs for all. Find out what’s happening at

For more information and to stay up-to-date on the project, please visit

If you have further questions, please contact Toby Ressler, Project Manager, Seattle Parks and Recreation, at or 206-615-1482.




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Public Hearing to Discuss City Light’s 800 Aloha Street Property

Seattle City Light is hosting a public hearing on the disposition plan for the utility’s 800 Aloha Street property on May 1, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. The public hearing will be located at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) at 860 Terry Ave N. in Seattle.

City representatives will be collecting public comments on City Light’s plans to dispose of the property at 800 Aloha Street, per requirements by Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 35.94.040.

Aerial view of City Light’s property at 800 Aloha Street

Seattle residents can comment on the proposal or indicate interest in the sale by:

  • attending the public hearing on May 1, 2017 to offer testimony and/or to sign up on the interest/notification list;
  • e-mailing comments or indicate an interest in being notified of updates to the 800 Aloha Street surplus/disposition process by contacting;
  • sharing comments or requesting updates to the 800 Aloha Street surplus/disposition process via US Mail by contacting:

Timothy Croll
Seattle City Light
700 Fifth Ave, Suite 3316
Seattle WA, 98104

All comments must be received by May 5, 2017 to be included in the record developed for the Seattle City Council.

For more information on the 800 Aloha Street property, please visit

Seattle Fire Day at the MOHAI


Date: Saturday, October 11, 2014

Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: MOHAI – 860 Terry Ave E.


On Saturday, October 11th, the Seattle Fire Department, in partnership with the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) will kick off Fire Prevention Month with a special program: Seattle Fire Day. Join us for a fun day learning about fire safety, past and present.  Admission to the museum will be free from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Visitors can tour antique fire trucks, a modern day fire engine and watch demonstrations of firefighters in full gear. In addition, families and kids can engage in fun fire safety activities with the Seattle Fire Department, participate in hands-on firefighting history, Ask a Firefighter, try on firefighting gear, listen to a firefighter read a story, enjoy a craft and activity center and view the Great Seattle Fire exhibit which includes the infamous glue pot that supposedly started Seattle’s massive blaze of 1889.

For a complete schedule of Seattle Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Month activities, including Firefighter Story Times at Seattle Public Libraries, visit


Join MOHAI P-Patch Walking Tour this Saturday

In celebration of the P-Patch Program’s 41st anniversary, MOHAI is sponsoring an educational walk this Saturday.  The walk begins at the UpGarden at Seattle Center, and meanders down to the Belltown P-Patch and back. Along the way you will learn about the growing techniques in these two very different, very special gardens, and talk about their inception and the overall history of the program.  The walk will include a look at large and small efforts to transform our urban landscape, with a little history and some unique sites thrown in.

The tour has a small fee, which supports MOHAI’s efforts to connect Seattle people to its history. Pre-registration is required. Here’s a link: