Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Future Of Green Collar Jobs Is In Seattle

Mayor highlights McKinstry expansion; 500 new jobs expected
Green jobs in a new 120,000 square foot facility

Mayor  highlights McKinstry expansion - 500 new jobs expected, January 29, 2009

SEATTLE – Mayor Greg Nickels today presented McKinstry Company with a permit and approved plans for an expansion of its Georgetown facility in south Seattle. The company expects to hire an additional 500 people, a combination of professional and union craftsman, in the next two to three years. McKinstry is a construction and engineering firm, specializing in energy efficiency.

“One of our goals is to create new green collar jobs for those working to make our homes, offices and industry more energy efficient. McKinstry’s expansion illustrates there are many opportunities ahead in the new economy,” said Nickels. “This is just one example of ways Seattle supports local businesses and encourages family-wage jobs across all industries.”

With the permit issued today, McKinstry will develop 120,000 square feet of its property into additional office and manufacturing logistics space, as well as parking. The company’s future expansion plans include developing an additional 20,000 square feet for training center and offices to the south, and redeveloping the current parking area of 50,000 square feet into additional logistics support space.

“We are excited to be creating jobs in Seattle to support our national expansion in energy efficiency as we move toward a green economy,” said Dean Allen, chief executive officer for McKinstry. “Mayor Nickels’ leadership in energy and sustainability combined with
McKinstry’s commitment to the same values makes for a great partnership.”

Industrial businesses make up almost one fifth (18 percent) of Seattle’s total job base and are critical in maintaining a balanced local and regional economy.

The mayor launched his Industrial Jobs Initiative in August 2007 to continue his support for Seattle’s industrial and manufacturing businesses. At the heart of the mayor’s initiative were new land use recommendations with the goal to maintain existing businesses and jobs while encouraging new industries.

The initiative resulted in industrial zoning changes that protected family wage industrial sector jobs by placing new limits on non-industrial uses in our industrial centers. The McKinstry expansion is an example of a business adding office space and more manufacturing space to its headquarters, showing that industrial businesses can stay and grow in Seattle.

The city is committed to quickly reviewing and approving permits to support Seattle’s jobs, including the family wage jobs of our industrial and manufacturing businesses. The Mayor’s Industrial Permit Liaison works with these critical members of our community on a regular basis to facilitate the permit process.

Overall, Seattle’s industrial sector generates approximately 82,000 direct jobs, which does not include those in related fields supporting industry. On average, industrial jobs in Seattle pay $55,500 annually.

In January, McKinstry became one of 16 service companies to receive a United States Department of Energy Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) that could result in up to $80 billion in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects at federally owned buildings and facilities.

The IDIQ Award comes on the heels of McKinstry’s moment in the national spotlight last year, precipitated by comments from then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, who cited the company as a “model for the nation” for its leadership in energy efficiency.

In 2008, Nickels pledged that Seattle would become America’s “Green Building Capital” by improving energy efficiency in commercial and residential sectors by a minimum of 20 percent.

He formed the Green Building Task Force, a 50-member task force that will advise the city on how to achieve this goal, which will save Seattle residents and businesses money on their energy bills and create new jobs in the green economy. Recommendations from the task force process will be finalized next month.

Get the Nickels Newsletter and the mayor’s inside view on transportation, public safety, economic opportunity and healthy communities at

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