New Port of Seattle CEO sets lofty goal: Add 100,000 jobs in region

Sarah Aitchison, November 10, 2014, Puget Sound Business Journal

Ted Fick, the newly appointed CEO for the Port of Seattle, announced his goal to bring 100,000 new jobs to the Puget Sound region Monday at the Washington Council on International Trade Conference at the Westin in downtown Seattle.

The Port of Seattle manages both the port and Sea-Tac Airport. Fick hinted job creation could come from major growth at the airport.

Both passengers and air cargo are growing rapidly at Sea-Tac, Fick said. He anticipates passengers at Sea-Tac will double in the near future.

“Sea-Tac is bursting at the seams,” he said.

Those bursting seams may be due to airline service growth at the airport.

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is set to add 11 percent more flights by spring, and Delta has proclaimed Seattle will be its hub to Asia from the United States.

“I was brought in to bring dramatic growth and 100,000 new jobs to the region,” Fick said.

While that may seem like an outrageous goal, Fick did not specify a timeline for the job creation. It’s likely this growth will be driven by a variety of transportation sectors over the course of many years.

That growth may also be spurred along by further development of the cruise industry in Seattle.

By 2015, there could be as many as 900,000 cruise passengers traveling to or from Seattle, Fick said. That number is up 12 percent from previous years.

The Ports of Seattle and Tacoma announced last month they would join forces in maritime trade by creating the Seaport Alliance.

The alliance is not a full-blown merger and each port will retain ownership and control of most non-marine assets separately, including Sea-Tac Airport.

Fick hailed the idea of the Seaport Alliance and the game-changing impact the joint venture could have on trade.

“[The Seaport Alliance] substantially changes the way we market and operate marine cargo,” he said.

Fick is a Tacoma native who will be returning to the Puget Sound after 14 years away. He previously worked for Bellevue trucking company, Paccar and Fick Foundry Co. in Tacoma.


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