Study: Port of Port Angeles tied to 4,000 jobs in 2012

By Arwyn Rice, July 8, 2014, Peninsula Daily News

A study of the Port of Port Angeles showed that in 2012, it was responsible for more than 4,000 jobs — a total of 13 percent of the jobs in the county, port officials told about 100 members of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce.


Port of Port Angeles Executive Director Ken O’Hollaren and Commissioner Jim Hallett presented Monday the 2012 economic impact study by BST Associates of Seattle, which was commissioned by the port in 2013 to examine 2012 data — the most recent year all relevant data was available.


“The numbers are similar to other ports in the state,” O’Hollaren said, referring to the 13 percent of county jobs being port-related.


Hallett described the port — along with all other state ports — as a hybrid between a local government and private enterprise.


The Port of Port Angeles collected $1.4 million in property tax, which equalled $375 for each job created, Hallett said.


The study found that 2,069 jobs directly related to the port earned the employee about $36,000 to $38,000 per year.


Directly related jobs are those that, if the port ceased to exist today, would disappear tomorrow, O’Hollaren said.


BST Associates’ study found that there are total of 4,091 jobs in the community that are either a direct or indirect result of the port’s business activities.


The Port Angeles Boat Haven and Sequim’s John Wayne Marina produce 421 jobs, 61 percent of which are in commercial boating.


There has been a reduced number of boats in the marinas, which O’Hollaren said is a reflection of a national trend in reduced boat ownership.


The port’s marine terminal, which includes tanker repair and servicing anchored ships in Port Angeles Harbor, is the port’s single largest impact, O’Hollaren said.


It is responsible for 924 jobs, $30 million in personal income and $87 million in business revenue, as well as an additional 853 jobs in the larger community,

he said.


He said employers such as Westport Shipyard and Platypus Marine are major contributors.


Black Ball Ferry Line continues to be a major contributor, providing 88 direct jobs, with $3.9 million in annual personal income and 89 indirect jobs.


The port’s log export operations dropped to near zero in 2008 and 2009, but has rebounded as a strong market for logs has emerged in China, resulting in an increasing number of privately owned timber being stripped of bark and loaded onto ships headed to Asia, O’Hollaren said.


Except for the port’s log yard operations, most port operations have yet to recover to 2007 levels.


“Everything revolves around 2008-09,” he said.


The port has 14 tenants, with 383 employees between them, many of which are located in the William R. Fairchild International Airport business park.


“Angeles Composite Technologies Inc. is a key tenant of the Port,” O’Hollaren said.


Kenmore Air, which provides regularly scheduled commercial flights between Port Angeles and Seattle, continues to struggle with reduced passenger numbers.


“It’s an ongoing situation,” O’Hollaren said.


It began as a reflection of the economy in 2008-09, when fewer people chose to fly from Port Angeles to flights at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.


As the reduction in passengers reduced the number of flights, flight connections became more difficult, and it has become more difficult to fill flights and expand scheduling, he said.

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