With about 10 percent of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport employees living in Federal Way, the Port of Seattle, which runs the airport, and the city of Federal Way have a clear and vested interest in economic development around King County.
That was Port of Seattle Commissioner Tom Albro’s message when he spoke with members of the Federal Way Rotary, emphasizing how Federal Way and the airport are both experiencing economic growth.
“We value Federal Way as a neighbor and partners,” Albro said. “It’s a growing community with all the fundamentals for a bright future. Nearly one in 10 employees at Sea-Tac Airport lives in Federal Way, so our long partnership is one based on mutual trust with the same goals of opportunity and a good life for all.”
As a way to partner with local communities, the Port started a $1 million fund to support cities in King County with economic development grants. Recent investments include helping fund the Small Business Development Center at Highline College and a grant to help the city of Auburn support small-business development.
“Just like Sea-Tac Airport, Federal Way is growing. We need to collaborate for long-term, positive impact,” Albro said. “At the airport, we are investing $2 billion in projects to keep up with passenger demand by upgrading existing facilities. These projects mean jobs for local residents and ultimately a better airport for everyone.
“Federal Way is a great community with a thriving economy. More than half of Federal Way’s population is younger than 34 years old, and those demographics show the city is full of people at the height of their earning potential.
“The Port values providing small business opportunities, and while there are challenges for communities in close proximity to the airport, we are confident the passenger increases happening at Sea-Tac Airport will have a great economic benefit for Federal Way’s small businesses and families.”