Mayor Durkan Partners with Business and Labor Leaders to Create Opportunity Promise Program to Connect Seattle Students with Good-Paying Jobs of the Future 

Seattle (February 19, 2019) – Building off her Seattle Promise College Tuition Program, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced that she will form a partnership with Seattle Colleges, local businesses, and labor unions to create the Opportunity Promise program. Opportunity Promise will build a workforce of the future by providing Seattle Promise students access to paid internships with Seattle’s top employers and labor organizations, as well as access to high-quality pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship training.

Beginning in spring 2019, the Opportunity Promise partners will develop a program which supports Seattle Promise scholars to explore potential careers with paid summer internships. An initial group of businesses and labor organizations have agreed to partner with the City and Seattle Colleges to develop and pilot the program in mid-2019.

Founding Opportunity Promise partners include:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • Amazon
  • Expedia Group
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Laborers 242
  • MLK Labor
  • Seattle Building Trades
  • Seattle Colleges
  • Seattle Marriott Waterfront
  • Tom Douglas Seattle Kitchen
  • Vigor
  • Washington State Labor Council

“We know that our city of the future lies in the hands of our young people. It’s critical that we not only provide access to free college, but we also build a pathway to the good-paying jobs of the future,” said Mayor Durkan. “This new partnership with Seattle Colleges, business, and labor will create an unprecedented pipeline to opportunity for our own local Promise students.”

“Our company was built on the principle of providing people with the opportunity to build fulfilling careers,” said Pamela Hinckley, CEO of Tom Douglas Seattle Kitchen. “We have found that paid internships are a valuable tool for both the business  and the students to evaluate potential professional paths so we are proud to join the city in this program.”

“We need to invest in our young people now so they can have the good-paying, union jobs of the future,” said MLK Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer Nicole Grant. “With Opportunity Promise, we’re ensuring that our students have the training and skills necessary to build a better future for generations to come. MLK Labor is excited to partner with Mayor Durkan to make these important pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs a reality.”

Businesses and labor organizations will pilot the program in mid-2019 with a group of current 13th and 14th-year scholars. Following an evaluation of the pilot program, Opportunity Promise partners will design the program to scale so that all Seattle Promise scholars have the opportunity to apply for paid internships with top companies for two consecutive summers, and for direct entry into pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs.

Any employers interested in participating in the Opportunity Promise program should contact Kylie Rolf at Kylie.Rolf@seattle.gov.