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Program Overview

King County’s Priority Hire Program is a workforce and economic development strategy that provides livable-wage employment opportunities in the construction industry on King County public works construction projects of $25 million or more. The program prioritizes individuals who reside in economically distressed areas of King County, and in areas of Pierce and Snohomish counties where the county has rate payers.

In May 2016, County Executive, Dow Constantine, issued a directive to County department directors to implement a pilot Priority Hire program for large capital construction projects, consistent with a 2013 Executive Order for Project Labor Agreements.

The Priority Hire Program is an important component of King County’s Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan and grows the skilled workforce that will be necessary for our region to continue to prosper.

  • Develop a diverse workforce
  • Create economic growth in economically distressed areas for local workers
  • Create career pathways to construction careers
  • Increase retention rates and broaden access to apprenticeships and family wage jobs for women and people of color
  • Provide contractors access to a skilled workforce
  • Training and job opportunities in the construction industry for local residents needing family-wage jobs
  • Assist contractors in meeting their workforce needs
  • Active efforts to address the gap between the expected supply and demand for construction workers in our region
  • Individuals must reside in a Priority Hire ZIP code to be eligible
  • King County has 43 Priority Hire ZIP codes that meet the following criteria:
    • People living 200% below the Federal poverty level
    • High level of unemployment
    • Individuals 25 years or older with less than a college degree
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Apprenticeship Program

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Phone: (206) 263-9400

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