Education IS Economic Development

By Andrea H. Reay
Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce

When I first started working in and with community organizations focused on economic development most of my colleagues and partners did not understand the link between education and economic development. There might have been a cursory awareness that most people realized that the more education a student received the higher their life time earning potential would be. But there was still a separation between who should be involved and dedicated to education and workforce initiatives and why. I’m happy to say that times have changed. Today, most businesses recognize just how important investing in education and workforce programs are and are committed to providing leadership with real outcomes that benefit our community.

So why the shift? Simply put, we are running out of workers. Businesses that would like to grow and expand in our region are limited because they cannot hire enough people to increase productivity. Unemployment is at an all-time low here in the Pacific Northwest. That is an excellent indicator of just how strong and robust our regional economy is. However, there is still a disconnect between the family wage jobs available in our community and the workers with the skills necessary to take those jobs. There is a workforce shortage, and equally at play is a skill shortage. Our Chamber is dedicated to building that bridge and to find an end to end, business led solution to both the worker and skill shortage. That is why we launched our Success Foundation late last year. With less than a year of activity and work we have identified several key partners and stakeholders to leverage our commitment to both our businesses and our community and truly raise the tide for South King County.

How are we doing this? We’re building a workforce coalition of members and partners. The Workforce Innovation Network (W.I.N. for short) was formed because we all win when our businesses can grow, and our community is rightfully employed. As Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” We’re also launching an Exploring Post with Scouts BSA this summer to introduce our local youth to a world of work outside their immediate frame of reference and experience. Together, with our members and partners we will inspire, mentor and coach our next generation of leaders.

This work is necessary. This work will provide sustainable economic development and lift our community out of poverty in just one generation. But we cannot do this work alone. At this time of year, when we are all looking to give back to our community and refocus how we spend our time, talent and treasure, I encourage you to reach out to us to learn more about our Education and Workforce Initiatives here at the Chamber. Maybe your business is interested in joining our coalition? Maybe you have time and could volunteer at our Exploring Post this summer? Maybe you have money left in your budget to make a tax-deductible donation before the end of the year? Any and all help is much appreciated and will go a long way to ensure that our community is ready to meet any and all future challenges.

For more information about our Success Foundation and the specific initiatives, please visit our website, send an email to our Foundation Director, Elizabeth Fitzgerald at [email protected] or give our office a call (206) 575-1633.

Andrea H. Reay is the President/CEO of Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce – “A voice for business, a leader in the community.” Seattle Southside Chamber has served the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and Tukwila since 1988.

For more information on the Chamber, including member benefits and resources, please visit

Welcome to ‘Weekends Only,’ Tukwila’s newest Antique & Oddity establishment – OPEN NOW!

This is the newest place to find undiscovered treasures at incredible prices, and just like their name says, they are open Weekends Only.

Each Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., you can shop a wide variety of items from the average (housewares, furniture and misc.) to the unusual and some antiques as well.

With only a few weekends left before Christmas you won’t want to miss out. Visit them today for unique finds including consignment items like all Christmas decor and misc., vinyl albums, kitchen appliances and clothing (mostly jackets).

You’ll even find jewelry – a perfect gift for the special someone in your life.

Located in the former iconic Bonsai Northwest building in Tukwila, Weekends Only is a fun alternative to mall shopping. You can beat the crowds, shop local, delight everyone on your list with unique finds, and save some cash while you’re at it!

Weekends Only is open to the public both up and downstairs:

  • Upstairs: showcases their personal collection of unique items and antiques from all over the world.
  • Downstairs: a variety of vendors and additional tables and space available for rent.

The first couple of weekends in December they’ll be holding special Holiday Bazaars!

Weekends Only
5023 S. 144th Street
Tukwila, Wa 98168

Phone: (206) 909-2929


Weekends Only is located at 5023 S. 144th Street in Tukwila:

The Tukwila Police Department is seeking the public’s help identifying the toy thief seen in the surveillance video below:

ID ME – Bah Humbug Edition!

We have two robbery suspects that we would like assistance with identifying. The female featured today in the white pants and black top entered a toy store, stole a large item then got greedy and came back for more.

On her second go-around, she was confronted by an employee. Rather than just cut her losses and walk away, she chose to assault the employee by striking her in the face (2:07 mark) then struggled to retain the stolen merchandise that she had concealed in her bag.

We would also like to identify her associate in crime wearing a yellow shirt, beanie, navy blue jacket and black pants. Both suspects fled on foot and were not located.

If you recognize either of these two, please email us at [email protected] and reference case number 18-7553. Please email us your tips and do not post personal information of possible suspects in the comments section below. The suspects are also welcome to turn themselves in as our last ID ME featured suspect did.

It is ‘Small Business’ Saturday, where we should bring attention and our dollars to local businesses.

I feel it is important to shop local. Shopping a local Tukwila business means a portion of the State sales tax stays local to Tukwila (.008%), and many local Tukwila residents work in the City thus providing employment opportunities; and many of our local non-profits receive greater support from Tukwila businesses and these businesses invest in our community.

Having so many wonderful businesses in our community supports pricing competition and diversity that leads to more choices here in Tukwila.

See you at the stores!

– Allan Ekberg
Tukwila Mayor

Advertiser Wesley Homes will be holding a Job Fair this Saturday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at their Des Moines campus:

At Wesley, we affirm the worth of all those we serve and those who provide service.

As a service organization, our employees are the center of what we do. That’s why we take care of the people who graciously care for our residents, our home health clients and each other every day. At Wesley, you’ll have an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life every day. Other benefits include:

  • Medical Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • 403(b) Retirement Thrift Savings Program with employer contribution
  • Paid Time Off (PTO)
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Healthcare Flexible Spending Account
  • Day Care Flexible Spending Account

Additional benefits available:

  • Tuition Assistance
  • Emergency Assistance Fund
  • Employee Referral Program
  • Free Parking

Wesley is a not-for-profit organization that provides a network of services offering a continuum of care for older adults.

For more info, visit

Retirement Communities, Home Health Services & Foundation
815 S. 216th Street
Des Moines, WA 98198

(206) 824-5000

REMINDER: Burien’s fantástico, annual Day of the Dead Celebration – Dia de los Muertos – will be held this FRIDAY, Nov 2, 2018, from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Burien Community Center.

“Ven a celebrar la tradición de honrar a nuestros antepasados y familias!” (“Come celebrate the tradition of honoring our ancestors and Families!”).

This is a FREE, wonderful, artistic, cultural experience open to the entire community, and celebrates the tradition of honoring and remembering our ancestors and families (HINT FOR NEWBIES: Watch the Oscar-winning Pixar film “Coco” to understand a bit more, or read this).

Expect to see:

  • Alters & Offerings
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Traditional Music
  • Dance & Food
  • Stories & More!

Here’s a great video recap of the 2017 event:

The Burien Community Center is located at 14700 6th Ave SW:

State Route 518 is more than just a highway. As the main route to one of the busiest airports in the country, it connects Western Washington to the world. Locally, it’s a key pipeline for commuters and international commerce.

Nearly 130,000 vehicles drive on this stretch of SR 518 – between I-5 and the exit to the airport – everyday.

Stretching from SR 509 in Burien to the I-5/I-405 interchange in Tukwila, this 3.5-mile highway helps move a lot of people. In 2017, between 71,000 and 131,000 vehicles used the corridor every day. With the considerable growth happening in nearby communities and at Sea-Tac International Airport, those numbers – and the delays that go along with them – are expected to keep going up.

This map shows the SR 518 corridor – the subject of this study.

That’s why WSDOT – with the help of our local city partners, King County Metro, Port of Seattle and Sound Transit – is conducting a planning study to develop solutions that will keep traffic moving on SR 518. 

Before WSDOT can develop solutions, they want to hear from YOU – the people who use SR 518. Your input could shape the future of this highway.

Click here to provide feedback!

To make sure your feedback is heard, complete this quick online survey: then share it with friends and family who also travel on this corridor.

WSDOT wants to hear from all users of the highway. The survey should take less than five minutes.

You can also visit the study website for more information, and stay in the know by signing up for email updates at

Come meet your candidates, hear their stances on issues and voice yours too at APACEvotes’ FIRST EVER South King County Candidate Forum, being held TONIGHT – Friday, Oct. 26, from 5:30 – 8 p.m.!

This FREE forum will be held at the Kent Memorial Park Building, and will feature candidates from Legislative Districts 30, 31, 33, and 47.

Eight candidates have confirmed:

  • Legislative District 30 State Representative Pos. 1 Candidate Mike Pellicciotti
  • Legislative District 30 State Representative Pos. 2 Candidate Kristine Reeves
  • Legislative District 30 State Senator Claire Wilson
  • Legislative District 31 State Representative Pos 1 Candidate Victoria Mena
  • Legislative District 33 State Representative Pos. 2 candidate Anthony Lamb
  • Legislative District 33 State Representative Pos. 2 candidate Mia Gregerson
  • Legislative District 47 State Representative Pos. 1 candidate Debra Entenman
  • Legislative District 47 State Senator Mona Das

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, from 5:30-8 p.m.; Doors open and food served at 5:30 p.m., and the Forum starts at 6 p.m.

COST: Open to the public, FREE!

RSVP Here:

WHERE: Kent Memorial Park Building, 850 Central Avenue North, Kent, WA 98032:

The Tukwila Police Department is reporting that on Friday afternoon, Oct. 19, 2018, detectives culminated a months-long investigation into a series of purse and wallet thefts at Costco with the arrest of Artem Bondahousky, 23 of Auburn (surveillance photos above).

Police say that – beginning in February of 2018 – a pattern of purse and wallet thefts emerged in which victim’s purses and wallets were stolen from their shopping cart or vehicles. The victims were often putting groceries in the trunk of their vehicles or returning their shopping carts at Costco when the thefts occurred.

Detectives and officers began tracking the use of stolen credit cards and performed surveillance in the Costco parking lot and at a Fred Meyer in Renton where the suspect routinely would use the stolen credit cards shortly after the thefts. In all, approximately $17,200 was charged to stolen credit cards. Through this in-depth investigation and with assistance from Fred Meyer’s loss prevention team, detectives identified Bondahousky as the suspect in at least 11 of those purse and wallet thefts. Bondahousky is believed to be responsible for several of the other thefts going back to February of 2018 as well.

Bondahousky was booked on 11 felony charges ranging from Theft, Forgery and Identity Theft to Possession of Narcotics.

“A special thanks to Officer Jason Wollan #168 who put in countless hours piecing these cases together and working with Fred Meyers loss prevention team to identify the suspect and make this arrest possible,” police said, and added:

“As we move into the holiday shopping season, we encourage everyone to always be aware of their surroundings and to not leave their purses, wallets or other valuables unattended even for a brief period of time.”

Kent’s Mikron Industries is holding a Job Fair this Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.:

Mikron Industries, a subsidiary of Quanex Building Products Corporation is an industry-leading manufacturer in the building products industry located in the easy-to-access Kent valley.

They are hosting a Job fair this Saturday at their facility located at 1034 6th Avenue North Kent, WA 98032 (map below).

If you are interested in being part of an inclusive, diverse culture that values innovation and continuous improvement, and a place where success is fueled by passionate people who do what they love every day, you will want to check them out!

With numerous positions to fill, their Job fair this Saturday is a quick and easy way for you to discover if you are one of the candidates they are looking for.

Cut through the maze of job-hunting by attending their event. Meet a live human who can answer all your questions, shake your hand and discover you, not just your digital candidate profile.

Seize this opportunity to meet in person and stand out!

Mikron offers:

  • Starting wages at $15+
  • New hire bonus
  • Paid time off starting during first year of employment
  • Medical, dental, Vision, Pension, 401K, life Insurance and more

Even if you cannot attend this Saturday you can apply online at They are continuously reviewing applicants to fill on-going openings.

Need additional assistance? please call 740-439-6414.