In a difficult economy, even people with valuable job skills, like Seattle contractors, can find themselves struggling for work. For some, it's even harder, which is why Seattle's Vigor Shipyards is offering a fascinating, and enterprising, new pilot program: it's training people in maritime welding so they can restart their careers with a job in the shipping industry, which has a high demand for skilled welders to build, maintain, and repair ships. The training offers people a chance at a second career, as well as financial stability.
The program, a partnership between a community college and the shipyards, couldn't come at a better time. In Washington, as in many other states, unemployment benefits are running out for many people, leading to increasing desperation for those who have been unemployed for months and in some cases years. This is yet another example of innovative and smart urban renewal for cities struggling in a new economic landscape.