We have some exciting news to share! First Fed Bank, which has been an incredible supporter of the Northwest Maritime Center and our programs and events for many years through sponsorship and volunteerism, has pledged $1 million to be spread evenly across 10 years. We served 2,950 program participants in 2019, and this generous gift from First Fed will help us reach our goal of 6,000 participants annually by 2025.
“The maritime industry is vital to our region. First Fed is dedicated to helping the Northwest Maritime Center achieve its goal of doubling program participants by 2025,” stated Matt Deines, CEO of First Fed and FNWB.
The maritime industry is the third largest economic driver in Washington, with jobs that pay on average $82,800 per year, and the industry is experiencing workforce gaps due to retiring mariners. A workforce shortage of 150,000 mariners is projected by 2025, as the sector continues to grow an average of 6.4% a year.
Our initiatives like Port Townsend Maritime Academy, Maritime Discovery Program, Salish Sea Expeditions, and Maritime High School strive to help fill that gap with place-based, hands-on, and project-based learning centered on the environment, marine science, and maritime careers. With this major commitment from First Fed, we’re one step closer.
First Fed is a local community bank which has served customers and communities since 1923. Currently First Fed has 16 locations in Washington including 12 full-service branches. In 2021, the First Fed team volunteered almost 4,500 hours with non-profit organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest. First Fed is a member FDIC, equal housing lender, and subsidiary of First Northwest Bancorp (Nasdaq: FNWB), a holding company for the bank, fintech partnerships, and other investments.
Thank you, First Fed! With your support we are on our way to achieving our annual fundraising goals. Here’s to the next ten years of a great partnership and thriving maritime programs.