Kitsap County is a leader in large and diverse regional maritime economy: Central Puget Sound region is home to one of the largest and most diverse maritime economies in the world, which includes Shipping, Fishing and Food Processing, Maritime Logistics, Naval Architecture, and Ship Building, Repair and Maintenance. Kitsap County is the leader in the region’s boat and ship building, repair and maintenance sub-sector cluster.
Largest employment base and economic output in ship building, repair and maintenance in region: Kitsap is home to Naval Base Kitsap and the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, and the nation’s largest ferry system main repair, maintenance and boatyard, as well as private enterprises including SAFE Boats International, Vigor Industrial and Art Anderson & Associates Naval Architects.
- Government Contracting accounts for much of the ship building activities in Washington.
- Over 15,000 highly skilled shipyard workers and contractors (nearly one quarter of all maritime jobs in the State) are located in Kitsap.
- The Maritime Cluster paid over $12B in wages in Washington in 2013 – about one third of these wages are attributed to boat and ship building and repair operations with nearly one half of that activity occurring in Kitsap.
Highly skilled maritime workforce:
- Kitsap leads the region in highly skilled maritime workers in the design, manufacturing, repair and maintenance of a large variety of vessels: recreation boats; commercial fishing boats; harbor and security patrol boats, passenger and auto ferry vessels;
- Naval Vessels including Nimitz Class Aircraft Carriers and Trident Submarines.
- Kitsap is home to the most-dense concentration of maritime and defense engineering talent in Washington State.
- Olympic College (OC), located in Bremerton, is recognized for having the leading maritime apprenticeship program on the West Coast. Apprentices earn a two year associates degree together with a certified skill credential in a variety of areas: welding; cutting; cnc machining; pipe fitting; electrical, and electronics, and metrology. In addition OC, in collaboration with Washington State University and Western Washington University, offers bachelor degrees in mechanical engineering, business administration, and marine environmental science.
Access to robust and sophisticated maritime supply chain: Kitsap is home to many maritime supply companies; and, Kitsap enjoys close proximity to and easy access to the dense industrial supply chain centered on the I-5 corridor running through the heart of the Central Puget Sound Region. Kitsap is approximately an hour’s drive to three deep water ports (Tacoma, Seattle and Grays Harbor) and is also connected to the I-5 corridor running from Tacoma to Everett and through Seattle. Kitsap’s maritime industry is also connected to the I-5 industrial corridor via four short passenger / auto ferry routes accommodating over ten million passengers per year.
Kitsap also a leader in specialty seafood and fishing products: Kitsap, and its 254 miles of saltwater shoreline (surrounding dozens of bays, inlets, harbors, canals, peninsulas and islands) is also home to a large number specialty seafood and shell fish operations, as well as manufacturers of a variety of products used in the recreational and commercial fishing industries.