Skilled and Productive Workforce

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Kitsap’s workforce ranges from former navy personnel eager to stay in the area, ex-Seattle/Redmond technologists looking for more livable surroundings, or graduates of our local colleges and technology training centers ready to use their talents in manufacturing or skilled labor. Our labor pool is stable, energetic, and reliable.

What makes Kitsap work:

  • A vast, skilled labor pool generated by the Department of Defense enlisted and civilian employees and  government contractors
  • Highest concentration per capita of architects and engineers in Washington
  • Intellectual Property – ranks second in Puget Sound in patent awards
  • Home to two of Washington’s fastest growing Technology companies
  • 120 miles of high-speed fiber (via KPUD) supports virtual commuting and e-commerce
  • Bainbridge Island 2013 Google e-City “Digital Capital of Washington”
  • Access to customized training and acclaimed workforce development programs
  • Aerospace and advanced manufacturing, IT, business, healthcare, and industrial trades programs
  • Resident baccalaureate degrees in business, engineering, nursing, and MBA programs in sustainability

Kitsap County offers employers and employees a number of work and lifestyle advantages that helps attract – and keep – a top-notch workforce. At the top of the list: short, nearly congestion-free commute times; affordable cost of living; family-friendly communities; offices and homes that overlook stunning Pacific Northwest scenery; and numerous cultural and recreational opportunities.

Military Impact

About 55 percent of all economic activity of Kitsap County is directly or indirectly linked to the personnel and procurements at Naval Base Kitsap which employs over 26,000 military and civilian personnel, in addition to defense contractor operations.  This sector creates a substantial available talent pool of skilled and semi-skilled shipyard workers, technical experts and management professionals.

Total impacts of the major bases in Kitsap include employment of 37,880 and an additional 15,000 retirees on the payroll, and labor earnings of $1.8 billion.

Many of the 3,000 young men and women discharged each year choose to stay in the area and are eager to enter the civilian workforce.  They are highly skilled with the knowledge, training and work ethic employers’ desire and the added security clearances some employers require.  Many retiring Navy personnel have already purchased homes in the area and have become active members of the community.


Our large commute-out work force — estimated at 30% of the employed labor force — can readily be tapped by growing businesses.  Many commuters to the East side welcome opportunities closer to home. About 10% of employed labor commutes into Kitsap, primarily from Pierce, Mason and Jefferson Counties. In addition, retiring military offer a wide range of skill sets to employers in our area.

Kitsap Workforce Profile

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