Joint Transportation Committee
Washington State Ferries Workforce Plan
The Washington State Legislature directed the Joint Transportation Committee (JTC) to develop a workforce plan for the Washington State Ferries (WSF). Like many employers WSF is grappling with finding qualified candidates to replace retiring baby boomers and increase diversity in the workforce. The available pool of employees is further limited by extensive Coast Guard licensing and certification requirements. The difficulty in staffing has contributed to a significant increase in overtime costs. During 2021 it has also caused canceled sailings.
This issue has already been studied. The current Legislative effort tasks the JTC with developing a concrete plan for developing WSF's workforce addressing:
- Training needs
- Leadership development; and
- Other elements needed to ensure sufficient and cost-effective crewing and staffing.
The JTC hired Seattle Jobs Initiative to develop the workforce plan. The consultant will produce two reports:
- Recommendations on short-term strategies to reduce WSF overtime expenditures without requiring significant additional expenditures.
- A workforce plan addressing the issues listed above, including implementation strategies and identification of any needed legislative or budgetary changes.
The Overtime Report is due January 1, 2022. The Workforce Plan is due December 20, 2022.