EDITOR’S NOTE: South King Media Founder/Publisher Scott Schaefer serves on the Board of Directors for the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce.

With schools and businesses all moving to online platforms in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Seattle Southside Chamber has also shifted its programing to go completely virtual through May.

Originally scheduled to take place on Thursday, April 30, 2020 at the ShoWare Center in Kent, the PNW Education and Workforce Development Summit will now welcome attendees virtually.

“Education and Workforce Development has always been a key action and strategic initiative for our Chamber,” President/CEO Andrea H. Reay said. “We didn’t want our youth and our community to miss out on this opportunity to engage and learn because of social distancing. We can still come together.”

The summit always had a simple goal: to connect businesses, education, career partners, and leaders in our community in order to share information and insight on current trends and best practices, as well as to inspire local youth. That goal remains intact and perhaps even has more importance now that children are learning out of the classroom and businesses are forced to reimagine their industries.

“We know that jobs and businesses will need to adapt to accommodate social distancing—specifically by going virtual,” Board Chair Dan Mathews added. “It will be imperative that our educators learn new ways to connect effectively in this new learning environment.”

The Chamber is grateful Mayor Dana Ralph will still be on hand to welcome the online attendees and that Mary Fertakis will deliver the keynote message.

“We’re living in a time when the Chinese character that represents both crisis and opportunity is our new normal,” Mary said. “This summit is an opportunity to look at possibilities in the education and business sectors that could only be dreamed about just a few months ago.”

Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from, as well as ask questions of, a distinguished panel including:

    • Susan Enfield, Superintendent of Highline Public Schools
    • Eileen Aprais, VP of Job Training & Education for Seattle Goodwill
    • Dale Bright, Political Director for Laborers Local 242
    • Jonathan Toledo, Senior at Highline High School

Then, after the keynote and panel discussion, there will be an opportunity for local businesses to share current opportunities for education, job, and career pathways. If any businesses are currently hiring or have opportunities available, please contact Andrea Reay at [email protected] to secure your time slot to present your business. Please note that space is limited.

The Chamber is proud to serve our community and is committed to creating economic equity in South King County by encouraging investment and supporting education and workforce initiatives that lift our families out of the cycle of poverty. A special thank you to State Farm for sponsoring this event and all our planning partners. Sponsorship opportunities are still available and are great way to connect your business with the Southside Community. Please contact Renatta Emerson at [email protected] for a custom package tailored to serve your marketing and advertising goals.

The PNW Education and Workforce VIRTUAL Summit is open to all, but registration is required.

More details and registration link below:

WHAT: 2020 PNW Education & Workforce VIRTUAL Summit and Career Fair

WHEN: April 30, 2020: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: Virtual via ZOOM


“We hope that you can make it and that everyone is staying healthy and staying safe at home.”


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Scott Schaefer

Founder/Publisher/Editor. Three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”), Director, Producer, Journalist and more...