SEATTLE -- The Port of Seattle is investing big money in consultants for a public messaging campaign.
On Friday, the Port acknowledged it is close to hiring a contractor for a "Middle Class Jobs Campaign."
The published request for qualifications said the Port is seeking a group to "provide the necessary groundwork to develop and manage a coalition and campaign for middle class jobs."
The Port will pay the winning contractor up to $180,000 for the contract and will select someone by the end of the month, according to Port of Seattle spokesperson Peter McGraw. It calls for the winning contractor to be paid $90,000 in the first term, and $90,000 more in a second year option.
McGraw said the campaign part of the Port of Seattle's effort to promote the region, "at the airport, seaport, as a platform for talent." He characterized it as a form of workforce development, and growing the regional and state economy.
While Seattle has seen huge growth recently in the tech sector, McGraw said, "Seattle was built by working, middle-class jobs."
The contract and messaging will follow another recent effort related to the Seattle Arena debate. The port signed a deal with Strategies 360 to represent them in public arena discussions. Strategies 360 spent $30,000 on a poll and McGraw said they'll be paid another $50,000 for "general consulting services."