First Fed Gives $1M to Northwest Maritime Center to Expand Access
Port Townsend students in the Maritime Discovery Program. Photo credit: James Cook.
PORT ANGELES, Wash., March 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — First Fed Bank, subsidiary of First Northwest Bancorp (FNWB), pledged $1 million to Northwest Maritime Center (NWMC) to expand access to maritime education. The funding will be spread evenly across 10 years.
“The maritime industry is vital to our region. First Fed is dedicated to helping the Northwest Maritime Center achieve its goal of doubling program participants by 2025,” stated Matt Deines, CEO of First Fed and FNWB. NWMC served 2,950 program participants in 2019 and plans to reach 6,000 annually by 2025.
“Northwest Maritime Center appreciates the significant support from First Fed, a local community bank dedicated to helping our communities thrive,” shared Jake Beattie, Executive Director for NWMC. “First Fed has demonstrated their commitment through sponsorships and volunteerism.”
The NWMC is best known for the Wooden Boat Festival, the flagship event which inspired the organization to be founded in 1978. Over the years, NWMC has added education programs to offer vocational training through the Port Townsend Maritime Academy and Maritime High School in Des Moines, WA.
The maritime industry is the third largest economic driver in Washington with jobs that pay on average $82,800 per year. However, the industry is experiencing workforce gaps due to retiring mariners. A workforce shortage of 150,000 mariners is projected by 2025, as the sector continues to grow an average of 6.4% a year.
The NWMC programs strive to help fill that gap with hands-on and project-based learning centered on the environment, marine science, and maritime careers.
About First Northwest Bancorp
First Northwest Bancorp (Nasdaq: FNWB) is a bank holding company engaged in investment activities including the business activity of its subsidiary, First Fed Bank. First Fed is a community-oriented financial institution which has served customers and communities since 1923. Currently First Fed has 16 locations in Washington state including 12 full-service branches. First Fed’s business and operating strategy is focused on building sustainable earnings by delivering a fully array of financial products and services for individuals, small business, and commercial customers. Additionally, First Fed focuses on strategic partnerships with financial technology (“fintech”) companies to develop and deploy digitally focused financial solutions to meet customers’ needs on a broader scale. FNWB also invests in fintech companies directly as well as through select venture capital partners. In 2021, the Company entered a joint venture to found Quin, a fintech focused on financial wellness and lifestyle protection for consumers nationwide. Other fintech partnership initiatives include banking-as-a-service, digital payments and marketplace lending. FNWB was incorporated in 2012 and is headquartered in Port Angeles, Washington.
Matthew P. Deines
President & CEO
About Northwest Maritime Center
The Northwest Maritime Center is a nonprofit organization based in Port Townsend, WA that engages people in the powerful experiences of the sea, to make them stronger people, connect them and their communities to the blue parts of the map, and, in so doing, authentically address the larger issues of our world. Since their beginning as the Wooden Boat Foundation, created after the 1978 Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, they have since grown into a robust organization with over 50 staff, 700+ volunteers, and a broad variety of activities that include youth programs like Port Townsend Maritime Academy, Salish Sea Expeditions, and Maritime High School; sailing and boatbuilding classes; and dynamic events like Race to Alaska, She Tells Sea Tales, and of course, the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival. They publish 48° North, the Pacific Northwest boating magazine; run Marine Thrift, the Olympic Peninsula’s source for used boat gear and hardware; and now operate the Swan Hotel, one of Port Townsend’s unique, boutique hotels.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/41e441a0-305e-4cc5-82a5-7549b5f4f56f