"There are almost 7,000 companies that provide more than 85,700 jobs in our community. Local employers need entry-level workers to help their business grow and thrive."

Port of Bellingham Economic Development Report

Our Mission

The Youth Engagement Initiative works in partnership with students, parents, employers, policy-makers, educators and like-minded organizations to create synergies that encourage youth engagement and business success for community prosperity.

Our Vision

A dynamic local economy and culture where communities, education, businesses and policy-makers operate with a common goal and commitment to support the emerging workforce with academic and career pathways, workplace experiences, and opportunities for livable wage jobs in Whatcom County.


The Youth Engagement Initiative:

  • Establishes better business ties with the emergent workforce in Whatcom County.
  • Creates a hub to offer job information and employment opportunities at YESWhatcom.com.
  • Unifies efforts with employers, like-minded groups and educators.
  • Identifies pathways for local employment opportunities and the ability to transition to careers and family wage jobs.
  • Develops synergistic relationships between educators and employers.
  • Provides opportunities for real-time, hands-on workplace experiences, apprenticeships, and internships.
  • Assists in workforce development for Whatcom County business and industry.

How to Get Involved

  • Create your Company Profile, post a job, provide workplace experiences - there are many ways to connect with your future workforce at YES Whatcom.
  • Apply to be a mentor at Be The One.
  • Learn more about Youth Apprenticeships and Internships.
  • Email us to find or become a classroom speaker in Industry by the Hour.
  • Sign up for the Junior Achievement Job Shadow program — just email us!

Youth Engagement News & Events

Sign up for our newsletter and learn about upcoming events and relevant news.

Our Story

The Whatcom Business Alliance and its members saw that the key to a robust economy is the availability of a skilled workforce. The WBA launched the Youth Engagement Committee in 2018 in order to set forth a strategic plan to better prepare future employees and connect them with local employers through building a bridge between education and industry.

Read the 2018 STRATEGIC PLAN.