Vancouver has been a place of tremendous growth over the last few decades and the construction industry continues to be a critical component of the area’s success. From new infrastructure, fencing and painting, gutters and roofs, to professional services, the port provides construction and other bid opportunities throughout the year. These bid opportunities are part of a domino effect where jobs are created for contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers and more.

Port staff at SWCA’s 2019 Regional Project Forecast

Staying up to date on available projects, legal requirements and new technology can be daunting, especially for smaller local companies. A great resource for businesses in the region is a one-of-a-kind organization: Southwest Washington Contractors Association (SWCA).

SWCA has been supporting local contractors and businesses since it was established in 1946. They are guided by their staff and board of directors and are a member-based support system for businesses in the local construction industry. Resources such as networking, referrals, advocacy, and education opportunities are provided to their members.

The Port of Vancouver has been a longtime partner of SWCA and we are excited to share that Chrissy Lyons, our Commercial and Industrial Sales Manager, will serve as president for the 2020 term!

“The organization is in a very good place and we have a lot of opportunities for our members to get involved,” said Lyons. “As developers, we understand the importance of bringing cutting-edge expertise, local jobs and economic development to the community.”

Having worked in the construction and land development fields for the entirety of her career, Lyons has first-hand experience with the opportunities and impacts those industries have on our community. With the critical resources and information SWCA provides to their members, the local contracting industry brings skills and expertise to the table.

One of SWCA’s great resources is their annual Construction Executive Summit. On February 6, members will hear from two keynote speakers, attend breakout sessions and can network with other leaders in the industry.

Looking ahead at 2020, young construction growth is a focus for SWCA. “We want to increase awareness and educate younger generations on the opportunities the construction industry holds and continue bringing good living wages and jobs to the region,” said Lyons.

SWCA is also active at the government level and moving into an advocacy role for the industry. “By having a united voice, we can support our members at the legislative level.  And at the Port of Vancouver, we will also help support policies that will increase opportunities for our partners in the Southwest Washington building industry,” said Lyons. 

 “The Port of Vancouver USA, as an economic engine in our region, is one of our critically important partners in not only construction but also advocating for sensible policy locally and at the state level that will lead to better process and predictability for businesses, construction and growth in Southwest Washington,” said Nelson Holmberg, Executive Director of SWCA. “With her experience at the port and in the construction industry, Chrissy will be a great leader for the organization, and will be a champion for us here in the community and throughout the region.”

The port is proud to partner and support organizations like SWCA that look to grow and strengthen our community and workforce. For more information, visit