Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fried Alaska

of the

Presents at the


NEAL FRIED, head economist for the State of Alaska, Department of Labor, Research & Analysis Section, as guest speaker. Fried will address the importance of Alaska’s Economic ties to Tacoma, the Northwest and world markets. More than 70% of all goods shipped to Alaska travel through the Port of Tacoma, making Alaska the Port’s third largest trading Partner.

FRIED is the primary author of articles appearing in the monthly magazine Alaska Economic Trends, distributed to over 5,000 subscribers. His articles cover a wide variety of the State's economic issues. Some of the topics on which he has performed economic analysis and written articles include: the cost of living, construction, income and wage trends, the military, the health care industry, transportation, oil industry issues, labor needs, rural economic trends, economic impact of the Prince William Sound oil spill, the MatSu Valley's economy and Alaska's largest employers.

JUNE 14, 2010
TACOMA 98402

RSVP: Gary G. or 253.445.3933  PREPAID ONLY
Sponsorship support provided by Alaska Airlines.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Freedom Crossing Lifestyles Center

In what would be one of the larger commercial construction projects in Pierce County - especially during this prolonged Great Recession, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), proposes to build a new/replacement commercial/retail center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM).

Today, Joe Giuffreda, VP, Community Development Initiative, AAFES and Col. Tom Brittain, JBLM Garrison Commander, presented an overview of the project to the Chamber's Board of Directors.  This briefing is an update of an earlier presentation to the Chamber's Military Affairs Committee some months ago. 

Things have certainly progressed! 

AAFES is looking at a market of 129,131 persons from JBLM military and families, civilians and retirees, primarily focused in its daytime, captive (on-base) population.  The scope encompasses some 474,000 square feet allocted 58% AAFES, 36% 3rd party (local business and franchises) and 6% Garrison office space.  Costs may be as high as $100 million from its corporate, not taxpayer, sources.  (AAFES profits fund family services on JBLM.)

AAFES estimates between 850 and 1,000 jobs for construction, support services and stores operations.  They also are planning for new business opportunities with new corporate stores, national and regional franchies and independent local businesses.  Now, the private-sector businesses on base collect and pay to (unincorporated) Pierce County about $450,000 annually in sales tax revenue.  That is projected to increase to several million dollars upon completion of the new lifestyles center.

AAFES will seek approval by its Board this August, with construction starting Fall 2011 and its completion in Summer 2013.

The Chamber Board referred a question of Chamber support to its Executive Committee.  If you wish to know more about the project, or provide input into the decision-process of the Chamber's Executive Committee, contact Gary Brackett or 253-627-2175.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Second Day - Alaska

A spin-off of the Chamber's delegation for Washington-to-Washington, D.C. 2010, visited with Alaska's lone representation in the  House, Congressman Don Young.

Chief among issues discussed was the EPA's implementation of air emissions regs for ships at sea but within the 200-mile territorial limit of the U.S.  Both Totem Ocean Trailer Express and Horizon Lines are directly impacted by this regulation.  Alaska remains one of our chief trading partners through the services of these carriers through the Port of Tacoma.

Attending the meeting with Cong. Young are:  (l to r):  Gary Brackett, Chamber; John Parrott, TOTE; Stephanie Bowman, Port of Tacoma; Cong. Young; Spiro Manthou, Tacoma City Council; Gary Coy, Sperry Ocean.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lt. Governor Brad Owen is G. F. Train International Business Award Recipient

The recipient of the Chamber’s 2010 George Francis (G.F.) Train International Business Commemorative Award is Lt. Governor Brad Owen for his significant contribution to the growth of international trade in Tacoma.

Besides the G.F. Train International Business Award, the Port of Tacoma’s Community Vitality Partner Award and the World Trade Center Tacoma (WTCT)’s Globe Award and Marco Polo Award will be presented at the Globe Awards Dinner & Auction on June 2.

The Port of Tacoma will honor Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Inc. as the 2010 Community Vitality Partner Award recipient and the WTCT recently announced that the 2010 Globe Award recipient is Williamson & Associates (W&A) and their 2010 Marco Polo Award recipient is Silverbow Honey Company.

For details on the awards and the 2010 Globe Awards Dinner & Auction, click here.

Second Day - Economic Development

Meetings off the hill, included a briefing by the U.S. Chamber and meeting with officials from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

At the EDA meeting, members of the Chamber delegation learned about accessing special federal dollars to create a "spark" of economic development with communities. The EDA's funds are used to provide seed money for important community projects.

Second Day - Meeting with the Chairman

The Chamber delegation met with Rep. Dicks, who has often been called the state's "third senator" due to his influence on Capitol Hill and willingness to engage in a wide variety issues throughout the state.

With the recent passing of Rep. Murtha and retirement announcement of Rep. Obey, Rep. Dicks has secured the chairmanship of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and, if the democrats retain control of the House, will likely become of the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Essentially, all congressional monies and funding must flow through this committee, giving Rep. Dicks a greater ability to work on issues important to this state as well as this nation.

Second Day - Eastern WA Ties

Members of the delegation met with eastern Washington Representatives Hastings and McMorris Rodgers where the group discussed trade agreements, transportation and debt reduction.

Second Day - Senator Murray and Cantwell

The Chamber delegation met with the remaining members of the Washington state congressional delegation.

The last two meetings of the trip were with Senator Murray, who left a committee meeting to join our group, and Senator Cantwell, who had just left the floor of the Senate after delivering a speech on the Wall Street Reform bill.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chamber Meetings Successful

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber is half-way through its 25th annual trip to Washington, D.C.

In just the last 24 hours, the 25 delegates participating in this trip have met with half of the congressional delegation, defense installation officials at the Pentagon and members from the Office of Economic Adjustment.

In those meetings, the Chamber team has discussed issues ranging from schools on military bases to debt reduction strategies, including:

  • Ensuring adequate medicare reimbursement for our state from the federal government
  • Requesting corrective legislation that would limit the unfair impacts of health care on temp job companies
  • Pushing for action on the Solo Point wastewater issue on Joint Base Lewis McChord
  • Limiting the impacts of encroachment around Joint Base Lewis McChord
  • Funding green energy concerpts like landfill gas conversion to CNG
  • Support Our Soldiers model program concept
The meetings continue tomorrow.

Monday, May 17, 2010

2010 Globe Awards Dinner & Auction

Reserve your spot for this evening event celebrating international business achievements, including the presentation of the Chamber’s 22nd annual George Francis Train International Business Award.

About the G.F. Train International Business Award:
The award commemorates George Francis Train, a legendary Boston Yankee who had a special place in his heart for Tacoma. Train was the most prominent promoter in the groundbreaking for the transcontinental railroad in Omaha and claimed credit for the selection of Tacoma as the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad and coining the appellation “City of Destiny.”

The award was developed in recognition of the tremendous importance that international business means for our region and for its significant economic and cultural contribution to our community.

Also at the event will be presentations of the following World Trade Center Tacoma Awards:

The Globe Award recognizes a Washington State based business that has demonstrated success and industry leadership through its extension to global business, its product/service innovation, its contribution to the state’s economic growth and its participation in community development.

The Marco Polo Award recognizes a small to medium size business that has demonstrated first time success and accomplishment in international trade.

To view a larger version of the flyer, click here.

And it begins for the 25th time in Chamber history...

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber will begin its 25th annual trip to Washington, DC tonight. Ironically, the trip will have 25 delegates participate in it. The delegates represent the public and private sectors of the Tacoma and the Pierce County region.

Over the course of two and half days, they will participate in over 18 meetings or events from the nation's capital to the Pentagon and Virginia.

The group plans to talk with congressional members about transportation, energy, port, trade and education issues. The group will also meet with Pentagon and military officials to discuss schools on base, the base transportation cooridor and working with returning soldiers, air personnel and their families on social issues.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Delegation Prepares for Washington, D.C.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber's first conference trip to Washington, D.C.

Sponsors for this year's conference include the Port of Tacoma, Totem Ocean, MultiCare, Waste Connections, Comcast and The Boeing Company.

Originally conceived by US Rep. Norm Dicks and Chamber President/CEO David Graybill, the annual pilgrimage to the nation's capital began as a way for the business community to prevent our local bases from being closed. Decades later, the Chamber has organized this event to include local civic leaders as well.

All told, this year's delegation will consist of 25 leaders representing the Port of Tacoma, City of Tacoma, City of Lakewood, Pierce County as well as businesses like Simpson, Totem Ocean, BCRA Design and Cornerstone Financial.

The delegation will meet with military officials and congressional representatives to discuss community issues like SR 167 funding, infrastructure development, the Alaska trade relationship, schools on base and IMPACT aid, just to name a few.

For some delegates, this is their first time on the trip. But regardless of experience, all the delegates are looking forward to trip. Keep checking to get updates of the trip as it happens.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Changing Compensation Costs - March 2010

Total compensation costs for private industry workers increased 0.8 percent in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, Wash. metropolitan area for the year ended in March 2010, according to a press release issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today.

Statistical highlights include:
  • Wages and salaries, the largest portion of total compensation, advanced 1.3 percent in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton metropolitan area.

  • Nationally, total compensation costs increased 1.6 percent and wages and salaries, 1.5 percent for the year ending in March 2010.

Monday, May 10, 2010

"Resiliency in Times of Disaster" Summit

Last year, (and in previous years), the Chamber had worked with Pierce County on a disaster preparedness series for businesses. The Chamber's Frederickson, Parkland, Spanaway division feels the "Resiliency in Times of Disaster" Summit would be particularly beneficial for those businesses in unincorporated Pierce County areas.

The event is meant to help participants engage their public-private partners to build their disaster plan and ensure resilient communities - to "Be Ready. Be Connected. Be Resilient."

This FREE event is hosted by the Center of Excellence (COE) Homeland Security located at Pierce College in partnership with the Washington State Emergency Management, Seattle-King County Public Health and Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) Center for Regional Disaster Resilience.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Clover Park Technical College
Sharon McGavick Conference Center
4500 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Building 23

Online registration available until May 18, Link Here

For more details, including the focus and objectives of the Summit, click here.

To view the flyer, click here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

International Business Award Nominations

The Chamber’s George Francis Train Award to recognize a business leader in international trade will be presented at the World Trade Center Tacoma Annual Awards Dinner, Wednesday, June 2, 2010, at the World Trade Center’s Globe Dinner.

Three major awards will be presented at the World Trade Center Dinner:

The George Francis Train International Business Commemorative is presented annually by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber to recognize a local business or individual who has made a significant contribution to international business.

This award was developed in recognition of the tremendous growth in international business locally and for its significant economic and cultural contribution to our community. The award honors an individual or organization making a significant contribution to the international business community of Tacoma-Pierce County. Nominations should address these objectives. Nominations for the George Francis Train Commemorative may be made to the Chamber.

The World Trade Center Tacoma presents two awards. Nominations for those awards should be made directly to the World Trade Center Tacoma.

Maritime Day Luncheon 2010