Friday, September 28, 2012

Sellen Construction Awarded Major Project

Tacoma Art Museum has selected Sellen Construction as the general contractor to oversee the construction of the museum’s high profile 15,000 square foot expansion, which includes the new Haub Galleries and plaza re-design.

Construction of this private sector (non-governmental) project will involve all major building trades. The museum and project team are committed to pursuing broad participation from qualified Tacoma area subcontractors. The Haub Galleries will also offer TacomaArt Museum an opportunity to expand its staff by nearly 20% to better serve its visitors and maintain the expanded facility.
The Haub Galleries will house works of Western American art gifted to the museum by Erivan and Helga Haub announced earlier this year. Groundbreaking for the new wing is scheduled for Early Summer 2013 with building opening date scheduled for Spring/Summer 2014.
The expansion project will strengthen the museum’s presence and enhance its visibility on Pacific Avenue. It will double the museum’s gallery space, improve access from the parking area, provide opportunities for public art, enhance the museum’s lobby space, and provide larger interior event and public gathering opportunities.
Chamber member Sellen Construction is the largest locally owned commercial construction firm in the Northwest with more than 80 employees residing in Tacoma and the surrounding area, and has a long-running history of continuous work in Tacoma and Pierce County.



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Support for Effective Public Education

Today, the Chamber Board voted for more choices for public K-12 education. The Board voted to support Initiative 1240, which would allow a creation of a public charter school system.
The Chamber supports efforts to improve and secure investments for K-12 and higher education in Washington State. Board members believe there is compelling evidence that I-1240 will provide parents and students with a proven alternative for education that has been implemented in 41 other states.
“Providing communities with K-12 education alternatives is a sound investment, paying dividends in a competitive workforce and stronger businesses,” said Tom Pierson, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber President & CEO.
The Chamber’s Board of Directors also adopted the following resolutions:
  • Support: Pierce County Charter Amendment 40 (Councilmanic Supermajority) – Requiring a two-thirds vote of the council to levy or increase a new councilmanic tax.
  • Support: SJR 8221 (Managing State Debt) – Gradually reducing the state debt limit
  • Support: SJR 8223 (UW/WSU Investment Authority) – Grants UW/WSU authority under oversight of State Investment Board to invest enterprise funds in private sector opportunities

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Small Business Support in International Markets

As a Supporting Organization, the Tacoma-Pierce Co. Chamber encourages its members to make the most of international market opportunities and the beneficial programs and agencies available to you:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Greater Pierce County Purchasing Forum

Looking to do business with governments? 

Meet purchasing agents from local, state, federal and other public agencies.

Exhibitors include:
  • Pierce County
  • City of Tacoma
  • Port of Tacoma
  • Pierce Transit
  • WA Dept. of Transportation
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Joint Base Lewis McChord
  • U.S. Navy Fleet and Industrial Supply
  • U.S. General Services Administration
  • U.S naval Underwater Warfare Center
  • Pacific NW Defense Coalition
  • NW Minority Supplier Development Council
  • Washington C.A.S.H.
. . . and more. 

It’s also a great opportunity to meet other business people in the region.
Friday, Oct. 12
8 a.m. - Noon
Environmental Services Building
9850 64th St. West
University Place, WA  98467
Click here to register or call Hans Kueck at (253) 798-2335.

(click on image for a larger view)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Economic Census Nears

What Businesses Need to Hear…and When
Sep-Oct 2012
The Economic Census has information that benefits your business, at
Nov-Dec 2012
Watch for your form - coming to most businesses in mid-December
Jan 2013
Complete your form. Your industry / community is counting on you
Feb 2013
Economic Census forms are due February 12
In November and December, more than 4 million American businesses, including 9,200 businesses in Pierce County, will receive 2012 Economic Census forms. Responses to the questionnaire are required by law (Title 13, U.S. Code), to be returned by February 12, 2013.

Every 5 years, the Economic Census develops a comprehensive portrait of American business, from the national to the local level. Timely and accurate data are vital to effective public policy and important to you.

The more than 22 million self-employed persons and other businesses without paid employees in the U.S. are not sent forms in the Economic Census.

Census has created a special Web page at to tell you about the Economic Census, and provide statistics you can use to assess and grow your business operations.

Chamber Recommends Actions on City Budget

Click on images for a larger view:


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Volunteer for the Civil Service Commission

Pierce County is seeking applicants to fill a vacancy on the Civil Service Commission for Sheriff's Department employees.  The commission is a quasi-judicial body responsible for rules and regulations governing examinations, appointments, appeals and other general personnel issues.
Commission members must be a resident of Pierce County for a minimum of two years prior to appointment, registered to vote in Pierce County and a United States citizen.
Commissioners are appointed by the County Executive and serve a six-year term. Commissioners are required to attend one monthly meeting, or special meetings as required, and serve on a voluntary basis.
For more information or application materials, please contact Sandy Pietz, Chief Examiner, Pierce County Civil Service Commission, at 253-798-6250 or

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Creating the Competitive Edge Economic Development Summit

Maintaining a competitive business environment in the South Sound is critical to the future of Pierce County's economy.  To further this conversation, the Chamber is helping sponsor the South Sound Chambers of Commerce’s economic development summit: Creating the Competitive Edge.  As a sponsor, we have some additional seats available.  If you are interested in being the Chamber's guest, please contact Gary Brackett at 253.627.2175.

The complete agenda:

9:30: Overall Economic Presentation:  Sean Ardussi (PSRC) & Stacy Trussler (WADOT)

10:00: Transportation Panel:  Bruce Kendall (Pierce EDB), Jim Tutton (WTA) & Skip Priest (Federal Way Mayor)

10:30: Trade Panel:  John Parrott (TOTE), Bill Bryant (Port of Seattle) & Don Meyer (Port of Tacoma)

11:00: Land Use Panel:  Rick Forschler & Molly Lawrence

11:30: Taxation Panel:  Ron Bueing (Pivotal Law Group), John Pietromonaco (NAIOP) & Dave Hill (Algona Mayor)

12:00: Lunch with Q&A and “voting” on our priorities (from panel discussions)

Location: Emerald Downs, 2300 Emerald Downs Way 98001

Air Quality Rule-Making in Process

The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) is revising the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the Wapato Hills-Puyallup River Valley Nonattainment Area. This covers most of the Tacoma-Pierce County metro area.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated this area as nonattainment due to unhealthy levels of fine particle pollution. The purpose of the SIP revision is to reduce levels of fine particle pollution.
Ecology will accept comments on the proposed revision from September 10 through October 19 by 5:00 p.m. See the public hearing notice link below for a brief overview of the proposal and instructions for submitting comments.
Here are links to:
For more information, contact: Margo Thompson, WA State Department of Ecology Air Quality Program, 360-407-6827,


Friday, September 7, 2012

Award Goes to Supporter of Trade Laws

Congressman Norm Dicks was awarded the Tacoma-Pierce Co. Chamber’s 24th  annual George Francis Train International Business Commemorative at last night’s Globe Dinner. 
Craig Chance, Senior Vice President, Community Financial Resources, Columbia Bank, as the award sponsor presented the award in the care of Congressman Dicks' District Director Clark Mather.
For more than four decades, both as an elected Member of Congress and as a trusted advisor of Senator Warren Magnuson, Cong. Dicks has been an unwavering advocate for the City of Tacoma and Washington State as a whole.
To briefly mention some of the projects:
·         Building Interstate 705 – the “Tacoma Spur”

·         The clean-up of Commencement Bay and the ongoing effort to protect and restore Puget Sound and Hood Canal for future generations

·         The Puyallup Indian Land Claims settlement – the second largest settlement with Native American Tribes in the history of the United States -- which allowed the Port of Tacoma to become a major economic driver in this region

·         Rehabilitating the Murray Morgan Bridge

·         Support for the arts, including securing federal funding for the Museum of Glass, the Pantages Theater and the Tacoma Art Museum

·         The redevelopment of downtown Tacoma, including the growth at the University of Washington—Tacoma, the conversion of Union Station to a federal courthouse, and the ongoing efforts to revitalize the Pacific Avenue Corridor

We can also mention his leadership in winning the tanker contract for Boeing, which will bring 11,000 new jobs to Washington State, his support for our state’s three national parks – including the new Jackson Visitors Center at Mount Rainier, his decades long commitment to restoring Northwest Salmon Runs and his commitment to ensuring that military service-members, veterans and their families have the health care and benefits they are owed by our country.
Congressman Smith has been an unwavering supporter of increased trade as our representative – supporting free trade agreements and efforts to open new markets to goods from our State. He knows that we need to increase exports to create jobs and continue the nation’s economic recovery.
As now known, Congressman Dicks announced that he would be retiring from Congress at the conclusion of the current session, ending his tenure as the longest serving member of the U.S. House in our state’s history. So on behalf of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber and the World Trade Center and our many partners we take this opportunity to thank Congressman Dicks for his service for us.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Announcing the Spotlight! On Business Award Nominees

Spotlight! On Business Awards, presented by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, honors Chamber member businesses who have set the standard for exemplary business practices:
  • Small Business (1-25 employees)
  • Medium Business (26-50 employees)
  • Large Business (51+ employees)
  • Non-Profit Organization
  • Minority-Owned Business
  • Veteran-Owned Business
  • Business Supporter of the Military, sponsored by Port of Tacoma

The 2012 Spotlight! On Business finalists are (in alphabetical order):
AmericanWest Bank
American Cancer Society
Bridgeport Place Retirement & Assisted Living
Cascade Regional Blood Services
Citizens for a Healthy Bay
Commencement Bank
Creative Forces, LLC
Doty, Beardsley, Rosengren & Co., P.S.
Harborstone Credit Union
Minuteman Press
NW Furniture Bank
Print NW
Shea Carr Jewell
Tacoma City Grocer IGA
Tacoma South Sound Sports
The Owners Alliance
West Business Concepts

The recipients of the 2012 Spotlight! On Business Awards will be announced at the September 28, 2012 luncheon ceremony sponsored by Business Health Trust.  This year’s awards sponsor is Meracord, the printing sponsor is Pacific Lutheran University and d├ęcor sponsor is Harry & David.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Businesses' Ideas for Making Laws

In the midst of this hotly-contested campaign season, we can’t lose sight of the necessity to prepare for the upcoming state legislative session when all the election winners will enact new laws.
To be effective in January 2013, the Chamber members need to develop the Chamber’s legislative agenda. This is a great opportunity for you, our Chamber members, to develop the legislative agenda.  The Chamber will be surveying its members for their preferences on issues that will be or should be before the legislature.
You are encouraged to promptly share survey ideas:  goals, guidelines, survey questions of policy, issue areas, legislation.  You may submit specific questions and other suggestions to Gary Brackett.
Please share with the Chamber your input for a 2013 Legislative Agenda Survey that the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee will use to prepare an agenda beginning with its next meeting, September 18.

Chamber Encourages Live-Work Friendly Regulations

Last Tuesday, August 28th, the City of Tacoma held a public hearing on the issue of streamlining their development regulations.  In support of these efforts to better utilize existing (and often historic) buildings in new ways, the Chamber encouraged the City to amend not only its development regulations, but also to review its building code regulations with an eye to what has been successful in other municipalities.  By adding flexibility, we can continue to encourage more people to use our great building stock and contribute to the vibrancy of our downtown and neighborhoods.

The full text of Chamber President and CEO Tom Pierson's letter can be found here:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Register to Vote!

Washington State’s Workplace
Voter Registration Drive

'Register to Count'

September 17– September23

Hundreds of Washington employers will help their employees register to vote by the standard deadline of October 8 so they can vote smart on November 6.

Why: Private-sector employees care about election issues that impact their pocketbooks and your company's future, but they must be registered before they can vote!

When: September 17 - September 23 is the statewide voter registration effort. But you can take action before then, go for it!

Where: At your place of business, local chamber of commerce, or team up with other employers in your area.

How: Use the Workplace Voter Registration Toolkit to get started and to make your drive a success!

Need help using the toolkit in your workplace?