Friday, February 28, 2014

Thanks for Congressional Support to Fix HMT

This comprehensive Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) reform bill takes significant steps to improve American port competitiveness and protect jobs.

Passage of the bill would increase our state’s port competitiveness by directing additional federal investments into our maritime infrastructure and leveling the playing-field for U.S.-bound cargo. 

The signers of this letter believe strongly that the solutions in the Maritime Goods Movement Act strike the right balance to maintain the world-class trade gateways that support the Northwest’s economy. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Walsh Subcontractor Outreach Event

Walsh is hosting am event to present potential bidding and subcontracting opportunities to local subcontractors and suppliers - especially for the University Science Phase II project at Central Washington University, Ellensberg.

More info here.

(Click on Image for a Larger and Complete View)

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Chamber on CityLine

Chamber President & CEO Tom Pierson and YEA! (Young Entrepreneur Academy) participant (and Stadium High School student), Sam Wheelock, were featured in the February 20 TV Tacoma show, "CityLine."

Their 12-minute segment included information on current Chamber initiatives and a glimpse into Wheelock's YEA! business idea.

Click here to watch the segment (then click on the "Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber" to only watch the Pierson/Wheelock section).

Thursday, February 20, 2014

City Opens RFPs for Strategic Plan

The City of Tacoma is seeking qualified firms to contract for consulting services to guide a citywide strategic planning/visioning process and develop the City of Tacoma Strategic Visioning Plan.

Proposals will be received until 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, February 25.

Click here for the RFP.

Chamber Speaks Up for TPA Now

The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014 was released in January — a bill to restore Trade Promotion Authority for a period of seven years. We are hoping to see congressional action soon and now is the time for your voice to be heard.

UPDATE: 2-25-2104

In 2013, every $1 billion of U.S. exports supported nearly 5,600 jobs. Goods exports supported 7.1 million jobs in 2013, up 1.1 million positions from 2009. Services exports supported 4.2 million jobs in 2013, which is a record for the noted 20 year period.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Dimensions of State's Export Growth

The state of Washington set a new record for exports in 2013 with $81.9 billion in products and services sold to international customers.

The most recent year was particularly good for Washington – an 8.4% increase – but in the past five years the state has nearly tripled the national growth rate. Since 1996, Washington’s exports grew 209% compared to 153% for the nation.

Washington’s export growth is led by aerospace, with international sales that last year totaled $43.6 billion, an 18% increase over 2012. Other top Washington exports include fuel, industrial machinery, wheat, electric machinery, medical instruments, and wood.

Also impressive is a spike in the number of Washington companies engaged in exporting: 12,677 according to most recent U.S. Commerce data, up from 8,551 in the last survey.

Building on strong results from aerospace and increased agriculture commodity prices, the Washington State Department of Commerce has worked continuously over the past several years to broaden the pipeline of companies selling Washington products and services overseas. Success stories can be found in other key industries including advanced manufacturing, global health and life sciences, information and communications technology, clean energy and the maritime sector.

“With at least one in three jobs in Washington related to international trade, creating a culture of exporting is a key pillar of our economic development agenda,” said Washington State Department of Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “Companies from a variety of industry sectors have opportunities to reach new customers in some of the fastest growing economies in the world. We have increased focus on successful export assistance programs to help more new-to-export small- and medium-sized businesses compete in the global marketplace.”

For more information about export assistance available from the Washington State Department of Commerce, visit here.  For more information on Washington’s international trade, view Commerce’s Trade Update – Winter 2014.

UPDATE:  1-25-2014
 In 2013, every $1 billion of U.S. exports supported nearly 5,600 jobs. Goods exports supported 7.1 million jobs in 2013, up 1.1 million positions from 2009. Services exports supported 4.2 million jobs in 2013, which is a record for the noted 20 year period.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

State's Business Leadership Wants Transpo Package

The state's business leadership is sending a letter to the Governor and "4-corner" leadership responding to Thursday’s announcement on transportation funding. 

The message is simple and short - the need and time is now, please continue to negotiate a package and business stands ready to work with the Legislature and Governor.

(Click on Image for a Larger and Complete View)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Half of Senate Offers Up to Second Half & House

In the first significant development of the new legislative session, WA Senate Transportation Co-chair Curtis King unveiled a transportation package of projects, mixes roads and transit, funding sources and reforms.  The other half of the Senate and the House are being given a challenge and a target.

Links to more detailed Information:

Draft Sources & Uses Proposal Final Detail

Proposed Legislative Reforms Final

Non-Highway Projects & Local Options:

Revenues & Expenditures Balance Sheet

Government Procurement Trade Show & Matchmaking

Procurement conference where you may connect with government in a high-quality forum for businesses interested in selling to the government, prime contractors and government buyers seeking to reach businesses.

Why should you attend?

Meet the buyers: Alliance is the largest business-to-government event in the region where you can meet agency buyers and prime contractors that buy what you sell.  There is no better way to develop relationships with those in the marketplace than to participate fully in the event.  You’ll leave the event with a pocket full of business cards and valuable information on how to find, bid, and win government contracts.

Learn How to Succeed:  Alliance features high quality workshops not found anywhere else in the region.  You’ll hear from government purchasing experts, prime contractors, and government representatives on what it takes to succeed in the competitive government marketplace.

Go here for complete details and to register. If you have any questions please contact Traci or Alisa at 360-754-6320.

Applicants sought for Surface Water Management Advisory Board

Pierce County is seeking applicants to fill vacancies on the nine-member Surface Water Management Advisory Board.

Advisory board members will be involved in such issues as storm drainage and surface water management; water quality; storm drainage plans; rate structures; capital improvement projects; financing; and annual program goals for the Surface Water Management Division of Public Works and Utilities.

The mission of Surface Water Management is to be a responsive service organization that efficiently addresses flood control, water quality, and the preservation of natural drainage systems.

Meetings are held monthly. Advisory board members will be selected to represent each of the watersheds and preference will be given to candidates living in unincorporated Pierce County. Surface Water Management will maintain a roster of applications to fill current and future vacancies on the board. These positions are uncompensated.

To apply, the application can be obtained by calling (253) 798-2725 or downloaded  here.

Completed applications should be submitted to Harold Smelt at Pierce County Surface Water Management, 2702 S 42nd St, Ste. 201, Tacoma, WA 98409-7322

UPDATE: Applications deadline is extended until March 21.

Standing on the Side of Business

Chamber Pres/CEO Tom Pierson is part of a panel discussing the possibility of a Tacoma mandatory paid leave measure on KBTC show “Northwest Now” that will air tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Tom Layson, “Northwest Now” host mediated the discussion which also included Tacoma City Councilperson Anders Ibsen, Holly Chisa, Washington State Lobbyist for NW Grocery Association and School Nurse for Mount Tahoma High School Sandy Harwood RN, MN.
“Northwest Now” TV Show - Mandatory Paid Leave
Friday, February 14, 7:30 p.m. on KBTC

The program will also be available online at after it airs tonight.

Repeats also air Sundays at 1:30 p.m., Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and Friday at 6:30 a.m.

Here's how to view “Northwest Now:”
KBTC 28.1, 28.2, 28.3 digital channels (including K41KT-D Grays River-Lebam and K24IC-D, Bellingham and Channel 16 Digital, Seattle) KCKA 15.1, 15.2, 15.3 digital channels

Comcast channel 108 (HD, most areas in Western Washington)
Comcast channel 12 (most areas - in Tacoma, Comcast channel 3)
Click! (Tacoma) channel 3
Rainier Connect channel 10
Broadstripe channel 28 (varies by area)
Verizon FiOS channel 28
Frontier Cable: 528 (HD), 28 (SD), and 474 (MHz Worlview)

Comcast - North
KBTC SD - 71 (down-convert of the HD)
KBTC HD - 108
KBTC Worldview - 102

Dish channel 28 (may appear as 8620)
DirecTV channel 28 (may appear as 970)

Pictured (l. to r.): Tacoma City Councilperson Anders Ibsen, Holly Chisa, NW Grocery Association Washington State Lobbyist, School Nurse Sandy Harwood RN, MN, Mount Tahoma High School, Tom Pierson, Chamber Pres/CEO and Tom Layson, “Northwest Now” Host.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chamber Businesses Advocate to Legislators

Movements and conclusions happen quickly in a "Short Session" of the Washington Legislature.  Already in the middle of the session, legislation is passing one house (House or Senate) or the other.

Although the Chamber's lobbyist, Michael Transue, has been actively representing the Chamber's 2014 Legislative Agenda, legislators continue to ask for contacts from the citizens and businesses of their districts.

Legislator Contact Info Here

Yesterday, business representatives from the Chamber's membership held a forum with legislators representing districts wholly or partially in Pierce County. The forum, lead and moderated by Michael Transue, reinforced the Chamber's 2014 Legislative Agenda. Legislators responded with a thumbnail description of the current status of the issues advocated by the Chamber.

Business representatives also asked legislators about specific agenda items and those issues closest and impacting their businesses.  Several business representatives took advantage of the opportunity to schedule appointments with their own legislators either before the Chamber's event or after.

More Pictures Here

Our Thanks to these Legislators attending:

Sen. Steve Conway
Sen. Jeannie Darneille
Sen. Tracey Eide
Sen. Steve O'Ban
Rep. Jake Fey
Rep. Roger Freeman
Rep. Linda Kochmar
Rep. Dick Muri
Rep. David Sawyer
Rep. JT Wilcox
Rep. Jesse Young
Rep. Hans Zeiger
Legislative Aides to include all of Pierce County

WA in Top 3 of 16 States with Record Exports

U.S. exports reach $2.3 Trillion, setting a new record for the fourth consecutive year.

With Washington occupying the Top 3rd spot, 16 states set new records for exports in 2013.

These achievers setting new records are:
  1. Texas ($279.7 billion); 
  2. California ($168.1 billion); 
  3. Washington ($81.9 billion); 
  4. Louisiana ($63.1 billion); 
  5. Michigan ($58.5 billion); 
  6. Ohio ($50.5 billion); 
  7. Georgia ($37.6 billion); 
  8. Tennessee ($32.4 billion); 
  9. North Carolina ($29.3 billion); 
  10. South Carolina ($26.1 billion); 
  11. Kentucky ($25.3 billion); 
  12. Connecticut ($16.5 billion); 
  13. Mississippi ($12.4 billion); 
  14. Maryland ($11.8 billion); 
  15. Colorado ($8.7 billion);
  16. Oklahoma ($6.9 billion)
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced the year end state export data showing the top16 states– with 10 additional states experiencing merchandise export growth.

In addition, the following states enjoyed growth in total merchandise exports in 2013: Alaska; Arizona; Delaware; Kansas; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; and South Dakota.

U.S. merchandise exports to countries that the United States has trade agreements with continued to be strong. This included record exports to: Canada (+2.7 percent); Mexico (+4.7 percent); Colombia (+13.8 percent); Panama (+9.6 percent); Peru (+7.6 percent); and Jordan (+18.2 percent).

Total merchandise exports from the 50 U.S. states helped contribute to the record-setting value of goods and services exports, which reached $2.3 trillion in 2013.

“These export numbers show that for more and more American companies, selling internationally is critical to growing their businesses and strengthening our economy,” said Secretary Pritzker. “We know for a fact, that for every $1 billion in exports nearly 5,000 jobs are supported across our nation, and with more than 95 percent of the world’s potential consumers residing outside our borders, exports will continue to be an important driver of the local and national economy. This important export data confirms that President Obama’s call for increasing our exports and ensuring that trade and investment become part of our economy’s DNA is the right course for America.”

More information about individual state contribution to national exports is available through the International Trade Administration’s Office of Trade and Economic Analysis web page, which includes individual fact sheets for all 50 states.

An interactive map with national and state merchandise trade data is available here.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Charter Review Public Hearing Tonight

A special meeting of the 2014 Charter Review Committee will be held on Monday, Feb. 10, at 5:30 p.m. in the Tacoma Municipal Building Council Chambers (747 Market St., 1st Floor) to gather public comment and recommendations from residents for changes to the Tacoma City Charter.

The Tacoma City Charter is the city's constitution, and it is reviewed every 10 years by the Charter Review Committee.

Members of the public will have three minutes to address the Charter Review Committee. This public hearing will be one of many opportunities for residents to share ideas about the Tacoma City Charter with the Charter Review Committee.

The Charter Review Committee will spend the next four months reviewing the Tacoma City Charter and will make recommendations for changes to the Tacoma City Council for their consideration.

Information about matters pertaining to the 2014 Charter Review is available at, by emailing or calling 253.591.2067.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Transportation Package Coalition Speaks Up

The state's coalition for a transportation package is continuing its advocacy for adoption by the current legislature a comprehensive package this session.