The Place for Jobs coalition launches to promote South Sound values

Standing up for a healthy economy

TACOMA – A new coalition of South Sound employers, workers, educators and leaders across sectors launched today to promote our community’s shared values of economic prosperity, environmental protection, social equity and public safety.

The Place for Jobs coalition is chaired by Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland; Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier; Mark Martinez, Executive Secretary of the Pierce County Building & Construction Trades Council; Bruce Kendall, President & CEO of the Economic Development Council for Tacoma-Pierce County; and Tom Pierson, President & CEO of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber.

“The South Sound has a long history as a vibrant center for people to work, in the manufacturing sector and in other fields. And yet our unemployment rate in Pierce County is nearly 6 percent, higher than in King or Snohomish counties, and we have far too many people commuting out of Pierce County,” County Executive Dammeier said. “This new coalition will help us preserve places to do business and grow, showing that the South Sound is The Place for Jobs. We must have not just a variety of jobs but a healthy environment, robust education and worker training and public safety.”

The Place for Jobs coalition includes a broad cross-section of community leaders, from healthcare, nonprofits, politics, education, labor, manufacturing, real estate, maritime, media and sales.  

“Good things happen in the South Sound when government, business, labor, nonprofits and educators work together toward shared prosperity," Mayor Strickland said. “We are already a national leader in education, the arts, recreation and quality of life. It's now time to rally around our shared values to attract and create more family-wage jobs for residents from all of our zip codes."

The Place for Jobs coalition launched Wednesday at an event at the University of Washington Tacoma, with more than 100 community leaders in attendance.  

“We as a coalition are standing up for a healthy South Sound economy,” said Mark Martinez, Executive Secretary of the Pierce County Building & Construction Trades Council, and a coalition co-chair. “One of the values we should all share is creating and sustaining a variety of jobs in the region.”

As part of the launch, the coalition unveiled a video, “Why The Place for Jobs?,” profiling three employees in the community: Ryan Manibusan, operations manager at the Tacoma plastics fabricator KelTech; Tiana Padilla Anderson, an instructor at Bates Technical College in Tacoma; and John Smith, an equipment operator at the Tideflats paper company Rite in the Rain. 

Individuals and organizations that would like to join The Place for Jobs coalition can sign the South Sound Prosperity Pledge, which lists the community’s shared values like lowering the unemployment rate, economic prosperity and environmental protection. They can also volunteer to spread the word about the coalition in the community.

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