Ray moved to Pierce County at the age of 5 and has lived in in the county ever since. His career really began in high school, when he started printing the school newspaper at the Bethel High School print shop in Spanaway. “A friend of mine showed me a notepad with his name printed on it from the Bethel printing facility, and I just thought that was so cool. Soon enough I was working there myself.”
For over nine years Shareka has had a lasting impact in the community, holding several positions within the Tacoma-based healthcare system MultiCare. She has provided more than 200 asthma home visits to help educate and support families of children with chronic respiratory conditions. She also worked in the women, infants and children department at MultiCare providing support, outreach and resources for income-contingent populations in Pierce County.
Worker training and post-secondary education have long been priorities in the South Sound, dating back to the founding of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma in 1888. Since then, students have even more options, including University of Washington Tacoma, Pacific Lutheran University, Pierce College, Bates Technical College and Clover Park Technical College, among others.
Ryan started at KelTech in February 2012, just a few months after moving to Pierce County from Guam, where he grew up. The 26-year-old immediately found opportunity at the Tacoma plastic fabrication company, which has been in operation for 35 years. KelTech, with 34 employees, prides itself on its on-the-job training and by giving promising employees a path to success. And Ryan was able to take advantage. Within two months of starting at KelTech, Ryan was promoted, and he now works as the company’s operations manager.
Bite Me! Cookies in Lakewood, WA bakes up all natural, handcrafted cookies, with the capacity to produce 14,000 cookies an hour. They are a wholesale bakery with 30 employees who produce about 20 flavors of cookies, including their popular organic whole wheat shortbread “flower power” cookies, and sells nationwide, along with contract baking to create distinctive private label cookies for local grocery stores.