Pierce County Biz Economic Development News | April 2019

Family-Wage Job Credit Program

The Pierce County Executive and County Council are committed to creating jobs in Pierce County. They recently passed a Family-Wage Job Credit Program effective January 1, 2019. The Family-Wage Job Credit Program provides a one-time $275 credit per job to employers who create at least five new permanent family-wage jobs in unincorporated Pierce County after January 1, 2019.


Complete the application form

Include the Washington State Employment Security Department Wage and Hour Report form (5208A) for the past two years for all eligible employees.

Submit the application and forms to pcpalsAccounting@piercecountywa.gov

Questions? Please contact the Development Center at (253) 798-3739 or by email. Review Ordinance 2018-51s for more information. Take advantage of this incentive while you can! This program ends on December 31, 2024.

Two Companies Expand Their Footprint in Frederickson

James Hardie Building Products

James Hardie Building Products began operations in the Frederickson Industrial area of Pierce County in 1998. By 2013, the Company’s original plant had reached production capacity and needed to expand to accommodate additional demand in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada regions. After meeting with local officials, the Company decided to expand by purchasing 47 acres of industrial land adjacent to its current operations and add a second plant.

During the past 16 months, the Company has remodeled over 211,000 square feet of existing structures and added 225,000 square feet of new manufacturing and production space. Combined with their original plant, the Company’s two sites now represent over 605,000 square feet of manufacturing, storage, and production space.

“Job growth at James Hardie resulting from this expansion has been impressive”, said Betty Capestany, Director of the Economic Development Department. According to a list compiled by the Economic Development Board of Tacoma Pierce County (EDB), the Company had the strongest year-over-year increase in workforce (57.9%) amongst private employers in Pierce County in 2018. The expansion has helped retain over 100 jobs and allowed the company to grow to 180 employees.

Kevin Clegg, Special Assistant to the Executive for Business Services, pointed out that “a project of this size and complexity had multiple partners assisting the Company, including Pierce County, the EDB, and the Washington State Department of Commerce.”

It started with asking the County Executive to grant the project Executive Priority status to help streamline permit review. With this designation in place, a project review team led by the Economic Development Department facilitated on-time permitting. The EDB was there in strong support offering a list of incentives, including working with the company to help win a $100,000 award from the Governors Strategic Reserve Fund (SRF). The SRF funding was made possible with guidance and support of the Washington State Department of Commerce. Combined, these agencies and our partnerships helped this project succeed. “The result of our efforts helped leverage millions of dollars in private investment by the company to improve land and buildings, and add new equipment”, according to Clegg.

Capestany added “Partnership also sent the message to James Hardie that we welcome their growth and want to be the community of choice for their expansion.”

Carlson Paving Products

Carlson Paving Products is an industry leader in screed technology and commercial class paver platforms and machines that are essential to the road building process. With growing demand for its products in North America, combined with emerging international opportunities, Carlson has undergone a massive expansion of its factory by nearly tripling its Frederickson footprint.

Teamed up with the design and construction expertise of HHJ Inc, the County formed a team approach with the Company leaders to help make this project happen. “From day one. it has been a great partnership”, said Kevin Clegg, the County’s primary contact for permitting the project. Clegg added, “the leadership at Carlson came to us and explained that expanding a functioning manufacturing facility with as little disruption to production would be a challenge and our team responded with a phased permitting approach.” The approach allowed the relocation of employee parking across the street to occur first, with follow up permitting, construction and inspection of construction in phases thereafter.

The expansion project, recognized with an Excellent 10 Award in 2019 by the Economic Development Board for Tacoma Pierce County, helps preserve over 160 jobs and positions the company to handle additional demand.

Curious About Arts and Tourism in Pierce County?

Lodging Tax Committee Board Vacancy

A great way to satisfy that curiosity is to consider applying for the At-Large position vacancy on the Pierce County Lodging Tax Advisory Board! The Board is seeking a citizen volunteer to serve in that position on its twelve member board for a four-year term. No tourism experience is required as candidates cannot be affiliated with the tourism industry. The successful candidate will be appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council. If you're interested in learning about tourism in Pierce County and its new strategic direction, please fill out an application and visit our website for more information: www.piercecountywa.org/lodging.

Tourism Market Segmentation Study RFP Opportunity

The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee and Tourism Promotion Area Hotel Commission, the tourism boards of Pierce County, have posted an RFP opportunity for a Tourism Market Segmentation Study. Proposals are due by 4:00 pm, April 19, 2019. For more information, review RFP 19-040 on the Pierce County Procurement website.

Pierce County Arts Commission: Call to Artists Opportunity

Fallen First Responders Memorial Artwork Project

With 1% for Arts funding, the Pierce County Arts Commission is seeking qualified artists to create a piece of artwork that will complement the new memorial space to be installed at the west entry of the County-City Building (located at 930 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98402). The new outdoor memorial space will be dedicated to the memory of Pierce County's fallen first responders from law enforcement, fire and rescue, and military. The memorial remembers their sacrifice by listing the names of the fallen as inscriptions engraved on stone monuments set in a place where visitors can comfortably remember these individuals and where civic leaders can ceremoniously commemorate them.

If interested, please refer to RFP 19-045 on the County’s Procurement page and submit a proposal by May 10, 2019. SEALED PROPOSALS will be received until 4:00 PM on May 10, 2019 at the Pierce County Procurement and Contract Services Division, 950 Fawcett Avenue, Suite 100, Tacoma WA 98402. Proposals must be submitted in a sealed envelope or appropriate packaging with the proposer’s name and address, RFP Title and RFP Due Date clearly legible on the exterior prior to the date/time listed. For questions, contact Leeann Snyder at 253-798-7456 or cpurchasing@piercecountywa.gov or leeann.snyder@piercecountywa.gov.

Did You Know?

Did you know that DMC Sidecars of Buckley designed and built, ‘Big Red,’ the sidecar attached to Helge Pedersen’s touring BMW motorcycle? Helge, adventure tourism enthusiast, writer and videographer, rode the motorcycle and sidecar combination 8,000 miles through South America to the southern tip of the continent at Tierra del Fuego. You can learn about DMC Sidecars from Jay Giese, President, and adventure tourism by viewing their videos and visiting the DMC website. DMC Sidecars are sold worldwide and made right here in Pierce County.

Did you know we are saying goodbye to Hans Kueck, our department's Economic Development Specialist?

The Economic Development Department is wishing happy trails to Hans Kueck after 10 years of serving the business community in Pierce County. He will be retiring at the end of April. Hans, a Vietnam veteran, came to the County after a long career in the private sector that included stints in sales, human resources, running his own business, and earning an MBA. He started in Economic Development helping with external communications and organizing educational forums for businesses. He’s spent the last six years running the Business Retention and Expansion program, visiting with companies, thanking them for investing in Pierce County, and helping them find solutions to problems. He has become a trusted resource for businesses throughout the County, and his skill, dedication and good nature will be missed.

Anyone who knows Hans knows retirement will not be the end of the story, merely the next chapter. He and his wife Marlene will split time between their home in Florida and their cabin in Curlew where they’ll enjoy time with their children and grandchildren. Han’s days are likely to be filled with books about interesting times and events in history, long walks in the woods or on the beach, travel to visit family and friends, and perfecting the art of sushi.

Pierce County Economic Development | 950 Pacific Ave, Ste 720 | Tacoma, WA 98402 www.piercountywa.gov/edd


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