Workforce development and educational institutions
Pierce County is home to over 860,000 residents, roughly 11% of the State’s population, labor force, and total employment. With the growth of both the manufacturing and service sectors over the past decade, it is well-poised to assume a greater role in the national and global economy in the coming decades.
The South Sound hosts two major military installations, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Naval Base Kitsap, as well as the state headquarters of the Washington National Guard at Camp Murray. Veterans, transitioning soldiers, and their families bring significant contributions and talents to the region’s workforce.
Pierce County’s multiple universities, community colleges, and technical colleges provide educational access to a multitude of students. The tri-county area of King, Pierce, and Thurston counties is home to eight four-year universities and colleges, including the University of Washington, a world-class research institution with three campuses.
- WorkForce Central Business Services
WorkForce Central offers free core services such as employee recruitment and prescreening of applicants. Their other fee based services include computerized job matching and referral of quality applicants, electronic job posting and resume banks, help with recruitment and layoffs, customized training packages to upgrade worker skills, information on wages, occupations, and business trends, and access to tax incentive and help with childcare and transportation.
- Job Skills Program
Washington’s Job Skills Program is training customized to meet employers’ needs. JSP funds are awarded to licensed educational institutions to cover half of the training cost (the other half must be provided by the employer). Funds can be used for customized training, cross-training, basic skills training, continuous improvement, train-the-trainer programs, and new employee services.
- Customized Training Program
Under the Customized Training Program, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) pays the costs up front for customized training. After training is completed the business repays the costs to the SBCTC interest free. Upon completion of training 25 percent of the full amount is due, and the remaining 75 percent due is spread over 18 months. After a business makes the initial payment of 25 percent to the SBCTC, they may take a state B&O tax credit equal to half of that amount. As the business pays off the remainder over the 18 month period, the business may continue to take tax credits equal to 50 percent of each repayment amount. Thus, the total tax credit is equal to 50 percent of the cost of the training program.
- Other Workforce Development Resources
The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation maintains a list of additional workforce development resources.
Educational institutions in Tacoma-Pierce County
Pierce County has outstanding four-year institutions that offer both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
- Evergreen State College – Tacoma Campus
- Pacific Lutheran University
- University of Washington Tacoma
- University of Puget Sound
Private, for-profit universities
- Community & Technical Colleges
Pierce County has four excellent community and technical colleges that provide classes, contract training, and other resources to local employers.
- K-12 Education
Together, the 15 public school districts in Pierce County work to meet the educational needs of over 130,000 enrolled students.
The 62 private schools in Pierce County serve about 11,000 students. Average tuition is $5,461 for elementary schools and 61% of the private schools are religiously affiliated.
Ask us how we can help your company make use of these resources.