A Sound Workforce
This is the place for world-class talent, offering a skilled, diverse workforce, prepared for in-demand disciplines in emerging industries. Graduates from area universities and community colleges are ready to excel in the jobs of today and tomorrow.
Regional Fast Facts
- Population: 878,100
- Labor Force: 392,703
- Unemployment: 5.5%
- Median Age: 37.1
- Median Household Income: $69,278
- Cost of Living Index: 111.7
- Area: 1,806 mi2 / 4,678 km2
- Population Growth Rate: 1.98%
- Median Home Price: $349,400
- Average Commute Time: 31 minutes
- Gross Metro Product: $41.6 billion
- Primary Industries: aerospace, government, healthcare, manufacturing, military, transportation & logistics
Workforce Talent Pipeline
Washington State offers a skilled, diverse workforce that is continuously fueled by globally recognized universities and community and technical colleges, as well as multiple military bases across the state. Each of these institutions prepares highly qualified workers for in-demand disciplines within established and emerging industries.
University of Washington, Pacific Lutheran University, University of Puget Sound, Pierce Colleges, Tacoma Community College, Clover Park Technical College, and Bates Technical College are among the many universities and other institutions of higher learning that prepare the region’s workforce.
Pierce County has an extremely competitive workforce in regards to training, quality and availability of workers while maintaining a high quality of living. All employment in Pierce County is expected to grow 1.2 percent annually over the next 10 years. Jobs that typically require a postgraduate degree are expected to grow the most of any category, at 1.8 percent per year.
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.
- 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.
- City of Tacoma Local Employment and Apprenticeship Training Program
The Local Employment and Apprenticeship Training Program (LEAP) provides City of Tacoma residents opportunities to access apprenticeship programs through its partnerships with local work force development providers.
- Service Member for Life: Transition Assistance Program
The Service Member for Life Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) offers job fairs, quarterly networking gatherings, employer spotlight events, weekly brown bag information sessions, job posting services and more. Information about events and resources is available on JBLM’s employment website.
Educational Institutions in Pierce County
Twenty-five regional colleges and universities, along with 36 technical schools, produce 56,800 graduates each year. Washington State’s 300+ accredited colleges, universities, and career schools are ranked among the best in the country, with the University of Washington coming in as the “Best Global University” (U.S. News and World Reports, 2018).
Pierce County has outstanding four-year institutions that offer both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
- Central Washington University – campuses co-located with Pierce College and on JBLM
- City University – campuses in Tacoma and on JBLM
- Evergreen State College – Tacoma Campus
- Pacific Lutheran University
- University of Washington Tacoma
- University of Puget Sound
- Community & Technical Colleges
Pierce County has four excellent community and technical colleges that provide classes, contract training, and other resources to local employers.
- Bates Technical College
- Clover Park Technical College
- Pierce College Fort Steilacoom campus, Joint Base Lewis-McChord campus, Puyallup campus
- Tacoma Community College
With 34 colleges, award-winning instructors and state-of-the-art facilities, Washington State’s workforce is ready to meet your needs.
- 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 Pierce County Skills Center provides training in trades from aerospace composites to health care services to juniors and seniors from ten Pierce County school districts.
Let us connect your company with the workforce talent it needs.
Vice President for Business Recruitment
Vice President for Business Retention and Expansion