June 8, 2022

Business recruitment activity on the rise

You’ve seen the headlines. From major companies leasing space to multifamily developments on the rise to big parcels of prime real estate hitting the market, Pierce County is generating a lot of buzz.

The EDB has also seen an uptick in interest. According to Vice President of Business Recruitment Sarah Bonds, as of May there were 16 new projects in the pipeline across a variety of industries, including manufacturing (10), office/tech (3), distribution (2) and recycling (1). The EDB pursued a total of 13 new cases in 2021.

“We’re getting a lot of positive attention, and it’s no surprise people and businesses want to be here,” Bonds said. “We offer a great location, a booming and innovative port, and excellent infrastructure and incentives. Coming out of COVID, companies are rethinking where they want to do businesses. Tacoma-Pierce County is ready for the next big thing.” 

French delegation tests Pierce County waters

In April, a delegation of French business owners, leaders and public officials landed in the region for an array of tours, meetings and presentations. Included on the agenda was a day at the Port of Tacoma to gather information and insight about The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA).

Bonds helped organize the French delegation’s visit, which included:

    • A welcome session with Port Commissioner Deanna Keller and Port of Tacoma Executive Director Eric Johnson.
    • A tour of the Port.
    • Overviews of NWSA’s air quality and sustainability program and Operations Services Center.
    • A presentation by Tacoma Public Utilities on transportation electrification .

“The global market is coming to us, and that’s the best kind of economic development,” Bonds said. “Now that we’ve made this important connection with representatives from the French delegation, we’ll have more opportunities to continue the conversation and exchange ideas. And if the opportunity arises for a company to open a location in this part of the world, we’ve already laid a solid foundation.”

EDB represents at big events

Sidelined during the pandemic, in-person events designed to make new business connections and strengthen existing relationships are back, and the EDB is in the house.

    • Aerospace and Defense Supplier Summit (ADSS) kicks it off. Deemed one of the most important trade shows of the year, manufacturers and suppliers from major global aerospace and defense industries met at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, April 11-13. Bonds joined the Washington State Department of Commerce (DOC) booth and met with companies during the event.
    • Ready to connect with the world. Bonds will also be a part of the DOC delegation at the 2022 Select USA Investment Summit, June 26-29. The summit is billed as the highest-profile event in the U.S. dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment (FDI). Bonds attended SelectUSA’s last in-person event in 2019 and brought home several hot leads.
    • Global aerospace and aviation leaders return to the UK. July 18-22, the EDB and other Pierce County delegates will attend one the most anticipated aviation trade events in the world. The 2022 Farnborough International Air Show combines a major trade exposition for the aerospace and defense industries with a public airshow. When last held in 2018, the event announced $192 billion worth of business deals. Organizers expect even more in 2022.

In addition to Bonds, the Pierce County delegates will include Bruce Kendall, EDB President and CEO; Dave Morell, Pierce County Council; Betty Capestany, Pierce County Economic Development Director; and Lisa Goodman, Executive Team, The Benaroya Company

“It’s great to be back in person at these events,” Bonds said. “We look forward to engaging with companies from across the world and sharing everything Pierce County has to offer.”


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