Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Celebrating Military Service Parade on Aug. 16

The Second Annual Downtown Tacoma Event presented by The Daffodil Festival and the City of Tacoma preparations are underway.

The Daffodil Festival partners with the City of Tacoma to pay tribute to Pierce County's sizable active duty and retired military population. Together, they will host the second annual Celebrating Military Service Parade in downtown Tacoma on the evening of Aug. 16.

“Last year's Military Appreciation Parade was a great success," said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “We look forward to honoring our service members and their families again in downtown Tacoma."

The parade will spotlight notable active duty and retired military personnel, and feature marching units, community floats, bands, Reserve Officers' Training Corps and Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps units, veterans organizations, motorcycle units and veterans groups. Last year, the parade featured over 60 military units.

Parade Details and Route Information
The parade will begin at South 17th Street and Pacific Avenue by Tollefson Plaza at 6 p.m.  The route will travel north to South 10th Avenue.
After-Parade Street Event 7- 9 p.m.

Immediately following the parade, parade vehicles, community floats and military personnel will be on Pacific Avenue from South 7th to South 9th streets. Pacific Avenue will be closed to showcase specific parade entries, and parade-goers are encouraged to support their local area restaurants for related festivities.

The Emerald Queen Hotel & Casino and Heritage Bank are the headlining sponsors of the parade this year.

Event updates and application instructions can be found at either or Additional information is available through Steve James, executive director of The Daffodil Festival, at or (253) 840-4194.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Seafair Fleet Week Fan Guide Available

The Seafair Fleet Week Fan Guide is now available!

Wednesday, July 30 - Sunday, August 3 2014

Seafair has hosted Fleet Week on the Seattle Waterfront since 1950 in celebration of the men and women who serve our country. This year Seafair is proud to welcome vessels, aircraft and personnel from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps and Royal Canadian Navy.

•    Parade of Ships & Flight: Wednesday, July 30 at 1:45 p.m.
•    Ship Tours: Thursday, July 31 - Saturday, August 2 and Sunday, August 3

Download the Fan Guide here for tour times and locations, ship information, and frequently asked questions.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tacoma Focuses Mixer on Vet Entrepreneurs

Join a networking event focused on the entrepreneurial spirit of our veterans!

(Click on Image for a Larger & Complete View)

Nominations Up for Vets in Business

The Spotlight On Business nominations are now open!

There are two special categories:  Vet-Owned Business and Business Supporter of the Military. See the 2013 recipients here!

These awards are a wonderful
way to recognize Chamber member businesses and organizations for their hard work over the years. You are encouraged to nominate businesses, yourselves as well as forward this on to others who would want to participate in these nominations.

This link will direct you to the event page that lists the details of the event, past recipients, and the link to nominate.

Friday, July 25, 2014

SBA Earns Accolates for Vet Entrepreneurship Programs

The Senate Appropriations Committee praised the Small Business Administration’s “Boots to Business” program for helping transitioning service members start businesses, according to the Association of Defense Communities.

The Senate committee’s draft report accompanying the FY 2015 Financial Services spending bill, which funds the SBA.  The report noted that the entrepreneurial curriculum is offered to service members as an option within the revised transition assistance program. The committee pointed out that many of SBA’s programs for veterans provide counseling and training after service members separate from DOD, even though “pre-deployment training and counseling could potentially be more effective” and save money for veterans and taxpayers.

The panel directs the agency to assess the efficacy of providing counseling and training before deployment, describe the counseling services provided to veteran small business owners in advance of deployment and include recommendations to improve the counseling.

The Appropriations Committee released the report Thursday even though it doesn’t plan to mark up the spending measure.

The panel also said it was concerned about the disparity between the percentage of military personnel that are women, 14 percent, and the portion of veteran-owned small business that are owned by women, 4 percent. The latter figure is “far less than 30 percent of small businesses owned by non-veteran women.”

The committee directs the SBA to assess the current level of outreach for women veterans provided by Women’s Business Centers, Veterans Business Outreach Centers and Small Business Development Centers, “including recommendations for improving outreach to this demographic group.

Pierce College Hires New Military Programs Director

Retired United States Air Force Col. Mark Haskins will join Pierce College as the new Executive Director of Military Programs later this summer. As a former director of warfighting education for the United States Air Force LeMay Center for Doctrine and Education, Haskins brings with him a distinguished career in the military, along with extensive educational knowledge. He also served as commander, department chair and professor of Air Force Studies at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

Haskins received a bachelor of science in mathematics from Pacific Lutheran University, and a master of arts in managerial economics from the University of Oklahoma. He is also a graduate of programs in operational leadership and strategic studies from the Air Force Air Command and Staff College, and in strategic studies from the Japan National Institute for Defense Studies.

Haskins’ experience in the military and in education working with diverse populations of people will serve him well in his new role at Pierce College. As the Executive Director of Military Programs, Haskins will have the opportunity to work with students, Joint Base Lewis-McChord leaders, business leaders and Pierce College staff to determine appropriate educational programming that will best serve the military community.

Haskins’ first teaching experience after college was teaching a mathematics course at McChord Air Force Base through Pierce College.

“I’m grateful to be back home at Pierce College,” Haskins said. “This is one of the most military friendly institutions in the nation, and I’m looking forward to helping strengthen Pierce’s brand as the college of choice for the military community, veterans and their families.”

“This is an exciting step in the evolution of our program,” said Pierce College Fort Steilacoom President Denise Yochum. “We have a very strong program, and I believe Mark will take us to the next level with his ability to provide strategic leadership, teambuilding and commitment to serving our active


The Pierce County Auditor's Office is hiring 50 General Election Workers for the upcoming General Election. This is a great part-time employment opportunity where you can earn extra money and show your civic pride.

To apply, send a resume to

(Click on image for a larger and full view)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Inivite only hiring event July 29, 2014. Do you have skills or experience in the Construction Trades?  
If so, please send your resume to

You need to send your resume as soon as possible.  Great employment opportunities with great wages!   

Monday, July 21, 2014

Public Comments Needed on JBLM SPEA

The Army recently completed a 2014 Supplemental Programmatic Environment Assessment (SPEA), which poses that Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) could lose up to 16,000 military and civilian jobs.

UPDATE (7-28-2014):  See The News Tribune story this date about CASA Maj. Gen. James Collins, USA, retired, and his comments on the Army SPEA. 

The News Tribune first published this story on June 26 here. 

You'll recall that the South Sound recently lost the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team.  This reduction was the result of the initial 2013 Programmatic Environment Assessment (PEA).

The Army is now accepting public comments so everyone can express their concerns about the potential loss of 16,000 military and civilian jobs.  Why is this important?  During the initial 2013 PEA, the Fort Polk community started a letter writing campaign and submitted 4,300 public comments, resulting in a loss of 250 personnel.   In 2013, our region sent in one letter co-signed by local governments and agencies, and we lost an entire brigade. 

We need your help in writing a public comment.  You can do this via email or posted mail.  THE DEADLINE IS AUGUST 25, 2014. 

Attached is a SPEA comment letter template (Word document) you can use.  There is also a “talking points” paper to assist you.  You may review on this link to learn more about SPEA.

While writing your email/letter, you should include specific impacts on your business/community should we lose 16,000 soldiers and civilian jobs.  A good gauge would be when JBLM had 19,000 soldiers deployed last year.  How much revenue did you lose or employees did you layoff compared to a more robust year when the troops were home?

Please make sure you send copies of your email or letters to ALL the representatives listed with their contact info after the letter template, depending upon the Congressional District you reside in or have your business in.

Please also forward this to others to encourage everyone into writing public comments.

(Click on Image to see a larger size and the complete letter from Cong. Denny Heck.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Veteran & Spouse Networking Event July 17 at The Great American Casino in Lakewood WA

Veteran Networking Event July 17 2014. The networking event is a great opportunity to meet area businesses and discuss current career openings and opportunities for Veterans and their family. The event is for Veterans and their spouse.

(Click on Image for a larger and complete view)