Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Spotlight On Two Businesses

Seven Spotlight! On Business award recipients, including Veteran-Owned Business and Business Supporter of the Military, were announced at the Chamber’s awards luncheon held at Hotel Murano September 24. The Spotlight! On Business Awards recognizes the accomplishments and civic contributions that Chamber member businesses make to the community.  The selection committee, made up of volunteers, based their choices by following five criteria:  staying power, growth in employees, evidence of contributions to community-oriented projects, innovativeness of product or service and response to adversity.

(pictured to the right: Wade Stewart, Owner, Stewart & Son Computer Services)

Veteran-Owned Business Award Recipient:  Stewart & Son Computer Services
Recognized for their success, including a 31% average growth in sales every quarter since opening in 2012, United States Army veteran owner Wade Stewart, began with one important goal in mind: creating a customer-centric niche for computer, network and server support services for small businesses. Stewart and Son began with one person, then hired their first employee in May of 2013, just 13 months after starting, adding their 2nd full-time employee in September of 2013 and, as business continued to grow, hired their first part-time apprentice in February of 2014.

Finalists for this category were:
RallyPoint/6
Sperry Ocean Dock
Stewart and Son Computer Services, LLC
(pictured to the left: Carlyn Roy, TAPCO, Award Sponsor, Anne Sprute & Tony Belit, RallyPoint/6 and Rick Stevens, GEICO, 2013 Business Supporter of the Military Award Recipient)

Supporter of the Military Award Recipient:  RallyPoint/6
Recognized for their strong support system in providing comprehensive resources to not only Veterans, but also to their family members and individuals who currently serve in the Armed Forces with resources that include housing difficulties, employment preparedness and search, educational opportunities, financial and legal options, and volunteer opportunities. RallyPoint/6 is a convening location in the community where the service member, veteran or family member can get connected with community organizations that will assist on their next steps forward to their new objective.

Finalists for this category were:
Boots to Shoes Foundation
Kel-Tech Plastics, Inc.
Nisqually Red Wind Casino
Pierce Transit
RallyPoint/6
Summit Strength & Conditioning

The Chamber applauds the award recipients and finalists for their contributions to the community and Pierce County’s economy.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Crowdfunding Campaign Starts for Veteran & Business Service

The Chamber's Veteran & Business Service promotes to businesses the Veteran Advantage for transitioning and separating service veterans to entrepreneurship, professional careers and apprenticeship opportunities.

The US Department of Labor has reduced funding to our funding sources, the local workforce development councils, so they see a reduction from what they received last year, because the whole state was allocated $3.7 million less in the Workforce Investment Act in 2014-15.

With the reductions in force currently underway at JBLM, nearly 400 service members monthly desiring to have jobs in our community, will have less help doing so. The proposed reduction of up to 16,000 civilian (many vets) and military jobs at JBLM over the next five years will put increasing pressure on the local ability to help these service members.

Our Veteran & Business Service has been honored as a “Chamber of Valor” (three stars, the highest level), by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Our service providers, Greg Mowat and Terrence Hodge, who you will learn more of in the video and at our website (see above URL) are qualified, skilled and passionate about their service.

Our program last year was a huge success. Our funding partners have enthusiastically communicated their satisfaction with our services. But they have already done all they can to support our budget.

We’ve pared back our expenses by 53%. But we cannot sustain our services at that level. For $166/day, we can sustain our service levels having both our staff service providers doing their great job promoting the Veteran Advantage.

Visit our campaign at RepayVets.com to donate and help spread the word!

 

Monday, September 29, 2014

State Receives DOD Grant for Military Downsizing Impact Preparation

Washington state has received a $4.3 million Department of Defense (DOD) grant to support local efforts to address the impact of potential downsizing of the state’s defense industry, Gov. Jay Inslee announced today.

The funding, from the DOD Office of Economic Adjustment’s Defense Industry Adjustment program, is matched by more than $500,000 in state and local dollars through the newly-formed Washington Military Alliance. The alliance was convened by the governor to prepare for military downsizing and includes a diverse group of military and defense stakeholders that represent industry, veteran, workforce and economic development interests across the state.

In 2012, Washington’s military industry accounted for 136,000 jobs and $15.7 billion in economic activity. There are more than 1,500 companies doing defense work in 35 of 39 Washington counties. Washington has the sixth largest military presence in the nation with personnel at bases and assets throughout the state. The industry supports military personnel as well as civilian jobs in cybersecurity, aerospace, advanced manufacturing, clean technology, and information and communications technology. 

“The military and defense sector is an economic backbone for many Washington communities and a driver of economic development statewide,” Inslee said. “As the DOD reduces military assets around the country, we want to make sure we are prepared and ready. By planning ahead, we will ensure Washington remains in a strong position to support our military and defense infrastructure, its diverse industry supply chain and the tens of thousands of jobs associated with this industry.”

The DOD grant will help implement a plan to minimize the impacts of military downsizing on regional businesses and communities. The plan, called the Washington State Military and Defense Sector Industry Adjustment Analysis and Strategy, was developed in collaboration with the Washington Military Alliance and the Department of Commerce. It will:

•    Assess the extent of the military and defense contracting footprint in the state,

•    Create a strategy and support system to reduce the exposure of regional businesses that are overly reliant on military and defense spending,

•    Support capability for technology transfers and advanced commercial spin-off of DOD programs to the private sector,

•    Generate a seamless transition to retrain and place dislocated defense contract employees in new jobs,

•    Study future opportunities for industry growth in both the public and private sector in order to meet defense needs, and

•    Focus on retaining and strengthening Washington state’s defense sector businesses and workforce.

Jorgensen Forge, a Tukwila company doing U.S. Navy contract work, is a prime example of the type of company that can benefit from the grant, said Kristin√© Reeves, the state Department of Commerce’s military and defense sector lead.  The company, like several others in the state, has reduced its workforce as defense contracts have declined.

“This plan was fostered by the state’s Department of Commerce in response to community need and involves a partnership with eight local private organizations and several state agencies,’’ said Rich Hadley, president emeritus of Greater Spokane Inc. “This will touch all corners of Washington and demonstrates great public/private collaboration and a coordinated effort to keep this important industry an economic driver.”

“One core tenet of our statewide economic development and competitiveness strategy focuses on developing opportunities in key industry sectors,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “This is the same approach we take with the aerospace, life sciences and other key industries and provides the focus we need to ensure that Washington remains highly competitive for jobs today and well into the future.”

“As we work to represent four of the five largest defense communities in our state, the Puget Sound Regional Council is proud to partner with the Governor’s office, the state Department of Commerce and others to marshal our resources and strategically focus our efforts on understanding the defense supply chain in our state and then working to ensure that supply chain is prosperous and can grow for years to come,” said Pat McCarthy, president of the Puget Sound Regional Council.

About the Washington Military Alliance
The WMA provides a forum for collaboration in the state between local governments, military installations, state agencies and federal agencies. It serves as a policy advisor to the governor, other state agencies, the Legislature and others. Inslee signed a memorandum of understanding with Washington’s congressional delegation and more than 30 military, business and economic development organizations from across the state.

The group was originally convened to collaborate on production of the Washington Military Alliance Report, which identified impacts to Washington’s military and defense infrastructure and develop initial recommendations in response to a possible Base Realignment and Closure Commission action. Inslee reconvened the group to ensure the state’s ongoing response and preparation during DOD deliberations.

For More Information about the military and defense sector or the Department of Defense grant, please contact Kristiné Reeves at 206-910-1624 or Kristine.reeves@commerce.wa.gov.

from Office of the Governor press release 9-25-14

Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11 Memorial in Washington



Governor Jay Inslee hereby directs that Washington State and United States flags at all state agency facilities be lowered to half-staff on Thursday, September 11, 2014, for national Patriot Day, the annual memorial to the victims of the 2001 tragedy.

Please notify all of your field offices and facilities around the state.

Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business Thursday, or first thing Friday morning, September 12.

Other government entities, citizens and businesses are encouraged to join this recognition.

Please call (360) 239-1317 if you have any questions about this flag lowering.

Annual Massing of the Colors Applications

(Click on Image for a Larger & Complete View)





















The application packet for participation is available here.

Friday, September 5, 2014

AUSA Tacoma Subchapter Hosts Fun-raiser


AUSA's Capt. Meriwether Lewis Chapter's Tacoma Subchapter supports the Warrior Transition Battalion, Western Region Medical Command, and Madigan Army Medical Center. As such, the Tacoma Subchapter is hosting the second annual auction & beer and wine tasting on November 12, 2014 beginning at 5:30pm at the Red Lion in Tacoma.  The auction is the subchapter’s premiere fundraising opportunity and we need your help.  

(Click on Image for a Complete View)

14th Turkey Shoot Time!


It’s time for the 14th annual Turkey Shoot and Holiday Troop Support Golf Tourney.  The golf tournament will be held Friday, November 7th at Eagles Pride Golf Course on JBLM with a shotgun start at 10:00 a.m.

The tournament raises funds each year to help our troops and their families during the holidays.  All donations will benefit the military community of JBLM and Camp Murray through The Food Basket Program, Madigan Foundation and Santa’s Castle.

For more information, contact Amy Tiemeyer at 253-912-3214 or email atiemeyer@youracu.org

(Click on Image for a Complete View)
 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

WA Formalizes State-wide Military Alliance



Governor Jay Inslee’s official kick off of the Washington Military Alliance (WMA) marks an important victory for Washington’s military service members and families. While the WMA has existed for several years, today’s signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) by the Governor and key stakeholders across the state formalizes the WMA’s role.

The WMA is an alliance of business and community leaders, state legislators and agencies, and local elected officials formed to protect military and defense infrastructure and industry vitality and build and maintain military and defense partnerships statewide.  It’s being convened by the Governor and the entire Washington State Congressional Delegation.

Gov. Jay Inslee was joined by more than 20 military and economic development leaders for the launch of the Washington Military Alliance, a diverse group of military and defense stakeholders representing industry, infrastructure, veteran, workforce and economic development interests across the state. The governor is asking WMA to help the state prepare for the impacts of U.S. Department of Defense reductions in military assets.

“The military and defense sector is an economic backbone for many Washington communities and a priority industry sector for economic development statewide,” Gov. Inslee said. “As the DOD reduces military assets around the country, we want to make sure our communities and our military personnel are prepared and ready. By planning ahead, we can make sure Washington remains in a strong position to support our military and defense infrastructure, its diverse industry supply chain and the tens of thousands of jobs associated with this industry.”

The WMA will provide a forum for collaboration in the state among local governments, military installations, state agencies and federal agencies.  It will serve as a policy adviser to the governor, other state agencies, the Legislature and others. “We welcome (Gov. Inslee’s) personal commitment to represent Washington at the gubernatorial level to engage on how issues of national defense play out within the fifty states.  For example, we sincerely appreciate your administration’s response to the recent Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Army 2020 Force Structure Realignment,” said John Caulfield, Chair, Executive Leadership Team, South Sound Military & Communities Partnership. 

The group was originally convened to collaborate on production of the Washington Military Alliance Report, which identified impacts to Washington’s military and defense infrastructure and develop initial recommendations in response to a possible Base Realignment and Closure Commission action. Gov. Inslee reconvened the group to ensure the state’s ongoing response and preparation during DOD deliberations.

“With 10 military-related installations, thousands of military and defense works, and over 1,500 companies supporting defense work in our communities across the state, it is now more important than ever that the state come together to develop a strong strategy to protect the infrastructure, promote the industry and support workforce development that keeps our economy strong and shows Washington as the strong partner to DOD it is,” said John Powers, executive director of the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance.

“One core tenet of our statewide economic development and competitiveness strategy focuses on developing opportunities in key industry sectors. Standing up the WMA replicates an approach to industry collaboration that has been extremely successful in aerospace, with the Washington Aerospace Partnership. These effective public-private partnerships are necessary to ensure that Washington is highly competitive for the jobs today and well into the future,” said state Commerce Director Brian Bonlender.

“With such diverse military industry, missions, needs and opportunities, and a different stakeholder group for every aspect of an issue related to the military and defense community, it was important to the governor and the federal congressional delegation to convene a group of diverse military community stakeholders to come together with one voice in response to potential cuts to defense spending,” said Rich Hadley, president emeritus of Greater Spokane Incorporated.

The WMA will provide a forum for collaboration in the state among local governments, military installations, state agencies and federal agencies. It will serve as a policy adviser to the governor, other state agencies, the Legislature and others.  “Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) is the major economic impact in Pierce County and the largest single-employer worksite in Washington State. Our community recognizes the necessity of state leadership in sustaining the installation’s military mission,” said Tom Pierson, Pres./CEO, Tacoma-Pierce Co. Chamber. “The state can help local efforts to chart a course through the challenges ahead and to take advantage of the inevitable opportunities that occur with anticipated changes,” he concluded.

In 2012, Washington’s military industry accounted for 136,000 jobs and $15.7 billion in economic activity. Washington is the sixth-most military populous in the nation, with personnel at bases and assets throughout the state. The industry supports military personnel as well as civilian jobs in cybersecurity, aerospace, advanced manufacturing, clean technology, and information and communications technology.  

Links:
Website: www.WAMilitaryAlliance.org
Facebook: WAMilitaryAlliance
Twitter: @WAMilAffairs

Chamber Supports Washington Military Alliance

Tom Pierson, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber President & CEO, joined Governor Jay Inslee and more than 20 military and economic development leaders for the launch of the Washington Military Alliance (WMA), a diverse group of military and defense stakeholders representing industry, infrastructure, veteran, workforce and economic development interests across the state.

“The military and defense sector is an economic backbone for many Washington communities and a priority industry sector for economic development statewide,” Governor Inslee said. “As the DOD reduces military assets around the country, we want to make sure our communities and our military personnel are prepared and ready. By planning ahead, we can make sure Washington remains in a strong position to support our military and defense infrastructure, its diverse industry supply chain and the tens of thousands of jobs associated with this industry.”

“With Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) the major economic impact in Pierce County and the largest single-employer worksite in Washington State, our community recognizes the necessity of state leadership in sustaining the installation’s military mission,” said Pierson. “The state can help local efforts to chart a course through the challenges ahead and to take advantage of the inevitable opportunities that occur with anticipated changes,” he concluded.

In 2012, Washington’s military industry accounted for 136,000 jobs and $15.7 billion in economic activity. Washington is the sixth most military populous in the nation with personnel at bases and assets all throughout the state. The industry supports military personnel as well as civilian jobs in cybersecurity, aerospace, advanced manufacturing, clean technology, and information and communications technology. 

The WMA will provide a forum for collaboration in the state between local governments, military installations, state agencies, and federal agencies. It will serve as a policy advisor to the governor, other state agencies, the Legislature, and others. Inslee signed a memorandum of understanding with more than 20 military, business and economic development organizations from every corner of the state.

The group was originally convened to collaborate on production of the Washington Military Alliance Report, which identified impacts to Washington’s military and defense infrastructure and develop initial recommendations in response to a possible Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) action.