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$3 million pledged so far for Pierce County economic development board

Post by Kathleen Cooper / The News Tribune on Oct. 22, 2010 at 2:24 pm with No Comments »
October 22, 2010 2:24 pm

Pierce County private business and public agencies have pledged $3.1 million so far to a five-year fundraising campaign for the area’s economic development board.

“There needs to be a certain amount of energy and belief in the business community,” said Sean O’Brien, president of BiNW, a company headquartered in Tacoma that renewed its investment in the Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board.

BiNW, which designs workplace layouts, pledged in the community division, which is a commitment of $5,000 to $24,999. O’Brien, an EDB board member, wouldn’t say Friday exactly how much BiNW chipped in. A news release from the EDB indicates the company increased its investment by 10 percent or more from the last five-year campaign.

The economic development board is a private, nonprofit corporation that promotes Pierce County for business recruitment, retention and expansion. It does fundraising campaigns every five years. The goal for the 2011-2015 campaign and work plan, called Future Focus, is $6 million. According to a EDB brochure, $3 million will go toward recruitment, $2 million toward retention and expansion, and $1 million to marketing.

Top investors so far are:

$100,000 plus: Columbia Bank, KeyBank, US Bank, Weyerhaeuser, Tacoma Public Utilities, Port of Tacoma, Pierce County, and the cities of Tacoma and Gig Harbor

$50,000 – $99,999: Bank of America, DaVita, Franciscan Health System, Heritage Bank, Wells Fargo, The News Tribune, Puget Sound Energy, and the cities of Fife, Lakewood and Puyallup.

The EDB’s successes in 2009 include the retention of DaVita and its approximately 900 downtown jobs, the recruitment of VersaCold near the Port of Tacoma, and the recruitment of Green Mountain Coffee roasters to Sumner.

“The EDB is focused on creating jobs, supporting UWT — all the different facets of our working economy,” O’Brien said. Investing in it “makes good business sense. It’s our vote that we believe in this.”

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