Archive of: Work Force

Title Issue

KeyBank call center set to close

Some 200 workers at KeyBank's call center in Tacoma are set to lose their jobs after the bank announced plans to close the facility later this year.

The center is located in the city's Hilltop neighborhood. The consolidation will take place in stages this year and will be transparent to banking customers.

"Like every business in challenging economic times, we continually evaluate and adjust the way we work," said Tom Spilman, president of KeyBank's South Puget Sound District. "This was a difficult decision and one made carefully."

January 2009

BCRA lands federal projects

Local design, engineering and planning firm BCRA was recently notified of the award of two new Federal design-build projects totaling $20 million.
Out of its office in Virginia, the Tacoma-based firm will provide architecture, civil and structural engineering, interior design, LEED design and air barrier testing for a 46,992-square-foot addition that will house an Air Force and Navy Culinary School located at Fort Lee. Project cost is $14 million. 

January 2009

Retail sales continue decline

Taxable retail sales in the state declined 4.2 percent, to $29.8 billion, during the third quarter of 2008, the Washington State Department of Revenue reported today.

Retail trade was down 6.2 percent to $12.4 billion. Retail trade is a subset of all taxable retail sales that excludes construction, services and other non-retail businesses. Retail trade is a better measure of consumer purchases.

January 2009

Future takes shape for job training effort

A "beam-signing" ceremony at the Milgard Work Opportunity Center will mark the halfway point of construction on the project. Work on the 63,000 square foot, four-level facility began in June and it is scheduled to be completed in fall 2009.
The event, for Tacoma Goodwill employees, will take place Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at the new building, located at South 27th Street and Tacoma Avenue. For the past several weeks, staff members have had the opportunity to sign the final beam that will be placed on the building.
"The building represents our future, but it's the partnerships we've created and what goes on inside the facility that's the real story," said Bob Bruback, president of the Tacoma Goodwill Board of Directors. "It will support our efforts to train and place people in jobs."

January 2009

Local wages inch up as average national wages drop

Wages for workers in the greater Puget Sound rose by 1.7 percent, to $1,056 a week, compared to average wages a year ago, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The increase came at a time when employment declined in more than half of the largest U.S. counties.

The national average wage stands at $841 a week, down 0.3 percent from 2007.

January 2009
People on the move

People on the move

A solitary billboard overlooks a Pacific Avenue parking lot in the shadow of Russell Investments' A Street headquarters. It speaks a message all of Tacoma had been thinking: "Russell - Don't love me and leave me!"

When people in Tacoma heard international finance giant Russell was considering moving its headquarters, and its 3,000 employees, 30 miles north to Seattle, there was pandemonium. LeRoy Jewelers, known for the unique jewelry created by owner Steph Farber and his unique billboard ads created by JayRay, a Tacoma communications consultancy, took the thought of Russell leaving town to heart. It put up its billboard. The Russell billboard snagged their attention. In addition to being the topic of media attention people stopped in to LeRoy just to say they'd seen the billboard.

January 2009

Damage tally from Pierce flooding grows

The Pierce County Damage Assessment Call Center is open for property owners and businesses to report damages associated with last week's flooding. Business owners affected by the flooding should call the Department of Emergency Management damage call center at 1-866-798-6363 during regular business hours.

January 2009

Construction companies face more layoffs in 2009

An estimated two-thirds of the nation's non-residential construction companies are planning to cut their payrolls, according to new employment and business forecast figures released by the Associated General Contractors of America. All told, those layoffs are forecast to result in a 30 percent decline in the number of people working on construction projects.
"Unless the business climate changes significantly and soon, the construction sector will continue to experience the kind of devastating job losses and crippling declines in business activity that will undermine efforts to end the recession," Stephen Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer said.

January 2009

Plumbing partnership links vets with jobs

Washington National Guard members and new veterans now have another pathway for pursuing meaningful employment. In an effort to fill vacancies in the trades industry, the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters forged a strategic team of organizations to provide veterans and guard members with a fast track to a high-demand industry.

January 2009
ACORN asks local businesses to hire

ACORN asks local businesses to hire

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) kicked off its "Economic Recovery for America and Washington Now!" Campaign today. Local supporters gathered in Tacoma to give speeches and show their support.

Brenda Leichsenring, ACORN Tacoma members president, wants to see local businesses not only hire more people, but give livable wages and benefits to those employees.

"It's imperative that they give these working people a chance," she said.

January 2009
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