"GSO Study: Greater Tacoma Attributes, Impediments and Barriers"

“Greater Tacoma Business Climate Attributes- An outstanding telecommunications infrastructure;- Better availability of semi-skilled and skilled workers;- A somewhat lower operating cost environment, lower labor costs, less expensive business real estate costs, lower energy costs and low ocean freight costs to Pacific Rim;- Good access to manufacturing, distribution and Class B office space;- Excellent air and ocean transportation services;- Access to outstanding health care, higher education, recreation and cultural resources; and- A very low personal tax burden.Serious Economic Development Impediments- An outdated image as a rather undesirable poor relation to Seattle; and- The absence of a shared vision for the future primarily attributable to a lack of cooperation among local governments and a lingering low self-image.Other Barriers- A paucity of available Class A office space;- Highway and rail bottlenecks that affect the competitiveness of the Port of Tacoma;- Some high business costs – state and local government business tax burden, healthcare insurance benefit costs, construction costs;- A less well-educated labor force and modestly sub-par graduate outcomes performance in the Tacoma School District; and- The image of a somewhat contentious labor-management environment in the State of Washington.Organizational Participants- Economic Development board for Tacoma-Pierce County- Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce- Port of Tacoma- City of Tacoma Department of Economic Development- Pierce County government- Local chambers of commerce within Pierce County- Other municipal governments in Pierce CountySource: Economic Development Strategy for the Tacoma-Pierce County Metropolitan Region, Executive Summary.”