TACOMA, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Commerce has announced the winners of this year’s Governor’s Smart Communities Awards. In the “Smart Climate Strategies” category, the City of Tacoma’s Green Economic Development Strategy was recognized for leveraging government climate policies and funding, as well as consumer demand, to:
- Prepare its workforce for job opportunities;
- Support innovation;
- Assist mid-sized firms in greening their products and processes; and
- Attract new companies to Tacoma.
The City of Tacoma is one of the first cities in the United States to complete a Green Economic Development Strategy.
“I am thrilled to see the City of Tacoma’s Green Economic Development Strategy receive the Governor’s Smart Communities Award for its intentional focus on a greener future,” said Mayor Victoria Woodards, “This strategy ensures that as we commit to being a more sustainable community, we are cultivating jobs that not only pay great wages but also tackle critical environmental challenges.”
“This is a wonderful recognition of the hard work that went into this important strategy,” said Council Member Keith Blocker, who serves as Chair of the City Council’s Economic Development Committee. “I have no doubt that this strategy will enable Tacoma to seize new market opportunities, while also making sure that we continue to stand by our workers, including people of color and women, so that they thrive in a green economy.”
“What I appreciate the most about our Green Economic Development Strategy is that it recognizes our strengths as a manufacturing city and harnesses them to drive our future work in a green economy,” said Council Member Kiara Daniels, who serves as Vice-Chair of the City Council’s Economic Development Committee. “We have to stay true to our roots and who we are as a city if we want to create durable change, and this strategy takes into account our unique environment and the passion of our community. It is a perfect fit for Tacoma because it builds on who we are now to show us who we can become.”
The City of Tacoma’s Green Economic Development Strategy, which was facilitated and led by the Community and Economic Development Department, is aligned with its Comprehensive Plan, “One Tacoma”, as well as its Climate Action Plan. It was crafted with input from a broad-based advisory committee including representatives from the City of Tacoma’s economic development, long range planning, sustainability and utilities teams, the Tacoma-Pierce Manufacturing Industrial Council, the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County, the Minority Business Development Agency, the Port of Tacoma, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, and Workforce Central. Included in stakeholder outreach were Communities for a Healthy Bay, the Tacoma Tideflats Subarea Work Group, Goodwill, Impact Washington, Pierce County Central Labor Council, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, Tacoma Public Schools, University of Washington Tacoma, and the Tacoma Anchor Institutions Network, including Tacoma’s largest employers.
Presented annually since 2006, the Smart Communities Awards program recognizes local governments and their partners for exceptional land use planning and development. The awards showcase effective implementation of the state’s Growth Management Act, and the honored local programs and projects serve as leading examples for other communities as they seek to address similar land use planning issues or look for inspiration and creative ideas.
“The Smart Awards continues a long-standing tradition in our state of excellence and leadership. This year’s winners are tackling everything from housing affordability to environmental restoration, proving that our state can do anything it sets its mind to,” said Gov. Jay Inslee.
“Making equity a recognizable achievement in our communities and celebrating the kinds of projects that take years if not decades to reach fruition are both admirable additions to the governor’s annual program,” said Commerce Director Mike Fong. “I am excited to share