Key Industries

From a rich maritime legacy to a burgeoning tech and startup community, Tacoma helps businesses from all backgrounds succeed.

Marine cargo terminal
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With more than 2,700 acres of Port property, Tacoma is home to the seventh largest container port in the U.S. The city’s 100+ year maritime history has helped it build strong trade partners across the globe, particularly in Pacific Rim markets, with which Tacoma trades about $46 billion in goods a year. Tacoma’s thriving maritime industry supports 29,000 jobs and is a major center for bulk, breakbulk, and automobiles cargoes.

Computer programmer
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Tech & Tech Startups

Ranked by Forbes as the best region in the country for tech jobs, the Seattle-Tacoma region has seen massive growth in tech and cyber security jobs over the last few years. The University of Washington Tacoma’s School of Engineering & Technology trains some of the best tech and computer science experts in the country, and hosts key networking events for big and small tech companies. Affordable office space, top talent, and a lively downtown community have attracted Silicon Valley tech companies, along with new and local tech startups. Tacoma’s retention rate for programmers and tech workers is also significantly higher than the rest of the country, allowing you to reduce employment costs and build a cohesive team. Learn more about Tacoma’s startup community.

Museum of glass
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Art and culture are a major component of Tacoma’s economy. In fact, Tacoma is the second-most museum dense city in Washington State. According to a 2016 study, art and culture generates about $137 million in economic activity in Tacoma every year and support 3,656 jobs. From the Museum of Glass to the Rialto Theatre to the Tacoma Art Museum, art and culture are at the heart of Tacoma’s community and economy.

Franciscan medical building
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Tacoma is home to several major healthcare companies, including MultiCare Health Systems, CHI Franciscan Health and Kaiser Permanente. With a growing population, healthcare training programs, and nearby Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma’s healthcare industry has significant growth potential. In 2016, the healthcare sector increased employment by 28%. The University of Washington Tacoma also offers degrees in biomedical science, healthcare leadership, and nursing.

Airplane taking off
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Washington is the #1 state in the nation for aerospace production  and the Seattle-Tacoma region is a hotbed for aerospace innovation. The region is home to major aerospace companies, such as Boeing, Toray Composites, AIM Aerospace, General Plastics, and Cadence Aerospace. There are more than 136,000 trained aerospace workers and 80 aerospace firms in Tacoma-Pierce County.  Washington’s State government fully supports the aerospace industry through enticing incentives and technical assistance.

Bank buildings
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Banking and Insurance

Tacoma is home to major financial institutions such as Columbia Bank, KeyBank, JP Morgan Chase, and Umpqua Bank. The University of Washington Tacoma’s KeyBank Professional Development Center offers world-class training on entrepreneurship and business, and develops top talent within the banking and insurance industry. UW Tacoma’s Milgard School of Business also offers programs in finance, international business and management, and accounting.

Construction worker
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Construction is booming in Tacoma. In fact, Tacoma has one of the fastest growing construction industries in the country. In 2019-21, nearly 4,000 multi-family homes will break ground; likewise 2020 corporate and government expansion announcements including TOTE Maritime and General Services Administration headquarters plus many planned institutional expansions and maritime logistics centers continue to drive this key sector. New restaurants, breweries, and industrial expansions are also surging, providing significant opportunities for construction throughout the region.

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