Key Industries

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


Among the largest container ports in the U.S., the Port of Tacoma hosts a diverse array of maritime and industrial-related businesses and facilities across 2,500 acres of Port-owned property, including several major container terminals managed by The Northwest Seaport Alliance. An important economic engine in Pierce County, real estate and marine cargo operations at the Port of Tacoma support more than 42,000 jobs and $3 billion in labor income. The Tacoma Blue Edge Network serves businesses in the Tacoma Tideflats, enhancing connectivity and providing a living lab where entrepreneurs can explore solutions to industry challenges.

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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Arts, culture, creativity and innovation are key ingredients to Tacoma’s economy and vitality as a community and its residents agree. In 2018, Tacoma passed the state’s first cultural access program, Tacoma Creates, that infuses $5million/year into cultural organizations to support their sustainability and enable increased access to arts, heritage, culture and science opportunities for Tacoma residents and visitors. Tacoma’s world class museums and theaters, active arts community, and innovation by creative entrepreneurs make Tacoma a truly special place.

Franciscan medical building
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Tacoma is home to several major healthcare companies, including MultiCare Health Systems, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health and Kaiser Permanente. With a growing population, healthcare training programs, and nearby Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma’s healthcare industry is experiencing significant growth. 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 Umpqua Bank, KeyBank, JP Morgan Chase, BECU and Sound Credit Union. 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.

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Construction is booming in Tacoma, in both residential and commercial projects. Tacoma has one of the fastest growing construction industries in the country.  Over 800 new multifamily units were finalized and started leasing in 2022 and the 2023 permitting pipeline includes 5500 new apartments. The city’s first housing in the downtown core opened – the Astor at the Washington Building.

Commercial development remains robust with extensive remodels and updates completed at 909A,The Rhodes Center (formerly a state office building), and 1145 Broadway in downtown.  Tacoma Mall completed its redevelopment, adding four new anchors to its footprint.  Bridgepoint Tacoma and Tacoma Central Logistics are just two of the many state-of-the-art logistics facilities bringing more than one and half million square feet of new space to the city.



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