UW Tacoma's role in South Sound rebound

Seattle Times' business reporter Jon Talton highlights Tacoma and Pierce County's "solid expansion," driven in part by UW Tacoma.
Aerial view of South Sound. UW Tacoma campus is in right foreground, amidst downtown Tacoma. Seattle Times says UW Tacoma plays a role in rebound of South Sound economy.

Seattle Times' business reporter Jon Talton highlights Tacoma and Pierce County's "solid expansion," driven in part by UW Tacoma, in an article entitled "Tacoma rebounds," published on July 19, 2014 (subscription may be required).

In the article, Talton notes that the South Sound "fell harder" and "recovered slower" from the Great Recession, but cites evidence that shows a "solid expansion is taking hold in the City of Destiny and Pierce County."

He says "Tacoma's trajectory is closer to the national economy, slow and steady," unlike metro Seattle's "frenetic boom."

He cites a slew of signals, including falling unemployment, arrival of State Farm, prosperity of the Port of Tacoma and aerospace investments at Frederickson.

Talton mentions a number of developments in which UW Tacoma is directly or indirectly involved: expansion at the Tacoma Art Museum, the new University Y Student Center, new restaurants along Pacific Avenue, and the growth of cyber security firms.

Quoting Talton's reporting on UW Tacoma: " 'These companies, and others, also partner with UWT's IT department and recruit college grads and Ph.D. students to join their teams,' said Ricardo Noguera, community and economic-development director for the city of Tacoma. 'UWT has recruited top Big Data minds such as Ankur Teredesai to lead groundbreaking projects with local businesses and organizations.' "

UW Tacoma's economic impact ... by the numbers

$235 million - UW Tacoma's annual economic impact

A 2010 economic impact study prepared for the University of Washington by Tripp Umbach, a nationally-known consulting firm, estimated UW Tacoma's annual economic impact on the state of Washington to be $235 million.

1,500 and growing - the number of students that graduate from UW Tacoma each year

Since our founding in 1990, our graduating class has grown from four (the size of the class of 1991) to more than 1,500 (class of 2014). If we continue our current growth trends, we'll be graduating more than 2,000 students each year by the end of the decade.

15,000 and growing - the number of alumni of UW Tacoma

80% - the portion of graduating students that stay in the South Sound region

Our alumni have a deep and long-lasting impact on the South Sound. UW Tacoma alumni are regional leaders in K-12 education, health care, environmental science, cyber security, social service and business.

50+ - the number of new faculty positions filled 2012-2014

As we grow to 7,000 enrolled students by the end of the decade, we're creating new degree programs and bringing dozens of new professors and lecturers to the community.

17 - number of historic downtown Tacoma structures saved from the wrecking ball

The creation of the 46-acre campus in at the south end of downtown Tacoma is a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization and historic preservation. Award-winning restorations include the Joy Building, West Coast Grocery, the Snoqualmie Library Powerhouse, and many others. The oldest building on any UW campus is Pinkerton, built in 1889.

227,000 - square footage of new buildings erected to date

Our new buildings take their cue from the historic brick-and-timber architecture on all sides. Snoqualmie Library, William W. Philip Hall, Tioga Library, Science Building, Keystone Building -- all contribute to the dynamic urban campus setting.

$12 million - annual revenues of retail tenants in UW Tacoma-leased space

A major part of our urban-serving mission is the regeneration of economic activity in downtown Tacoma. Our 21 retail tenants include restaurants, clothing and gift shops, a book store and seasonal food trucks. We participate in Spaceworks, a program that nurtures retail entrepreneurs.

Written by: 
John Burkhardt / July 25, 2014
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, media relations, 253-692-4536 or johnbjr@uw.edu