Grow jobs in the 253 or stay stuck in traffic jam

Credit: Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Bruce Dammeier


See that rush hour traffic inching its way north every weekday? Our economy is caught in that traffic jam, and it will only get worse if we fail to make the critical decisions in front of us.

Pierce County sits at a crossroads. Census figures show us leading the nation in the year-to-year increase in the number of people moving here from within the U.S.

Our unemployment rate is shrinking, our property values are rising, opportunities for education have never been better and our labor force is made up of 308,000 well-trained, well-educated workers.

Yet we lose nearly half of our nonmilitary workers to jobs beyond our county borders. Too many of us spend three hours a day (or more) at a steering wheel instead of coaching Little League, eating out at local cafes or volunteering to improve our neighborhood parks.