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Community and Economic Development

Our Mission

The Community and Economic Development Department works to facilitate equitable economic growth and opportunity by supporting existing businesses, enabling reinvestment and revitalization, and promoting the attraction and creation of new businesses, living wage jobs, and housing options to enhance the quality of life in the community.

 

View the Community & Economic Development Strategic Plan 2020-2025

 

Divisions

 

Business Services & Workforce Partnerships

Business Services & Workforce Partnerships facilitates and coordinates City efforts for collaborative revitalization of neighborhoods, which includes small business development with a special focus on equity and inclusion. The division does this by offering programs that foster established and new relationships with community-based organizations. 

 

Workforce Partnerships programs include the Local Employment & Apprenticeship Program (LEAP). and the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program. LEAP provides residents of Tacoma with the training and support services necessary to complete apprenticeship requirements, preparing participants for livable wage jobs in the building and construction trades. LEAP focuses on areas of the City in Community and Empowerment Zones. SBE aims to increase employment opportunities for small business contractors and individuals seeking to increase their skills through training and apprenticeship on City-funded projects. The division also oversees the Equity in Contracting (EIC) program and coordinates with other City departments.

 

Economic Development Services

Economic Development Services provides business retention, expansion, and attraction services for employers through direct outreach and contracts with partner organizations. The division also facilitates real estate development activities and proactive marketing of public and private properties to support development opportunities. Over the past four years, the division has helped identify potential funding for development, including the Federal Opportunity Zone program and other public and private sources of equity and debt financing. 

 

Other duties of the division include conducting research and providing information for businesses, supporting recruitment, and the facilitation of international trade and development activities. These activities are conducted through partnerships with other organizations and public sector agencies. Finally, the division administers the Multifamily Property Tax Exemption Program, which provides tax incentives for property owners that invest in market rate and affordable multifamily housing in the downtown or Mixed-Use Centers, and has oversight of the Downtown Tacoma Partnership, which operates the Business Improvement Area (BIA). 

  

Housing Services

Housing Services provides financing through federal, state, and local resources to assist with the production and preservation of affordable housing throughout the city. The division seeks to finance non-profit housing developers and other housing organizations in coordination with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, the Washington State Department of Commerce, Housing Finance Commission, and Pierce County. The goal of these financing programs is to increase the number of affordable housing units for low- and very-low income households in Tacoma. 

 

In addition, the division provides down-payment assistance to income-eligible homebuyers in targeted areas of the city and offers housing repair and rehabilitation assistance to low-income seniors, families, and persons with disabilities. It also has responsibility for major components of the Affordable Housing Action Strategy foreclosure prevention services and funding, and partners with numerous other departments and TPU in its implementation. Finally, Housing Services oversees Community Development Block Grants and HOME Investment Partnership programs, two important federal programs that aim to increase affordable housing units. 

 

Minority Business Development Agency

The federally funded Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Washington Business Center delivers direct and consultant-based technical assistance and business development services to eligible minority-owned and small business enterprises throughout the state with a focus on Tacoma and the Puget Sound area. Through leveraging its resources, the MBDA-Washington Business Center compliments and assists CED's economic development activities and programs, including the City's Equity in Contracting (EIC) program initiative. 

  

Office of Arts and Cultural Vitality

Arts and culture are essential to Tacoma - enlivening its downtown core, contributing to the livability of its neighborhoods, and enhancing the quality of life of its residents and visitors. The Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality supports the cultural sector in Tacoma in a variety of ways including funding programs, public art, professional development, and special programming.

 

The Tacoma Arts Commission and its staff play a vital role in supporting Tacoma's arts and cultural programs. They encourage the development of the local arts community through the administration of funding programs for artists and arts-focused community projects, managing the City's public art collection, and producing a variety of public programs, including Tacoma Arts Month and the Tacoma Poet Laureate program. 

 

Tacoma Creates is a voter-approved initiative to increase access to arts, culture, heritage, and science experiences throughout Tacoma by reducing barriers to access and expanding offerings, particularly for underserved youth. Eligible non-profit arts, culture, heritage, and science organizations are able to apply for funding that helps them expand equitable access to public programs, increase opportunities in neighborhoods throughout Tacoma, expand educational options for youth, and build sustainability for ongoing cultural programs that provide value for people throughout the City of Tacoma. The Tacoma Creates Advisory Board serves in an advisory capacity to the Tacoma Creates staff on funding programs. 

 

 

News Updates

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Link to TacomaFIRST 311 from the City of Tacoma

Tacoma Municipal
Building
Ninth Floor
747 Market Street
Tacoma, WA 98402

(253) 591-5624 
 

CEDD Org Chart

Business Intelligence Tools

 

Contact Information

Jeff Robinson

Director
(253) 591-5139

email 

 

Chrisy Vindivich

Office Manager
(253) 591-5141

email

Courtney Dryden
Office Administrator
(253) 591-5624

email

  

Lina Hammoud
Administrative Assistant
(253) 591-5639

email


 

Alyson Frederick

Office Assistant

(253) 591-5364

email