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Local Employment and Apprenticeship Training Program

When Does LEAP Apply?

Local Employment Requirements Apply To:

  • Civil projects over $250,000 (water main, sewer, street pavement, etc.)
  • Building projects over $750,000 (Convention Center, Police Station, etc.)
  • Service contracts relating to a public work or improvement that use labor at a City site such as the City's Annual Flagging Contract

Apprentice Utilization Requirements Apply To:

  • Civil or Building projects over $1,000,000 
  • Service contracts relating to a public work or improvement that use labor at a City site such as the City's Annual Flagging Contract over $1,000,000

How It Works

The mandatory program requires contractors or service providers to employ City of Tacoma Residents, residents from Economically Distressed Areas of the Tacoma Public Utilities Service Area, or Registered Apprentices approved by the Washington State Apprenticeship Council (SAC) that reside in Pierce County for 15% of a project's total labor hours on qualifying public works contracts.  The 15% LEAP-hour requirement is based on work performed. 


For larger projects that cost more than $1,000,000, there is also 15% Apprentice utilization requirement. Contractors may use a local apprentice to satisfy both requirements at the same time.

The City requires prime contractors to recruit and hire SAC's and/or city of Tacoma residents, see exception below.  Contractors present their Prime Contractor LEAP Utilization Plan for meeting the 15% labor hour requirement at a pre-construction meeting.


The Contractor can use subcontractor hours toward meeting the requirement and the contractor must provide a LEAP Employee Verification Form (LEVF) for every person from whom the contractor will claim credit. Contractors who do not meet the requirement are assessed an amount for each hour that is not achieved.  The City of Tacoma may waive the penalty if in the best interest of the City.


The LeMay Car Museum, Cheney Stadium renovation, The Greater Tacoma Convention CenterTacoma Link Light Rail, Center for Urban WatersSmall Business Incubator campus, Tacoma Power Hydroelectric Projects, Tacoma Water Green River Headworks Projects, Point Ruston, and a host of other public works and private development projects have helped transform Tacoma into a thriving metropolis.

The recession and the aging labor force have prompted the need for skilled apprentices and journey level craft workers to work on City of Tacoma construction projects.


Providing Residents Opportunities for Apprenticeship Programs

The Local Employment and Apprenticeship Training Program (LEAP) provides City of Tacoma residents opportunities to access apprenticeship programs through its partnerships with local work force development providers. You can visit the events and resources web page for a list of those partners.

LEAP’s success depends upon the consistent involvement of the trade community. The coordinator works closely with contractors and contractor associations, labor, community-based organizations, citizens, educational institutions, public agencies and City staff to help achieve LEAP's mission.

The trade community also serves a valuable oversight role. The LEAP Advisory Committee (LAC) keeps the program on track with ongoing evaluation and performance monitoring. LAC members include representatives from labor, non-union contractors, Associated General Contractors, community-based organizations, community and technical colleges, Tacoma School District, Youth Building Tacoma, Pierce County and City of Tacoma.

Ultimately, LEAP is accountable to Tacoma’s citizens. A biennial report sent to the City Manager, Director of Public Utilities, City Council and Public Utility Board reports on the program’s progress.

Contact Us 


Deborah Trevorrow
LEAP & Workforce Programs
(253) 316-3057