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Links to Opportunity

What's New

  • Creative Conversations Taking Place

    The City of Tacoma has partnered with the Tacoma Housing Authority, Downtown on the Go, Sound Outreach and Hilltop Action Coalition to facilitate community outreach and engagement along Sound Transit’s Tacoma Link extension route.  The information collected throughout this community outreach and engagement process will inform the design of the planned streetscape improvements, which may include benches, lighting, landscaping and art.  

    We recently invited Hilltop community members to participate in creative conversations with the streetscape design team in our project office. These were all-ages discussions held to identify images and words representing the past, present and future of the Hilltop community.  Streetscape designers were on hand to listen to community members' ideas about how to integrate Hilltop's story into the streetscape. 

    **Unable to attend these recent events? Don't worry! You can still share your ideas with us through this online survey
    . ** 

  • Consultant to Study Anticipated Construction Job Opportunities for Hilltop Residents 

    To connect Hilltop job seekers with anticipated opportunities in the region, including Sound Transit's Tacoma Link extension project, the City of Tacoma is looking for a consultant to do a detailed analysis of their specific needs

    According to a 2016 report commissioned by Tacoma Housing Authority, there are approximately 24,000 jobs in Hilltop, but only about 400 Hilltop residents work at these jobs. The City of Tacoma is committed to ensuring that residents –and particularly those in Hilltop where there is clearly a compelling need – can enjoy the economic benefits that emerge from construction jobs in the area.
    Working with input from the Hilltop Engagement Committee, Links to Opportunity Advisory Committee, and City staff, the selected consultant would provide insight into any employment barriers that Hilltop job seekers experience. Additionally, the selected consultant would design programs and services to engage and support Hilltop job seekers throughout their efforts to gain employment.

    Questions on this request for proposals can be directed to Kimberly Ward at kward2@cityoftacoma.org or (253) 502-8250. 

Visit the Links to Opportunity Project Office

Offering maps, illustrations and other information, the Links to Opportunity project office at 1120 South 11th St. (directions here) is also staffed with people who can answer your questions about the project. Office hours are:

  • Tuesdays, noon - 4 PM
  • Wednesdays, 9 AM - 1 PM
  • Thursdays, 9 AM - 1 PM and 4 - 8 PM 

Do these hours work for you?  Please contact Andy Micklow, AICP, Senior Planner, at amicklow@cityoftacoma.org or (253) 318-5626 with questions or suggestions. You may also contact these other project office representatives:



Monica Ghosh, Project Coordinator

(253) 348-9694 


Diane Sheesley, P.E., Project Engineer 

(253) 591-5358



Ian Munce, J.D., AICP, Project Manager

(253) 573-2478 



Links to Opportunity Project Scope

Click to enlarge map

The City of Tacoma's Links to Opportunity Project actively engages the community in the following activities:

  1. Development and design of  streetscape improvements along the Link extension route, including sidewalks, lighting, benches, trees, and landscaping.
    The streetscape planning area encompasses Martin Luther King Jr. Way from South 19th Street to Division Avenue, Division Avenue from Martin Luther King Jr. Way to 1st Street, and 1st Street from Division Avenue to Tacoma Avenue, with a possibility of design on adjacent streets.  
  2. Development of strategies to connect Hilltop residents with workforce development and economic empowerment opportunities provided by the Tacoma Link extension construction.

(Note: To learn more about the Tacoma Link extension project, please visit Sound Transit's project website)


Project Funding

The project is funded by a $2 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s pilot program for transit-oriented development.  The City of Tacoma provided a $500,000 match, bringing the project budget total to $2.5 million. The project is funded through August 2018. 

Technical Assistance

The Federal Transit Administration and the nonprofit organization Smart Growth America together awarded the Links to Opportunity project technical assistance of consulting expertise in economic development, housing, and transit-oriented development.  These consulting services will enhance the economic development efforts associated with the Links to Opportunity Project.  For more information on this, please contact Lauren Flemister at LFlemister@CityofTacoma.org.


Hilltop Engagement Committee 

The Hilltop Engagement Committee was established by the City Council, per Resolution No. 39527 which was adopted on August 23, 2016 to provide an opportunity for residents, organizations and businesses to share their expertise and provide input, recommendations and feedback for the Links to Opportunity Program. The committee members are: 

  • Ron Langrell, Bates Technical College
  • Anthony Powell, Central Neighborhood Council
  • Brendan Nelson, Hilltop Action Coalition
  • Denny Faker, New Tacoma Neighborhood Council
  • Joshua Jorgensen, Tacoma Housing Authority
  • William Towey, Tacoma Urban League
  • Hally Bert, At-Large
  • Kiara Daniels, At-Large
  • Ashley Lipford, At-Large
  • Anthony Steele, At-Large
  • Lawrence White, At-Large
  • Audra Hudson, At-Large

The committee weighs in on project goals and deliverables in the context of the City of Tacoma’s 2025 Strategic Plan, Equity and Empowerment Initiative, Hilltop and North Downtown Subarea Plans, Transportation Master Plan, and Complete Streets Design Guidelines. 


The committee meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 5 PM in the Clyde Hupp Board Room at Bates Technical College.  For more information, contact Monica Ghosh at monica.ghosh@cityoftacoma.org


Hilltop Engagement Committee Meeting Notes