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Friday, July 21, 2017 This Week's Paper

Bulletin Board

WSDOT: TRAFFIC SWITCHES ON I-5 IN TACOMA TAKE PLANNING, PATIENCE

Tacoma commuters, get ready. Two big traffic shifts are scheduled this week and will last for six months, according to a Washington State Department of Transportation blog post. The first shift will affect northbound Interstate 5 traffic, when all northbound lanes will move onto a newly-built northbound I-5 bridge over I-705. Once that traffic shift is complete, an even bigger shift to southbound I-5 traffic, will occur.
Starting July 10, southbound drivers will notice changes being made to southbound I-5 approaching Tacoma as crews place barriers and restripe the southbound lanes into two distinct roadways.
In this temporary southbound alignment, the two lanes to the right of the barrier will provide access to exits that serve State Route 7, I-705, SR 16, and South 38th Street. The three lanes to the left of the barrier will serve travelers heading toward Olympia and beyond. This temporary alignment will be put into place over a week of night closures starting July 10.

CITY SLATES PUBLIC HEARING ABOUT EMERGENCY HOMELESSNESS ACTIONS

Tacoma City Council will conduct a public hearing pertaining to the adopting of interim zoning and land use controls to permit the city to site and operate temporary emergency shelters, enacted on June 6. The hearing will be held at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25, in the City Council Chambers on the first floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building, located at 747 Market St.
People will have an opportunity to present their oral comments at the meeting. Those wishing to submit written comments may do so at the public hearing, or may submit them to the City Clerk's Office at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 733 Market St., Room 11, Tacoma, WA 98402, by 4 p.m., on Tuesday, July 25.
Ordinance No. 28432, which enacted the emergency interim regulations and set the public hearing date, can be viewed in its entirety at www.cityoftacoma.org/recentlegis by clicking on the link for June 6, or by requesting a copy from the City Clerk's Office at (253) 591-5505. 

NEW M.A.T.H. CENTER AT GOODWILL’S MILGARD CENTER PROVIDES FREE CAREER SUPPORT

To meet adult and youth student needs, a free Mathematic Assistance Tutoring & Help (M.A.T.H.) Center is now open at Goodwill’s Milgard Job Training Center in Tacoma.
Funded by Goodwill and the City of Tacoma, the walk-in center is in response to a high number of adults and youth struggling with math requirements for a variety of career paths offered through Goodwill and City job training programs.
“The City of Tacoma is partnering on this endeavor because 80 percent of applicants to vocational training programs were not able to meet the minimum math requirements,” said Christopher Wright, Analyst & Program Manager for the City of Tacoma’s Neighborhood & Community Services Dept.
The M.A.T.H. Center is a drop-in, no-cost tutoring facility, open to anyone 16 and over and providing high school through college level math and statistical assistance. Three tutors rotate to staff the center during local community college quarterly schedules. The onsite instructor provides one-on-one assistance for pre-course or pre-employment math refresh, GED completion support, and CASAS Prep & Testing. Funding for the center was split between Goodwill and the City of Tacoma’s Neighborhood & Community Services Dept.
“The lack of a high school diploma or GED is often the key issue preventing a young person from being hired into a living wage job, and math skills are often the biggest obstacle to earning that credential,” said Nicholas Bayard, Director for the nearby REACH Center, Pierce County’s one-stop drop-in education and career development center for youth and young adults ages 16-24. “Whereas private tutoring can cost from $25-$50 per hour, the M.A.T.H. Center offers this same service for free. Pierce County is experiencing job growth this year with 3,500 jobs added last month alone, so the opening of this center is quite timely for those hoping to enter the workforce or take the next step in their education and career,” said Bayard.
The center is located at the Milgard Work Opportunity Center, Room 334, 714 S. 27th St. and open Monday to Thursday, 3-7 p.m. For more information, visit Goodwill’s website, www.goodwillwa.org.

AMOCAT NOMINATIONS DUE AUG. 2

The Tacoma Arts Commission is accepting nominations for the 2017 AMOCAT Arts Awards, which recognize the people and organizations that positively impact Tacoma with their passion, innovation and commitment to the arts. Nominations will be accepted now through Aug. 2, at tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit.
“Our beloved city has dedicated people, organizations and patrons who invest in and help drive our community forward through the arts,” said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “The AMOCAT Arts Awards help recognize them for the energy and passion they have shown in support of the arts in Tacoma.”
The three award categories are:
1. Community Outreach by an Individual: Community outreach, engagement and involvement in the arts in Tacoma by an individual.
2. Community Outreach by an Organization: Community outreach, engagement and involvement in the arts in Tacoma by an organization.
3. Arts Patron: A community partner who significantly supports or contributes to the arts in Tacoma.
The Tacoma Arts Commission will review all nominations and select one finalist in each award category based on the breadth and depth of the nominee's community impact as well as the quality of the work being done by the nominee.
Strickland will present the 2017 AMOCAT Arts Awards at Kaleidoscope, the Tacoma Arts Month opening party on Oct. 4.
More information about the AMOCAT Arts Awards is available at cityoftacoma.org/amocat.

WILCOX FAMILY FARMS TAPS WORK START

The Washington State Department of Commerce, in partnership with the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County and nonprofit small business manufacturing consultant Impact Washington, has awarded $75,000 from the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund to help Wilcox Family Farms train new and current workers in lean enterprise principles and food safety.
"Growing and retaining good jobs in rural communities like Roy is critical to strengthening communities," said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “Work Start is an invaluable tool that allows us to do that by meeting the workforce needs of employers while investing in the training of the employees."
Wilcox Family Farms employs 135 people and is recognized globally for its high-quality and sustainable egg production and agricultural practices, earning several awards for innovation.
Recently, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) introduced by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strengthened regulations toward preventive controls and response planning. As a result, considerable worker and supervisor training must be integrated and adopted within food production processes.
Founded in 1909, the family-run business has grown more than 10 percent annually in recent years, adding new lines and new employees (Wilcox is currently seeking to fill about 15 more positions). The state Work Start grant will help the company keep pace and perpetuate growth and new jobs at the Roy facility.
“As we expand our value-added product lines and add new employees to our workforce, it’s vitally important that they receive training in continuous improvement and food safety,” said Andy Wilcox, director of egg operations. “We have great employees, and the training funded by the Work Start grant makes them better while enabling us to move forward with our growth plans.”
“Wilcox Farms is one of the leaders in the food sector integrating Lean Enterprise principles into their production and administrative processes, and Impact Washington is pleased to be their partner in this journey,” noted Loren Lyon, president of Impact Washington. “This, along with their diligence in understanding and applying food safety best practices, are elements that contribute to maintaining their leadership position and facilitating growth.”
“As one of the largest employers in rural Pierce County, Wilcox Farms plays a critical role in that community’s economy by hiring residents into good jobs with good benefits,” said Bruce Kendall, president and CEO of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County. “The Work Start grant allows the 108-year-old company to remain competitive through the use of modern, organic, and sustainable farming practices.”

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