The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce has been spreading word of the region. Not to travel agents and national publications, necessarily — although that helps too.

T he chamber provided a strong voice affirming Pierce County’s transportation infrastructure needs before the State legislature. That advocacy helped lead to the authorization of transportation projects of regional significance such as I-5 expansion and corridor improvements to SR-16, SR-512 and the Port of Tacoma Road. Pierce County proved to policy makers that improvements to our area will lead to long-term economic opportunity throughout the state.

The chamber also helped secure continued capital funding for Pierce County institutes of higher education, including the University of Washington Tacoma. The UWT campus has been a regional success story adding to the critically needed education infrastructure in the South Sound.

The deployment of the C-17 Globemaster III program at McChord AFB was due in part to successful federal lobbying efforts. The chamber helped send a message to Congress underscoring the importance of the synergy between McChord and Ft. Lewis Army Post to our country’s global defense needs.

The chamber published the 12th annual Pierce County Economic Index, the premier economic forecast for the county. The chamber also facilitated a study by the Washington Research Council on the impact of new city incorporation on regional governance issues that affect business. Market area analyses for the South County and University Place chamber divisions have set the tone for a dynamic first year of the 21st century.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce is completing a year-long review to solidify its identity with the local business community, improve two-way communications with members and business leaders, and sharpen responses to area business needs.

Author Davicd Graybill is president and CEO of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce.