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Tacoma-Pierce County Overview

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Tacoma is one of the West's most ecologically diverse areas, offering an abundance of sea life at its shores and bald eagles soaring in its skies. Located just 36 miles south of Seattle and 28 miles north of Washington's state capital of Olympia, Tacoma is located in the heart of the Puget Sound Metropolitan area. The city rests on the shores of Commencement Bay and the Puget Sound, with Mount Rainier looming in the distance.

The name Tacoma stems from the Native American name for Mt. Rainier, "Tacobet," meaning "Mother of the Waters." "City of Destiny" became Tacoma's moniker when it was designated as the Northern Pacific Railroad's western terminus for its transcontinental railroad in 1873. Today the city remains a destination spot, and more and more a choice location for growing businesses.

The city continues to capitalize on its status as a gateway to the Pacific Rim, and trade remains an important facet of business in the new Tacoma. The daily arrival and departure of ships in the harbor is a visual metaphor for the changing concept of the city of Tacoma. With each passing day, the city comes into contact with its global neighborhood and moves a bit closer to being a world-class leader in the new economy.

The Tacoma area has most recently become a magnet for hi-tech companies. Pierce County is home to dozens of firms including Frank Russell, Labor Ready, Columbia Bank, Boeing, State Farm Insurance, Sagem Morpho, Microchip Technology, SuperValu, Milgard Manufacturing, Da Vita and Recreational Equipment, Inc., or REI. These companies have corporate headquarters or major regional operations in the area.

Today, more than a century after Captain George Vancouver first explored its shores, Tacoma remains a destination spot with the amenities of a big city and the charm of a small town. An ever-changing community full of potential and excitement, Tacoma is poised to embrace the future.


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