In the past, people followed jobs. My grandfather came to Tacoma from Michigan during World War II to work in the paper mills serving the war effort. He could make more in Tacoma than he could in Ontanogan, so he moved here.
Today, jobs follow people. Companies relocate to areas like Silicon Valley, because they know the people there have the skills their companies need. As we think about the future of Tacoma and getting more jobs in our community (and more B&O revenue to pay for police officers) it comes down to education.
As a teacher for Tacoma Public Schools, I know the value of education and what our school district can do. I also know that if we want to build the workforce of tomorrow in Tacoma, we’re going to need many community partners coming together to do so.
We need our businesses to come together to outline the skills needed for their business to function. We need to have our education partners – K-12, higher education, unions, non-profits, libraries – to work together to develop a clear plan to meet those needs. Finally, we need our city to be a leader, the institution that brings these partners together and ensure that the pieces are there.
As someone who spans these worlds, from public schools to non-profits, from the library board to the Puget Sound Alumni Board, I am in position to lead on these issues from the council. We need to invest in our residents now – through schools, libraries, apprenticeships and internships – to ensure we are the place where jobs come in the future.