The City of Tacoma recognizes that community access to quality services, educational and professional opportunities helps Tacoma grow and thrive.
Partnering with University of Washington Tacoma to provide year-long internships, the City of Tacoma gave nine students the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in class to real world experiences. Host departments included the City Manager’s Office, Information Technology, Finance, Neighborhood and Community Services, and Community and Economic Development. The City also strengthened its partnership with Tacoma Public Schools through its School Resource Officer Program, and reached nearly 5,000 jobseekers at more than 30 community organization and/or school-based outreach events with information about City employment opportunities.
Child Care Aware led the way to increasing access to safe, quality learning environments for children in Tacoma. Child Care Aware staff provided more than 4,600 hours of on-site coaching and assistance, and enrolled 72 providers in Washington State’s quality rating and improvement system, Early Achievers. Tacoma and Pierce County have 200 Early Achiever providers serving 5,400 children.
The Child Care Aware team also worked with community organizations to increase literary services in the Hilltop neighborhood through Community Cafés. In addition, they helped launch the Ready, Set, Read group at the People’s Center, and partnered with the Tacoma Public Schools, Foundation for Tacoma Students, and First 5 Fundamentals in the Building Connections event series to develop collaborative relationships between school staff and community providers.
Summer Jobs 253, the City’s youth employment program, provided summer employment to almost 100 incoming Tacoma Public School juniors and seniors who gained work experience with 28 local employers. The students who completed the six-week program obtained life skills like resume writing and financial literacy and earned a cumulative 145.5 credits toward on time graduation. The program had an impressive 90 percent student completion rate.
The Tacoma Police Department’s “IF Project” reaches out to runaways and juvenile offenders by helping them visualize the paths they might take if they had some level of stability and support. The project was awarded a $43,344 U.S. Department of Justice Community Policing Development Micro Grant. Four “IF” Project Youth & Parent Workshops were held by the Tacoma Police Department in partnership with Common Voice, along with two community youth summits which were hosted by the Tacoma Police Department and the Neighborhood and Community Services Department.
Tacoma had COURAGE in 2014 to raise awareness about domestic violence. The COURAGE Men Against Domestic Violence Campaign kicked off October’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The month-long observance included two rallies, a community conversation, a bus ad campaign, the Step in the Right Direction Shoe contest and many community sponsored events. More than 200 people attended City of Tacoma sponsored events throughout the month. The COURAGE Initiative continues to help raise awareness, promote education, prevention, safe intervention and healing in partnership with community providers.
The Tacoma Gang Reduction Project expanded outreach efforts to reach 393 youth and build comprehensive service-centered teams to help at-risk and gang-involved youth make healthy choices for their futures. As part of the effort in 2014, the project adopted an implementation plan, received $133,000 grant funding for expanded prevention and intervention outreach, and launched the Gun SafeT Campaign to build awareness in Tacoma about gun safety education, safe storage and safe surrender.
Leveraging advancements in technology to make services more accessible, the Tacoma Public Library started to provide streaming movies, downloadable magazines and an expansion of online classes.The Library’s innovative Story Lab program received national recognition at the Public Library Association 2014 Conference and the American Library 2014 Summer Conference. Now in its fifth year, StoryLab provides teens with the opportunity to learn to create films, websites, computer programs, digital photograph, music and more through free classes, workshops and drop-in programs.The Tacoma Public Library was one of just four locations across the country to host the 2014 National 90 Second Newbury Film Festival, a prestigious annual video competition in which youth filmmakers create movies that tell the entire stories of Newbery-winning books in 90 seconds or less.
The first public library to be accepted as a member of Northwest Digital Archives, the Tacoma Public Library developed an agreement with HistoryLink to allow greater access to its photographic archives.
The invitation to the Tacoma Public Library to join the archives recognizes the depth and breadth of the Tacoma Public Library’s Northwest Room collection and provides researchers with access to its materials.
Tacoma Public Library’s agreement with HistoryLink will enhance their encyclopedia using photographic images from the Library’s extensive collection.