The following is written by Sumner Mayor Dave Enslow:
There was an article not too long ago that wrote about jobs in Pierce County, and it was a very nice article except that the author used “Pierce County” and “Tacoma” interchangeably as if they were the same thing. Fast forward to last week when the Puget Sound Business Journal broke the news about Amazon expanding in Sumner. They are improving nearly 500,000 square feet which almost doubles their size in Sumner. They have their permits, but no news yet on an opening date or how many more jobs it means.
The interesting thing is that many reporters asked me what that means for Sumner. In reality, the question is wrong. Having Amazon already here and expanding, as well as REI, Helly Hansen, Keurig Green Mountain, etc. is not about the benefits and impacts to Sumner but the benefits and impacts to our region. Sumner has less than 10,000 people living here—that’s all ages. Our city has over 14,000 jobs, over 11,000 of those in our manufacturing area, before you count the ones that Amazon will add. What people don’t readily recognize is that the largest and fastest growing manufacturing and industrial center in Pierce County, supporting our region with good jobs, is right here in Sumner.
These are jobs that will employ people living in Puyallup, Edgewood, Bonney Lake and even Tacoma. The benefits are regional but so are the responsibilities. Progress comes with a price, and this means that fixing our outdated interchanges, repaving 142nd and alleviating traffic congestion through Sumner is also a regional responsibility, not just a Sumner responsibility.