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Job creation can kick-start Federal Way economy | City considers grant proposals

Where are the jobs in Federal Way? It’s a familiar refrain of the past few years. The city’s business sector has struggled to attract high level employers, leaving many Federal Way residents with sizable commutes north or south to find work.

During the Sept. 20 city council meeting, administrative services director Bryan Enge reviewed some of the projects the city can fund in 2012 to help kick-start Federal Way’s economy.

Enge said programs funded through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) are focused toward jobs and economic development.

“We’re working on the community economic revitalization funding program. We have roughly $700,000 available for projects in 2012,” he said. “Primarily, what we’re focused on in terms of spending these funds was on priority of projects that stimulated jobs and economic development.”

Enge said the city received six proposals, but will only move forward in considering five; one proposal was essentially not up to par for requirements.

The five proposals still under consideration are one from Orion Industries, two from Highline Community College, one from the South Sound Regional Business Incubator (SSRBI), and a “human services” proposal from Dynamic Family Services.

Orion Industries, a metal fabrication company in Federal Way, is requesting between $190,000 to $549,900 in 2012 as part of the city’s efforts at job creation and retention. Highline Community College submitted two proposals. Their first proposal requested a minimum amount of $17,500 and a maximum amount of $22,500, while Highline’s second proposal is asking for $50,120.

The SSRBI has one proposal, with the requests for funding ranging from $100,000 to $136,420. Dynamic Family Services, a non-profit consortium that serves underprivileged children and families, is requesting between $294,411 and $377,322 for 2012. The city will have some debating to do, as the total maximum amount requested sits at approximately $1.1 million — about $400,000 over the funds available in 2012. If the city meets just the minimum requests from these companies and agencies, that will be an expenditure of $601,911 from the city’s funding.

“The city and the Human Services Commission are reviewing these proposals, basically in three different areas, and those are capacity, accessibility, and need,” Enge said.

Enge said he expects a recommendation will be made to the council on these funds and projects at the 7 p.m. Oct. 4 city council meeting at City Hall.

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