An economic development-focused, membership-supported organization, the Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce is comprised of business enterprises, civic and community organizations, educational institutions, and public sector agencies. Centrally located between the port cities of Seattle and Tacoma, the Chamber is located in the Federal Way growth hub, a region with 883,000 jobs and a gross regional product of $1.58 billion dollars.
THE VOICE OF BUSINESS
A global brand for economic development, Chambers of Commerce are business growth engines supported by their members. The Greater Federal Way Chamber also welcomes public/private partnerships to collect economic data, address business issues, identify areas that are barriers to success, and provide programming and education to support sustainability.
“In addition to the member benefits in our Chamber network, we also offer a range of resources and programming open to any businesses,” said CEO Rebecca Martin, CCE. “This is what it means to be recognized all over the world as The Voice of Business.”
As an advocate for its diverse economic base, the Chamber supports and enhances the talents and resources of business leaders to create a climate of economic growth and business success. With a strategic vision set by the business leaders on the Chamber Board of Directors, the professional staff at the Chamber works to promote and connect businesses of all sizes to economic success.
SETTING THE ECONOMIC BASELINE
Strategically vital to international trade and commerce in our state, Federal Way is the fifth largest city in King County and 11th largest city in the State. The Chamber’s regional scope also includes Pierce County, the State’s second largest labor market behind King County. The business community in the greater Federal Way region recognizes that we are part of an economic interdependent region and state, with diverse needs and interests, and that no one area can progress without another.
The Economic Development page of fedwaychamber.com includes: Demographic Overview of Federal Way, the top five industries in Regional Footprint of the area, and a series of economic dashboards. These baselines are reviewed annually and updated monthly and quarterly.
Updated annually, the dashboards for WA Focus Industries and Key Federal Way Sectors measures the economic impact of each segment by the state, King and Pierce Counties, and the City. Quarterly Economic Dashboards measure the Labor Force and Skill Set, Quality of Life, and Occupational Diversity. In addition, the Business Recovery Dashboard reports monthly on 10 key indicators of economic growth.
The scope of economic reporting includes collecting data to support long-term, vision-oriented business growth. In addition to an Economic Visioning Report with intentional stakeholder input, the Chamber produced an Economic Equity Assessment, the first compilation of this data for the area. The Sector Data Report and Economic Snapshot are updated annually. Currently in process are an Industry Prioritization Report, and a Regional Workforce Assessment.
CRITICAL BUSINESS ISSUES
A data-driven approach is taken when addressing issues for the community. Some, like Access to Capital, result in programming, other aggregate the business point of view to provide elected officials a snapshot of concerns they can address on behalf of business. Outreach in these surveys and reports includes members and nonmembers of the Chamber. Sample Reports include: Impact of Homelessness on Business, Permitting, and the Impact of Coronavirus. Underway for 2023 are survey reports on Childcare as a Workforce issue, Retail and Business Safety, and general Business Climate status.
LOCAL LEADERSHIP; NATIONAL CONNECTIONS
In addition to the strategic direction for economic growth set by the Board of Directors, the Greater Federal Way Chamber is helmed by a nationally accredited CEO.
Chamber CEO Rebecca Martin, CCE, is one of only four percent of Chamber executives in the United States to earn the Certified Chamber Executive designation from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. She serves nationally on the CCE Commission and is the only practicing Chamber CEO with the CCE certification in the state of Washington.
Last year, Martin was one of 21 Chamber professionals selected for an ACCE Fellowship on Inclusive Economic Growth. In 2022, she was on panel presentations at national conferences for the International Economic Development Council and ACCE, addressing building data driven talent recruitment, the power of collaborative vision.
Martin also earned the IOM (Institutional Organizational Management) certification from the United States Chamber of Commerce and holds an MA and BA in English.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Washington Chamber of Commerce Executives.