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2023-2024 Work Plan Priorities

The South Sound Military & Communities Partnership is committed to bringing military and community members together on a regular basis to share information about current and future projects and to seek funding for infrastructure and other needed regional improvements.

  • Manage federal grant funding to:  
    • Improve resiliency planning*  
    • Advocate for Occupational Licensure: ID barriers to mil spouse employment 
    • Support Development of and Access to Attainable Off-base Housing   
  • Pursue Funding for I-5 improvements   
  • Pursue military compatibility measures such as clear zone encroachment  
  • Measure and Communicate the Economic Benefits of JBLM in the Region   
  • Increase communication between JBLM, Child Care providers and military families   
  • Inform/educate state legislators about SSMCP and advocacy in state-level activities  
  • Conduct statewide military / defense sector economic impact analysis* 
  • Conduct JBLM Workforce Survey 
    * Indicates new initiatives resulting from the 2022 GCP

JBLM Growth Coordination Plan Update

August 1, 2021- The consultant team has been busy gathering data, attending working group meetings and conducting interviews in preparation of the draft Existing Conditions Report, which is due to the Steering Committee on September 1, 2021.  Other activities include an SSMCP-focused survey, which is still available for completion on our website by visiting and clicking the “SSMCP Survey” button.  If you haven’t completed the survey yet, please do so, your input is very valuable to the validity of the study and formulation of recommendations for regional improvements.  Other activities include a public Virtual Open House.  The live event for the open house occurred on July 26, however, the virtual open house remains active until August 11.  This public outreach includes a new survey for completion by the general public.  For a recording of the live event, posters describing preliminary findings, a link to the public survey, and opportunities to comment, go to this link:  Please help us formulate a Growth Coordination Plan that includes robust SSMCP and community input.


Consultants from AHBL, Lisa Klein and Wayne Carlson briefed the SC on the final findings and recommendations.  Affordability is less of an issue for military households. Based on prevailing sales prices and rental rates and the BAH for military personnel, approximately 88% of the total housing stock in the market area is affordable.  The key challenge faced by military is finding available housing within a 30-minute drive given the structural supply limitations. Tom Knight stated that JBLM is in the process of realigning resources so that the Rental Partnership Program can be reactivated in the next 45 days. To access the whole study click here.

This project pilot for increasing awareness and accessibility to resources in Pierce and Thurston Counties is a collaboration between SSMCP and the Pierce County Library System to connect community members in need with available local resources. The project pilot began on 4 June 2018 at the Lakewood and Lacey branches. The kit includes basic items for immediate assistance such as a small amount of food and water with vital information to access more help. Mental Health First Aid trained Navigators will talk with Resource Kit recipients to ensure resource information is provided. The pilot concluded 1 May with an update to Elected Officials on 16 May.

Connect Kit brochure

JBLM Regional Economic Impact Analysis

A collaborative partnership between UW Tacoma’s Center for Business Analytics and SSMCP concluded in June. This is the second such study between the two organizations.  Due to recent growth at Amazon and Microsoft, Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) is now the fourth-largest employer in Washington State and an essential driver to the economic momentum of Washington State and the South Sound region.

The previous analysis (completed in 2018) focused on the JBLM military and civilian workforce and their economic impact on the South Sound region.  This expanded impact analysis incorporates additional data related to military retirees, working military spouses and education-related spending (Impact Aid, Tuition Assistance, GI Bill funding).  Further, this research integrates data from previously unavailable analytic simulations (IMPLAN) that estimate direct, indirect and induced and indirect impacts and incorporates cross-region interactions.

The final impact analysis estimates that, at the state level, JBLM’s presence contributes to nearly 100,000 full-time equivalents (FTEs) who earned nearly $9B in salary/wages to produce almost $14B in gross output that translated into over $2.25 in revenue for federal, state and local governments.  In Pierce and Thurston counties, over 83,000 FTEs earned over $8.2B to generate $12.1B in total economic impact and over $2B in tax revenue. For the full report to Congress, please click here

Regional Economic Impact Analysis Brochure (in pdf format)

SSMCP Regional Funding Successes

Total: $680,441,500

  • Produce and Implement 2010 JBLM Growth Coordination Plan: $1.9 million
  • Replace Clover Park School District’s On-base elementary schools $140 million
  • Workforce Development >$10 million
  • Regional Land Use Study: $426,000
  • Community-focused Survey of JBLM Personnel: $71,500
  • Local Transportation Projects:
    • TIGER III: $15 million
    • Interchange Justification Reports: $6.9 million
    • Madigan Access Transportation Improvements $5.7 million
    • I-5 Transportation Alternatives Analysis $550,000
    • State Highway Transportation Bill: $495 million
  • $794,000 JLUS Implementation OEA Grants
  • $100,000 North Clear Zone Appraisals
  • $2,000,000 North Clear Zone Resolution

Growth Coordination Plan

The Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) Growth Coordination Plan (GCP) is the product of partnerships formed to prepare for growth and change in the South Puget Sound region associated with the joint base.

The Coordination Plan has three intended uses: 1) To provide regional service providers with more information about JBLM population and employment they can use to better support military families in the region; 2) To provide JBLM and community providers with recommendations for leveraging the economic opportunities of base expansion and for providing adequate off-base support services; and 3) To provide public agencies with a consolidated document that provides supporting data for the opportunities and needs identified that can support future grant applications, and inform decision-makers of the urgency for implementation and benefits to both JBLM and the larger region. 

This study area does not follow the geographic boundaries of any one entity, jurisdiction, or service agency, and is unique to the needs of those within it. JBLM representatives, Washington State, and community leaders from Pierce and Thurston counties, Lakewood, Tacoma, DuPont, Steilacoom, Lacey, Yelm, Roy, area School Districts, health and social service agencies, and nonprofit service providers in Pierce and Thurston counties participated in the development of this Plan.

Growth Coordination Plan Study Area Map
Growth Coordination Plan Study Area Map

This document represents a collective effort to assess the region’s ability to address the impacts of past and future JBLM growth and change.  The intent of the Plan is to assist the communities in planning and preparing effectively to maintain and enhance the quality of life of the region as the installation grows in response to Base Realignment and Closure, Army Modular Force, and other Department of Defense initiatives.  

The Joint Base Lewis-McChord 2010 Growth Coordination Plan (GCP) includes Six Core Recommendations:
  • Formalize New Methods of Regional Collaboration
  • Improve Access to Information
  • Improve Access to Existing Services
  • Promote JBLM as a Center of Regional Economic Significance
  • Improve Support for Military Families
  • Improve Regional Mobility

As issues are resolved or become obsolete and new issues arise, the SSMCP will supplement its work and move beyond the Growth Coordination Plan while relying on the relationships built while it was developed.

SSMCP Working Groups

The South Sound Military & Communities Partnership continues the work of the Growth Coordination Plan through Working Groups comprised of regional stakeholders and subject matter experts to (1) Assess the continuing  relevance of the 2010 GCP recommendations and (2) Make recommendations to the Steering Committee for ongoing implementation and coordination. The groups present updated strategies and priorities to the SSMCP Steering Committee.

Economic Development

Chair: Tom Pierson, President and CEO of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber


K-12 Chair: Clover Park School District Superintendent


Chair: Steve O’Ban, Pierce County

Social Services

Chair: Dona Ponepinto, President and CEO of United Way of Pierce County



Washington Department of Transportation: Steve Roark, Assistant Region Administrator for  Construction

Pierce Transit: Alex Fastle, Government and Community Relations Officer

Thurston Regional Planning Council: Marc Daily, Executive Director

JLUS Implementation Task Force

Co-Chairs: Jeff Wilson, Director Planning, DuPont and Grant Beck Director Community Development, Yelm 

If you would like to participate or provide information to any of the working groups, please contact SSMCP Program staff at (253) 983-7772.

Transportation Improvements

July 15, 2015: Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bipartisan transportation investment package that will create an estimated 200,000 jobs and address critical safety, maintenance and congestion needs all across Washington. SSMCP supported the adoption of the transportation package as necessary to preserve the ability of JBLM to perform its off-base missions while also ensuring the ability of the region’s population to travel.

The 16-year, $16 billion “Connecting Washington” package includes:

  • $8.8 billion for road and safety projects including megaprojects such as SR 520 bridge, the North Spokane Corridor, SR 167/SR 509 Gateway Project, and $494 million for widening of I-5 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
  • $1.4 billion for highway maintenance and preservation.
  • $1.3 billion for non-highway projects such as bike paths, rail and transit.
  • $602 million for ferries including a fourth Olympic Class Ferry Vessel.
  • Other investments related to fish barrier removal, bridge preservation, freight rail improvements, electric vehicle and alternative fuel tax credits and commute trip reduction programs.

The package also authorized Sound Transit to seek voter-approval for $15 billion to extend light rail as far north as Everett and as far south as Tacoma. 

You can view more detail about the ongoing efforts on the Washington State Department of Transportation Website