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Infoblox Inc., the Silicon Valley-based network control and security company, has designated its Tacoma office as a “Center of Excellence for Technology Innovation” and a “Hiring Hub.” The company has nearly doubled its employee count from its initial hiring phase and is planning to expand its headcount to as much as 150 people by the end of 2018.
When Infoblox leaders were seeking to establish a new Center of Excellence, they considered 12 different communities across the nation. The site selection criteria focused on areas with higher education institutions that produce qualified computer engineering graduates, were close to established tech companies, and offered an affordable cost-of-living for its employees. Austin, typically a strong contender for tech firms seeking a foothold in a secondary market due to its tendency to offer large incentive packages, was among the other sites being considered.
“We were looking for a place that had many of the factors employees look for to work, play, and raise a family,” said Norma Lane, executive vice president of people and places at Infoblox. “Tacoma proved itself to be the top place for Infoblox to attract and retain talent.”
The talented pool of tech workers at nearby Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) combined with the involvement of city, county, and state leaders makes Tacoma a desirable business partner and location for growing a business.
“This new Center of Excellence for Technology Innovation anchors another important global software firm in Washington state, and further diversifies our powerful tech sector beyond the Greater Seattle area,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “Infoblox is building lasting partnerships that will provide outstanding training and job opportunities in Pierce County, particularly for the many talented men and women leaving military service at JBLM.”
A warm welcome to Tacoma from city leaders further reinforced Infoblox’s decision to designate the city a Hiring Hub. The company brought a of group employees and their spouses from the Bay Area to introduce them to Tacoma last February, showcasing the local schools, housing, parks, and cultural attractions.
City of Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland said, “Close proximity to the University of Washington Tacoma's Institute of Technology, and downtown amenities provide synergy that will help ensure Infobox’s success.” She added, “Our community welcomes their continued growth.”
Five of the employees who visited Tacoma last winter have since accepted the opportunity to relocate, bringing with them not just their belongings but also their Bay Area salary. Other staff members in the Silicon Valley office are planning their moves to Tacoma in the coming months.
“Infoblox choosing Tacoma is a perfect example of how economic growth happens,” said Bruce Kendall, President and CEO of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County. “It takes multiple agencies coming together to create a business-friendly climate, which ultimately benefits people throughout the South Sound.”


Pierce County residents of all ages will improve their reading skills, earn prizes and have guaranteed fun this summer during Pierce County Library System’s Summer Reading, June 24 through Sept. 3 at all Pierce County Libraries.
“Keeping students reading during the summer is critical to keeping them on the path to school success and graduation,” said Georgia Lomax, executive director for the Library System. “Studies show that children need opportunities to continue thinking and learning to avoid summer learning slide. The summer reading program helps students maintain their skills. It is also fun, free learning for all ages.”
For the first time, Pierce County Library is kicking off Summer Reading with an event, a Read-a-Thon in 18 of the Library System’s full service libraries, Saturday, June 24, 1-3 p.m. During the Read-a-Thon, adults and children may read, enjoy a story time, act in a readers’ theater, and have fun with other activities in their library. For every hour read, readers earn a bookplate for a new book in their library.
Also, for the first time, as part of Summer Reading, children up to age 18 may enjoy free lunches at the Parkland/Spanaway Pierce County Library, 13718 Pacific Ave S., Tacoma, 98444, Monday through Friday, June 26-Sept. 3. Franklin Pierce Schools, Bethel School District and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction sponsor the free lunch program.
Throughout the summer, people who may have fines from overdue books or materials may read down their fines. For the first ten hours of reading, children and adults may get up to $5 off of their fines.
Pierce County Library’s Summer Reading involves tens of thousands of people. Summer Reading strengthens community engagement, helps maintain and improve students’ reading skills, and provides equitable access for fun learning opportunities. This year’s theme, Build a Better World, offers free events for people of all ages to engage in building a better world in their community and beyond.
For children, events include dancing in a beehive; taking flight with parachutes, gliders and stomp rockets; building like an engineer; and meeting real zoo animals. Reading rewards include free pizza from Round Table Pizza, free admission to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and tickets to a Tacoma Rainiers game.
For teenagers, the program includes reading, online gamification programs, videos and in-community challenges. Teens will compete for badges and prizes by completing activities such as volunteering at an animal shelter and writing a post about it; reading a dancer’s biography and creating a music video; or going for a hike and posting information about what they saw. Teen rewards include gift cards to local and online retailers.
For adults, experiences include hearing from local authors, learning how to save and care for un-owned cats, finding out how to power homes with solar energy, and growing edible yards. Adult rewards include gift cards to local businesses.
For people in adult care facilities, who are homebound, in child care, or children in low-income neighborhoods, Pierce County Library also takes Summer Reading on the road with books, movies and audiobooks, as well as programs and opportunities to earn prizes.
During Summer Reading, the Library System encourages people to bring non-perishable food items to any Pierce County Library for Emergency Food Network; to help hungry families in their communities.
Contributions from CHI Franciscan Health, Gordon Thomas Honeywell, Mary Bridge Children’s, and Wells Fargo to Pierce County Library Foundation help sponsor Summer Reading.

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