An economic engine: Supporting job growth in the region | Tulalip Tribes

The economic viability of the Tribe has improved significantly in the last 30 years.

With a portfolio that includes The Tulalip Resort Casino, Quil Ceda Creek Casino, and a thriving leasing business in our commercial center, our environmental projects like The Qwuloot Estuary, Tribal governmental services and more, we are reflecting our values by driving the region’s economy and benefiting the entire community.

Currently, we directly employ nearly 4,000 people, most of which are non-tribal. But that only tells part of the story: Tribal enterprise has a multiplier effect— each job provided by the Tribes supports other employment in the area. The multiplier effect is realized when employees of the tribe spend money for the basic needs of their everyday lives (e.g. restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, etc.). For this reason, every tribal job creates more jobs in the community that would not exist without our various enterprise endeavors bringing in outside dollars. All things considered, the Tribes can account for or be connected to over 6,000 jobs in Western Washington.

And though most of the positions we create are gaming-related service jobs, we are driving growth for many highly specialized professions as well. From Health Professionals to Law Practitioners, Environmental Science to Education, the Tribes are providing quality employment opportunities to people throughout the region. “Working for the Tribe is so meaningful, the sense of purpose and community that is around the workforce is so special.” Said Rochelle Lubbers, The Executive Director of Administration Services. “It’s not just tribal members, people from all different backgrounds help us to succeed.”

Another fundamental component of maintaining and strengthening a sustainable regional economy is by providing educational and vocational opportunities through our TERO program. As individuals are educated and/or trained, they will be more prepared to compete for employment opportunities within and beyond the Reservation boundaries.

Human resource development is the cornerstone on which the rest of the economy relies. Educational institutions, social service agencies, chambers of commerce, and government all play a role in developing a skilled workforce that can compete in a global economy. The economy of the Puget Sound region is an international one and the effects of trade infuse the economy with jobs and dollars. “The Tribes have been through hard times in their history. But now that (they) have gotten the opportunity to run their own businesses— and been very good at it— the Tribes and the Tribal Leadership have never forgotten their values. There’s something to be said for that.” Kit Rawson, a retired Natural Resources Department Head told us, “Before I came to work for Tulalip I worked for the State of Alaska, but the Tribes had a such a solid program, where a professional person can have a successful career, that I was happy for the opportunity. They hire top quality folks and support them with the best resources. I worked in the fisheries program, but I don’t think anyone in the region can question the positive impact they have had.”