PARKLAND, Wash. – Thanks to a generous grant from MultiCare Health System, the Arivva Center for Arts and Technology can take another step toward serving the Pierce County community.

A $20,000 step, to be exact.

Darci Gibson, MultiCare’s Director of Workforce Development and HRIS, presented a check for that amount to Arivva’s Board of Directors last week in Parkland, where the arts and technology center will eventually occupy the space vacated by the Pacific Lutheran University bookstore at 208 Garfield Street.

“We couldn’t be more grateful to MultiCare for providing this funding,” said Linda Nguyen, Board Secretary for Arivva and CEO of WorkForce Central. “By creating a space that not only offers visual arts programs to local high-school students, but also provides demand-driven career training for workers of all ages, we can ensure that more people are placed on a pathway to career success – and our economy will only benefit as a result.”

MultiCare’s contribution will help Arivva move toward its goal of renovating the 15,000-plus-square-foot space near PLU’s campus for a projected grand opening in late 2018. The grant is part of MultiCare’s Community Partnership Fund, which has provided three rounds of funding to nonprofit organizations since 2015 and recently awarded a total of $500,000 in grants to 58 local organizations.

“This is the kind of work we’re excited to partner with,” Gibson said. “It really does align with our mission of partnering for healing and a healthy future, and improving the health of our neighbors. These are the types of partnerships that we look for, and we are excited about the future of this project and how we can help.”

The same is true for PLU.

“I think it represents an opportunity for PLU to partner with a non-profit organization that is education-focused, mission-aligned, and interested in developing this area in Parkland,” said Geoff Foy, Associate Provost for Graduate Programs and Continuing Education at PLU. “Having Arivva here, and having other community organizations donate to Arivva and this cause, that’s just going to be something that encourages PLU to invest more and more into this relationship.”

Arivva is a nonprofit organization led by community leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Its organizational framework is built on the Manchester Bidwell Education Model, which has been used throughout the last 50 years to address low educational achievement among youth and high unemployment rates among adults in communities across the United States.

The model embodies four essential components: after-school visual arts programs for high school youth, demand‐driven career training for unemployed, underemployed or transitional adults, a world‐class facility designed to uplift the human spirit, and a culture that promotes dignity and respect of all individuals.

Arivva addresses a local need to increase high school graduation rates, increase access to postsecondary education and training, increase postsecondary completion in high-demand occupations, and increase the employment rate for high-school students and unemployed, underemployed or transitional adults in Lakewood, Parkland, Spanaway and other unincorporated communities of northwest Pierce County.

Arivva joins a network of local centers that adapt this model to meet local needs. The network currently includes eight centers for arts and technology that impact the lives of more than 3,600 individuals annually.

“Any time that you’re starting up any kind of program, you really need the momentum of having big, corporate sponsors to be able to draw others,” said Arivva Board Chair Frank Hewins, Superintendent of Franklin Pierce School District. “Success breeds success. To have MultiCare as one of the pillars here really makes a big difference, as well as PLU.

“This is one of those programs that can really make a difference in a kid’s life.”

If you would like to be a part of moving this important project forward, contact Linda Nguyen, Arivva Board Secretary, at

WorkForce Central strengthens the Pierce County economy by identifying skill gaps between jobseekers and employment opportunities, fostering data-driven decision making, and connecting workforce development partners into a cohesive, collaborative and effective network.


Skip to content