Federal Way might sound like a strange name for a city, especially one as large as Federal Way, Washington. Its name isn’t terribly mysterious. The area was first called Federal way in 1929 because Federal highway U.S. 99 passed through the area. When Federal Way High School opened in 1930, the local chamber of commerce decided that the name sounded pretty good for a city. Thus, Federal Way was born.
It’s actually surprising that Federal Way wasn’t called Weyerhaeuser city. After all, Weyerhaeuser is the largest employer in the area and a significant contributor to the city’s culture. As the largest private owner of softwood in the world, Weyerhaeuser has shared its wealth with Federal Way over the years by providing city residents with an Olympic size swimming pool, two botanical gardens, and a number of sports fields and wooded trails.
Though Federal Way began as a small logging settlement, the local government has been striving to make Federal Way the strongest city in terms of economy in the region. That’s a pretty tall order for a city that was born less than 20 years ago. Nonetheless, Federal Way’s wide variety of industries, proximity to Seattle, and ambition may well drive its growth in the near future.
There is no formula that can predict a city’s future but it’s a fair guess that this city, with a population of nearly 90,000, has a bright future in store for it. As of now, the city’s 10 largest employers are: Virginia Mason Federal Way, Coldwell Banker Danforth And Associates, Wal-Mart, the City Of Federal Way, ACS, Wild Waves Theme Park, United States Postal Service, Saint Francis Hospital, World Vision, and, of course, Weyerhaeuser. If all goes well, the local government will be able to attract even larger companies into the region and catch up with the cost-of-living and incoming levels that nearby cities have achieved.
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