TAPCO Credit Union earns Community Development Certification to better serve Pierce County and South Sound

Federal Government recognizes key role of community development financial institutions

TACOMA, WA (May 8, 2023) — Hard-working people in Pierce County have not received the economic opportunities they deserve. TAPCO Credit Union is working to make a difference in the lives of our members, consumers and community.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund recently certified TAPCO Credit Union as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). This designation is available only to organizations that have proven they provide financial services and products in communities that lack access to traditional banking services. CDFI Certification is granted with the purpose of generating economic growth and opportunity in some of the nation’s most distressed communities.

Justin Martin, CEO of TAPCO CU, noted, “TAPCO plans on leveraging this certification to obtain grant funding to further expand our products and services to address areas of inequity in our community. We are thankful for the opportunity to earn this designation, as future grant funding will allow us to do more for our community and the people the financial system has historically underserved.”

The CDFI Fund was established in 1994 to boost lending and community development through certified CDFI institutions, allowing them to expand their reach into in economically distressed areas and underserved communities. CDFI Certification opens opportunities for institutions to access CDFI grant funds, which must be used to support financially vulnerable residents and communities.

TAPCO Credit Union partnered with CU Strategic Planning, the largest credit union consultancy focused on CDFI certification and grant fund applications, as well as strategic planning, financial empowerment and DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) initiatives. “The work our client credit unions do to unlock opportunities within their communities is essential to help eliminate banking deserts, eradicate predatory lending and reduce generational poverty across the United States,” CU Strategic Planning CEO/Co-Owner Stacy Augustine said. “CDFI certification opens pathways to additional capital that credit unions can then pump into their communities to improve the lives of their members and those around them.”

“Our next step will be to work with CU Strategic Planning to analyze data around underserved populations in our area. We will seek CDFI grant funding to add products and services that will leverage access to financial services and help address systematic issues perpetuating exclusion from the financial system,” stated Justin Martin.

Justin Martin

About TAPCO Credit Union

TAPCO Credit Union is a Pierce County-based and community-focused financial institution, where anyone who lives or works in the state of Washington is eligible for membership. Founded in 1934, TAPCO is the oldest not-for-profit financial cooperative in the area, and is dedicated to improving lives by partnering with families to reach their goals. For more information, visit

About CU Strategic Planning 

For 15 years, CU Strategic Planning is the No. 1 CDFI certification and grant-writing firm for credit unions in the U.S. Through grants, strategic and tactical planningDEIBA consultingHERO Community Development Financial Counselor training, community summit facilitation and more, CU Strategic Planning achieves its mission to unlock opportunities for credit unions to change lives and their communities. CU Strategic Planning’s funding procured for CDFI credit unions has reached $800 million. 


Angel Phillips

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