Business Recruitment, Retention and Expansion Initiatives

While building businesses organically is an important part of the Department of Commerce's economic strategy, our team also focuses on attracting new businesses and investment to the state through the expansion or relocation of operations. This responsibility falls to the Business Development team within the Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness. They are tasked with executing a proactive recruitment, retention and expansion strategy, working with business decision makers and site selectors worldwide to find new expansion and investment opportunities, create new business partnerships in the community, remove roadblocks and bring new businesses and employment opportunities to communities statewide.

If you are a site selector or business looking at Washington State for an expansion or relocation and need information about the state or our site selector and investment services, visit

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Business Development Update

With a renewed focus on recruitment and investment, the Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness has been pretty busy over the last few years. Since 2012, the OEDC's Business Development team, in partnership with economic development agencies statewide, has assisted in the siting of 87 major projects, creating an estimated 16,400 jobs.

Thirty-eight percent of those wins were in aerospace. Other industries included food & agriculture (8%), maritime (6%), information & communication technology (6%), and forest products (5%). The majority of recruitments were U.S. companies, followed by Canada, Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, respectively.

Two new IPZs named

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The Washington State Department of Commerce has designated two new Innovation Partnership Zones (IPZs) and reauthorized nine others to help spur regional economic growth in key industry sectors. The City of Issaquah Sports Medicine IPZ and Thurston County Craft Brewing and Distilling IPZ join the list of 14 zones active throughout the state.


Noteworthy Wins...

Banfield Pet Hospital Headquarters: Global pet care company moved its headquarters to Vancouver, Washington. Jobs: 100, Estimated Capital Expenditure: $67 million.

United Natural Foods Distribution Center: Located in Ridgefield, Washington. Jobs: 200, Estimated Capital Expenditure $53 million.

Best Buy Technology Development Center: Located in Seattle, Washington. Estimated Capital Expenditure: $4.2 million.

Maruichi Manufacturing:  Announced plans for a $30 million structural steel mill in the Vancouver area. Jobs: 25.

GKN Aerospace Assembly Facility in Sumner, Washington. Jobs 75. Estimated Capital Expenditures: $10 million.


Additional Information

Overview of Washington State

Opening a Business in Washington State  (Download)

Washington Investment Portfolio

Need Help?

Contact the Business Development team in the Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness at 206-256-6100.

Or visit to learn more about business and investment opportunities in Washington State.