Leading Washington state composites industry players open for business at JEC World 2017

Department of Commerce hosts “Choose Washington” exhibit, business-to-business meetings in Paris at largest international gathering of composites professionals

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Commerce put finishing touches on its Choose Washington exhibit today in preparation for JEC World, March 14-16, the largest international trade show and conference for the fast-growing composites industry.

Washington’s delegation to this year’s event represents the full breadth and opportunity in this dynamic field, from raw carbon fiber production to recycling technology that enables a second product life for uncured aircraft carbon fiber composite scrap.

With nearly 100 advanced manufacturing companies, 230 materials scientists and some of the least expensive clean power in the world, Washington researchers and businesses make up a “who’s who” of innovation in the new materials that are transforming everything from aircraft and automobiles to high-end sports equipment, musical instruments and medical devices.

Co-exhibitors in Washington State’s booth in the US Pavilion come from many communities around the state:

  • BRPH Architecture and Engineering Services in Lynnwood, Snohomish County
  • Composite Solutions, Sumner, Pierce County
  • General Plastics Manufacturing from Tacoma
  • HEATCON Composite Systems, Seattle
  • Janicki Industries, Sedro-Woolley, Skagit County;
  • Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC) , Clallam County
  • Port of Port Angeles, Clallam County
  • Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County, between the Seattle and the Canadian border, where local companies make core components for commercial and military aircraft, America’s Cup racing yachts, naval research vessels, NASA exploration vehicles and the James Webb space telescope, among others.

The CRTC and Janicki Industries will be featured in the JEC Composites Magazine 2017 “Innovation Report.”

Also represented in the Choose Washington show catalog are:

  • Carbitex, flexible carbon fiber leader based in the eastern Washington city of Kennewick
  • Fiberglass Supply, specialists in materials and training for the composites industry from Burlington, Skagit County
  • Globe Machine, high-capacity automated manufacturing experts, Tacoma
  • Harper Engineering, specializing in design, engineering and manufacturing for aircraft interiors in Renton, south King County
  • Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA), based in Redmond, Wash.

Download Washington company directory (pdf)

“Washington State is growing and attracting innovative companies because it is one of very few places in the world where the complete composites supply chain is represented,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “Our incredibly vibrant composites industry ecosystem is strengthening communities all across this beautiful state. It’s providing good jobs and economic activity everywhere from coastal timber towns to the eastern side of the Cascade mountain range, and from the Columbia River to the Canadian border.”

Anchored by the Boeing Company’s world-leading 787 and 777x aircraft programs and SGL Automotive Carbon Fiber’s factory where a fifth of the world’s raw carbon fiber is produced, a broad swath of businesses is growing Washington’s advanced materials and manufacturing sector. Here they find favorable incentives, world-renowned research and development centers, a highly skilled workforce and some of the lowest-cost hydroelectric power in the world, among other sought-after business and quality of life advantages.

Carbon fiber composite recycling creates new business and jobs

“Advanced composites are a significant and growing component of Skagit County’s economy,” said John Sternlicht, CEO of the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County. “At JEC, we look forward to promoting our composites manufacturers and educational programs—including Skagit Valley College’s exciting composite recycling technician project (CRTEP) project —and connecting with potential international partners.  Participating in the Washington State delegation enables us to tell our story at a global level, and to support efforts to draw leading-edge technology and industry to our region.”

CRTEP is a National Science Foundation-funded grant that Skagit Valley College is leading to develop a composites recycling curriculum with partners, including the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Peninsula College and the National Resource Center for materials education.

The Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC) at the Port of Port Angeles has an established center for collaborative research, development, training and production for repurposing aerospace carbon-fiber scrap into commercially viable products, the first of which is a super-lightweight pickle ball paddle introduced late last year. The new facility is helped by $4 million in research, infrastructure and manufacturing grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Washington State Clean Energy Fund, and local funding from Clallam County.

Two of this year’s participating companies received financial support through Commerce export assistance vouchers, funded by the U.S. International Trade Administration and the Small Business Administration. Commerce provides other marketing assistance to small and medium-sized businesses throughout the state through its Washington State international trade services team and representatives in Europe.

Learn more about Washington’s delegation to JEC World 2017 (Hall 6, R39A and R45) and the state’s composites sector at http://choosewashingtonstate.com/jec/. Follow them at the show on social media at @WAStateCommerce #JECWorld2017.


Penny Thomas, Commerce Communications, 206-256-6106

At JECWorld, Paris: Lucy Atkinson, TFDI, lucy.atkinson@tfdi.co.uk

Commerce grants $100K to help launch new marine systems job training program in Port Townsend

EDC Team Jefferson, maritime industry team up with Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding to address high demand for skilled marine systems technicians

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce has awarded a $100,000 WorkStart grant to help the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding (NWSWB) launch a new marine systems training program in Port Townsend. A recent update to the state’s Maritime Industry Cluster Study found that marine systems technicians are in critically short supply, forcing some local companies to turn away work, and to seek or train workers out of state to get the skills necessary to keep their businesses competitive.

“These funds will help our workforce remain connected to our state’s maritime roots. This program will allow more companies with critical workforce needs to succeed,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender.

Washington’s diverse maritime industry directly contributes over 69,000 jobs and has a combined economic impact over $37 billion annually, reaching from urban centers to rural towns up and down the state’s working waterfronts.

EDC Team Jefferson – the economic development council for Jefferson County – requested funding for the industry-prioritized marine vessel systems curriculum at NWSWB. Students will receive intensive hands-on training in topics such as basic electrical, marine diesel engines, propulsion, steering and controls, and marine plumbing.

“Our local maritime industry continues to be a key driving force for our economy. This grant opportunity from Commerce will help build resiliency for this sector by keeping our workforce effectively trained to meet current and future demand,” said Team Jefferson executive director Brian Kuh.

“The diverse maritime industry in Washington State provides family-wage jobs on the Olympic Peninsula and across the state. The industry needs a well-trained technician workforce to be competitive and grow. The school’s plan to expand curricula to include vessel systems aligns perfectly with industry demand and the skill sets needed to enter the marine trades workforce,” said Ann Avary, director of the Northwest Center of Excellence for Marine Manufacturing and Technology.

“NWSWB works closely with the industry. Over its 35-year history, our graduates have built successful businesses and hired other graduates,” said NWSWB executive director Betsy Davis. “This program will become an important, sustainable component of the marine trades on Port Townsend Bay.”

“The Port of Port Townsend considers vocational training to be a key ingredient in building a thriving local economy,” wrote Sam Gibboney, Executive Director of the Port of Port Townsend.  “Many businesses in Boat Haven have hired graduates of the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding over the years.  The new Marine Systems Curriculum is highly relevant to the work going on in the Port today.”


Penny Thomas, Commerce Communications, 206-256-6106

Commerce grants $8.4 million to Washington State tribes for crime victim services

Sixteen Washington State tribes awarded Federal Victims of Crime Act funds from the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy

 OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce awarded $8,450,105 to 16 tribes to serve victims of crime. Funding for the grants comes from the U.S. Department of Justice, which administers the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Crime Victims Fund. The Office of Crime Victims Advocacy in the Department of Commerce administers VOCA funds in Washington State. VOCA is a major funding source for victim services throughout Washington.

Commerce set aside these funds to expand and enhance access to crime victim services in tribal communities, which are disproportionately affected by crime. A study funded by the National Institute of Justice found that American Indian and Alaska Native women and men suffer violence at an alarmingly high rate. More than 4 in 5 American Indian and Alaska Native women and men (84.3 percent and 81.6 percent, respectively) have experienced violence in their lifetime.

The programs supported by this funding focus on effective, accessible and culturally relevant victim services, such as traditional art therapy. These grants will enhance current services, improve coordination of child and youth programs, and add parenting support services. Services also will expand for elder and vulnerable adult victims of crime.

“This funding addresses critical needs in tribal communities and reflects significant progress in our combined efforts to improve coordination between tribes and state government,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “We were pleased that so many tribes applied for this funding.”

Sixteen tribes will receive funding through this effort:

  • Chehalis Confederated Tribes – $231,245
  • Cowlitz Indian Tribe – $1,544,759
  • Hoh Indian Tribe of the Hoh Indian Reservation – $609,112
  • Kalispel Tribe of Indians – $255,374
  • Lummi Nation – $554,695
  • Nisqually Indian Tribe $416,794
  • Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe – $535,168
  • Puyallup Tribe – $1,092,315
  • Quileute Tribe – $628,674
  • Quinault Indian Nation – $161,682
  • Samish Indian Nation – $832,464
  • Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe – $317,483
  • Squaxin Island Tribe – $272,125
  • The Suquamish Tribe – $171,903
  • Tulalip Tribes of Washington – $278,458
  • Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation – $547,854

For information about grants and funding available through the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy, please visit ocva.wa.gov.


Penny Thomas, Commerce Communications, 206-256-6106

Richard Torrance, Office of Crime Victims Advocacy, 360-725-2905

Washington state delegation bound for Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain

Department of Commerce hosts 12 innovative companies, showcases state’s massive information and communications technology sector at world’s premier mobile tech conference, Feb. 27 – March 2

With more than 90,000 software developers and 14,000 companies, Washington State is the epicenter for innovation in cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as gaming, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Executives from 12 businesses in the state’s massive information and communications technology (ICT) sector join the Department of Commerce next week for Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the world’s largest conference for the mobile tech industry, attended by over 100,000 people from 206 countries last year.

The Choose Washington pavilion, located in App Planet, Hall 8.1, B58, features a mix of startups and established businesses, including Syntonic, a mobile platform services company whose CEO and co-founder, Dr. Gary Greenbaum, will give a keynote speech highlighting the emergence of new consumer mobile access models at a Mobile Ecosystem Forum Feb. 28. Other exhibitors featured in the Choose Washington pavilion are: Apptentive, Buddy®, Glympse®, Guppy Games|Media, iBugle, Meylah Corporation, Qikspace, Sirqul™, TouchBase, Tupl, UpTop™ and the Economic Development Council of Seattle-King County. Supporting the trip are the Washington Technology Industry Association and tech news site GeekWire.

“Washington is famously a center for innovation in digital media and mobile technology development,” said Brian Bonlender, state Commerce Director. “Today, an estimated 127 new things are connected to the internet every second, bringing exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs and tech workers everywhere. This industry is strengthening communities well beyond the Puget Sound tech corridor. The next wave of transformative technologies will create new businesses and jobs throughout the state.”

“Buddy Platform has been a proud partner in the Choose Washington Pavilion at Mobile World Congress every year since 2012. The support we get from the Washington State Department of Commerce, like the export voucher program, is very helpful,” said David McLauchlan, CEO of Buddy Platform. “From business matchmaking services to managing show logistics, Commerce’s expertise and the resources they offer to the delegates are critical for allowing us to focus on our business goals and maximize ROI.”

“This is the second time Tupl has participated in Mobile World Congress – the largest event of the year – as part of the Washington State pavilion,” said Petri Hautakangas, CEO of Tupl Inc. “With the incredible support provided by the Department of Commerce team, last year we tracked up over 20 high-value meetings that allowed us to accelerate the growth of our business. We are confident that MWC 2017 will be no different!”

The Department of Commerce team organizes business matchmaking introductions for their exhibitor companies to meet with mobile carriers, hardware manufacturers, enterprise mobility strategists and marketers to negotiate licensing agreements and grow global awareness of their unique technologies and services. Members of Commerce delegations have reported over $13.5 million in new sales from participation in this event over the last five years.

Many small and medium-sized tech companies would not be able to attend international trade shows of this caliber without export vouchers provided by Commerce. Made possible through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade Expansion Promotion (STEP) program, these reimbursement-style grants will help offset the cost of international business development for 10 of this year’s 12 delegate companies.

Washington State ICT Industry Snapshot:

  • 14,000 companies
  • 267,000+ high tech workers
  • 90,000 software developers
  • 330+ game design companies
  • $700 million in 140 venture capital investments, another 260 startups financed by founders and angels
  • $600 billion in market cap among the top 10 public ICT companies
  • $2+ billion generated from apps development annually

For more information on the Choose Washington Pavilion’s featured companies, visit us online and follow us during #MWC17 on twitter and Facebook @WAStateCommerce.

In Barcelona: Please join us for a networking reception at 5 p.m. each afternoon, Feb. 27, 28 and March 1 at App Planet Stand 8.1 B58. On-site contacts: Rob Fiddick +1 206 2578362, Lucy Atkinson +44 7899 804036.


Penny Thomas, Commerce Communications Office, (206) 256-6106


Commerce leads state delegation to Arab Health 2017 this week

Five companies in Washington state-led delegation join 100,000 participants from 160 countries at one of the world’s largest medical and pharmaceutical products trade shows in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The Department of Commerce today opened Washington State’s exhibit at Arab Health 2017, one of the world’s largest trade shows for the medical and pharmaceuticals industry.

Five companies are featured in the “Choose Washington” delegation, including Seattle-based Shift Labs, whose DripAssist infusion device recently was honored as one of the 12 most important health innovations of 2016 by Popular Science magazine. Others are Mobile Workforce, Inc., creators of workSmart!, a solution for tracking medical implants and managing surgical device inventory; The O.R. Company of Tacoma, developers of innovative surgical equipment; M3 Biotechnology, a Seattle firm developing therapeutics to combat Alzheimer’s Disease; and MYCO Analytical, specialists in laboratory equipment based in Lake Tapps.

The Arab Health Exhibition covers electromedicine, information and communications technology, physiotherapy, lab equipment and diagnostics, consumer goods and more. More than 100,000 attendees are expected from at least 160 countries. Washington exported over $3 billion in goods to the UAE in 2015, with aerospace leading the way. Computers and industrial machinery rank fourth, and medical and surgical devices rank sixth. The UAE is the state’s largest export market in the middle east and north Africa region, and some 1,000 U.S. firms have a presence there. With a relatively low 5 percent duty on most products, UAE’s $300-billion-a-year economy is a prime opportunity for Washington businesses. Additionally, inbound investment from UA to the U.S. is growing rapidly, topping $2.7 billion in 2014.

Commerce provides services to help small businesses expand through international trade and exports. Support includes help promoting their products and services to potential partners and buyers, and eligible companies can take advantage of reimbursement-style vouchers through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Visit the Commerce website to learn more about how the state’s export assistance programs help create new market opportunities and financial partnerships.

More than 1,000 biopharma, medical technology and research organizations in Washington are focused on bringing new products, therapies and cures to the global marketplace. This ecosystem is fed by leading researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington School of Medicine and the Allen Institute for Brain Research. National Institutes of Health grants to Washington-based organizations approach $900 million. The life science and global health sector is a vibrant hive of companies across the state, employing more than 92,000. Additionally, the state’s powerful technology sector, with some 14,000 tech companies, offers a rich environment for collaboration.

See a directory of the Washington State Arab Health 2017 delegation, and follow highlights this week on twitter @WAStateCommerce. Upcoming events for companies in the life science and global health sector include Medical Fair India, April 6-8, 2017, and BIO International in San Diego, June 19-22.

Millions of Dollars in Earned Income Tax Credits Go Unclaimed Each Year by Working Americans

Jan. 27 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Day proclaimed in Washington State to raise awareness of benefit that can pay a lump sum refund of up to $6,269 to people with low to moderate incomes.

Many people are eligible for a tax refund of up to $6,269 from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and do not claim it. Gov. Jay Inslee proclaimed tomorrow, Jan. 27 “Earned Income Tax Credit Day in Washington State” as part of a nationwide effort to increase awareness of this underused tax credit and how to apply for it.

You must file a federal tax return with the IRS to get your Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), even if you do not owe any tax or are not required to file.

Twenty percent of those eligible for the credit either do not claim it or do not file a tax return at all. The credit reduces the amount of taxes owed and results in a lump sum refund payment for most people who are eligible to claim it.

“As one of the largest anti-poverty programs in the United States, it is critical to raise awareness of this opportunity, not just for individuals and families, but also to strengthen our state’s economy,” Inslee said.

Last year 436,000 people in Washington applied for the credit, claiming close to $956 million in refunds and generating about $1.43 billion for our state’s economy. Even so, an estimated $270 million in federal tax credits go unclaimed in Washington.

“This year individuals can receive a tax refund of up to $6,269 if they meet eligibility requirements,” said Brian Bonlender, director of the Department of Commerce. “For over 40 years, the Earned Income Tax Credit has lifted working families out of poverty and strengthened communities throughout the state. I encourage everyone to learn more and see if you qualify.”

The Department of Commerce and Department of Social and Health Services are partnering with other agencies and organizations across the state to raise awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Free tax preparation services are available to many low- and moderate-income families. Just dial 2-1-1 and ask for “free tax preparation locations” or search “free tax prep” at www.irs.gov.

On Friday, Jan. 27, communities throughout Washington are taking part in national EITC Day to promote the tax credit.

Local Contacts:

Walla Walla Asset Building Coalition (Walla Walla and Columbia counties), Steve Dickerson, 509.540.1247
Chelan-Douglas Community Action Council (Chelan and Douglas counties), Linda Limbeck, 509.662.6156 ext. 238
Kitsap Community Resources (Kitsap County), Kristina Didrickson, 360.478.2301
Lower Columbia Community Action Programs (Cowlitz County), Liz Myntti, 360.425.3430, ext. 215
Opportunity Council (Whatcom County), Lisa Sohni 360.724.5121 ext. 224
Pierce County Asset Building Coalition, Amy Allison, 253.426.1516
Community Action of Skagit County, Lynn Christofersen, 360.588-5748
Spokane County United Way, Andrey Muzychenko, 509.324.5030
United Way of King County, Jenny Walden, 206.461.5048
United Way of Mason County, Allison Maluchnik, 360.401.9808
United Way of Snohomish County, Jacqui Campbell, 425.374.5501
Thurston County Asset Building Coalition, Kirsten Klein, AARP Tax-Aide Local Coordinator – 360-269-5771, Mayra Pena, Thurston ABC Outreach Coordinator – 360-464-6055
United Way of Yakima County, Paula Slaye, 509.966.5163
Klickitat County ABC, Brian Wanless, 509.250.0737
OIC of WA: the Prosperity Center (Grant and Adams Counties), Carolyn Grant, 509.765.9206, ext. 239
Community Housing Resource Center (Clark County), Charlene Dahlen, 360.690.4496, ext. 100

Budget update

Strengthening communities is our call of duty at the Department of Commerce. We are the only agency in state government that touches every aspect of community and economic development.

Here are the highlights of the Governor’s proposed 2017-19 biennial budget that support our top priorities of affordable housing and homelessness, resilient communities and underserved communities: Continue reading