Governor’s Smart Communities Award winners announced

Governor’s Smart Communities Award winners announced

Innovative local and regional projects around the state are being honored with Gov. Inslee’s 2019 Smart Communities Awards. Now in its 14th year, the program recognizes achievements by local leaders who promote smart growth planning and projects that contribute to thriving communities, a prosperous economy, and sustainable infrastructure in Washington. This year’s honorees include the first winners in a new category focused on creative solutions to address affordable housing development.…

Director Brown talks broadband, high-speed trains with Idaho counterpart Ted Kealey

Director Brown talks broadband, high-speed trains with Idaho counterpart Ted Kealey

Lisa Brown and Idaho Department of Commerce Director Ted Kealey discussed a broad range of economic development topics at the Inland Northwest Partners annual conference in Pullman. Brown said one of the biggest issues facing rural communities is availability of broadband. Commerce is home to a state broadband office that will provide grants to local governments and tribes to help build out broadband infrastructure necessary for businesses, expanded educational opportunities…

Point-in-Time count shows net decrease in homelessness

Point-in-Time count shows net decrease in homelessness

Statewide results of the 2019 Point-in-Time (PIT) count of people experiencing homelessness in Washington showed a net decrease of about 3%, even though about half of Washington counties posted increases. The PIT count is an annual one-night census required of each state by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Commerce compiles, analyzes and reports on the data collected by each county in Washington. Read more.

To HUD Secretary Carson: Withdraw proposed rule to separate immigrant families in public housing

In a letter to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson, Director Brown lodged serious concerns about HUD’s proposed rule to separate immigrant families in public housing. In her letter she writes, “The mission of the agency I lead is to strengthen communities. We do so by working closely with local governments, community action agencies, nonprofits and philanthropists, with a shared mission of improving housing affordability and reducing…

Commerce goes to Washington, DC for SelectUSA Summit

Commerce goes to Washington, DC for SelectUSA Summit

Commerce led another June business delegation to Washington, D.C. for the SelectUSA Investment Summit, a U.S. Department of Commerce annual event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment in the U.S. Over several days, the Choose Washington contingent met with over 40 companies from more than a dozen countries, and eight foreign trade and economic development organizations. On the trip coordinated by Commerce’s Radi Simeonova, Evan Wendlandt and Tammy Deets were…

Another successful Paris Air Show is in the books.

Another successful Paris Air Show is in the books.

One of the great honors of this job is representing Washington state to the world. Aerospace is a key driver of our overall thriving economy, generating $70 billion annually in economic activity and supporting jobs that strengthen all of our communities. This makes the Paris Air Show one of our most important venues for international business development and exchange. As the top state for aerospace in America – and one of the…

Agreement promotes economic cooperation, trade relations

Agreement promotes economic cooperation, trade relations

Maritime, environmental, fisheries and other technologies are emphasized in a new memorandum of understanding signed by Chris Green, director of Commerce’s Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness, and Gro Eirin Dyrnes, head of Innovation Norway (@Grodyrnes). Lt. Gov Cyrus Habib and Norway Ambassador to the U.S. Kare Aas witnessed the agreement during the Nordic Innovation Summit. Areas of cooperation include decarbonization of vessels, ocean technology innovation including offshore marine renewable energy, sub-sea sensors, gliders and robotics,…

Consul General of Norway Jo Sletbak and  Norway Ambassador to the U.S. Kare Aas visit Commerce

Consul General of Norway Jo Sletbak and Norway Ambassador to the U.S. Kare Aas visit Commerce

Earlier this month, the Consul General of Norway Jo Sletbak and  Norway Ambassador to the U.S. Kare Aas visited Commerce. The Norwegian officials were in town for the Nordic Innovation Summit (read more about Washington Maritime Blue below), an exciting opportunity for our maritime and tech communities to continue our work together to advance clean technology, a sustainable ocean economy worldwide, Smart Cities initiatives and more.

Capital budget boosts Commerce funding for rural broadband, community behavioral health facilities, housing

Capital budget boosts Commerce funding for rural broadband, community behavioral health facilities, housing

When Governor Inslee signed the new budgets this month, Commerce programs received strong support for our mission of strengthening communities. In addition to rural broadband, highlights in the capital budget included: Housing Trust Fund investments will provide 4,100 new affordable housing units, including 500 aging units and rent assistance to local communities for 1,000 more people and permanent supportive housing for 135 more homeless families Community Behavioral Health Facilities received an unprecedented $118…