Governor’s 2022 Smart Communities Awards nominations open now through May 20 (Update May 3, 2022)

Governor’s 2022 Smart Communities Awards nominations open now through May 20 (Update May 3, 2022)

Annual awards recognize outstanding work in community planning and development Olympia, WA — The Washington State Department of Commerce today called for nominations for the 16th annual Governor’s Smart Communities Awards, a program that recognizes outstanding work by local governments and their partners on long-term community planning and development. Nominees offer a view into the values and long-term priorities of their communities through their plans and actions shaping how they…

Commerce announces latest round of state investments in new and novel clean energy technology projects powered by diverse public-private partnerships

Commerce announces latest round of state investments in new and novel clean energy technology projects powered by diverse public-private partnerships

Competitive process identifies 10 proposed research, development and demonstration projects to receive $8.5 million in Clean Energy Fund grants OLYMPIA, WA – Making green hydrogen fuel from captured Co2, water and electricity for a quiet, clean portable alternative to diesel-powered generators. Repurposing retired electric bus batteries. Creating next-generation batteries. Recycling wind turbine blade materials to create new products. Using food and forest waste in new ways and to train workers…

Mark Vasconi appointed to lead Washington State Broadband Office

Mark Vasconi appointed to lead Washington State Broadband Office

Digital equity focus, successful work with rural and underserved communities, position new director to continue advancing state’s ambitious goal of broadband access for all by 2024. OLYMPIA, WA — Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Mark Vasconi to serve as director of the Washington State Broadband Office within the Department of Commerce. Vasconi comes to the job with significant public and private sector experience in telecommunications. During more than a decade…

Washington Community Economic Revitalization Board lands $65 million in new capital budget

Washington Community Economic Revitalization Board lands $65 million in new capital budget

Clallam, Pacific, Spokane and Yakima Counties awarded latest round of $200,000 in CERB planning grants today OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) received $40 million for economic development funding and $25 million for community broadband funding in the 2022 supplemental capital budget. These historic levels of funding arrive as CERB celebrates 40 years and will assist rural communities and Tribes in building their economic futures.…

Commerce awards second round of economic development grants to encourage four high-growth industry clusters

Commerce awards second round of economic development grants to encourage four high-growth industry clusters

Innovation Cluster Accelerator supports public-private collaboration and investment to speed research and development, support startups, and expand access to capital and international markets. OLYMPIA, WA – Four additional industry-led consortia were awarded Innovation Cluster Accelerator grants from the Washington State Department of Commerce. These public-private organizations join five others selected earlier this year to grow key industry sectors in Washington state. Each will receive $500,000, along with strategic guidance and…

State efforts to advance evidence-based, community-supported intervention and gun violence prevention strategies gain national attention

State efforts to advance evidence-based, community-supported intervention and gun violence prevention strategies gain national attention

Washington’s Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention reports progress, recommendations, next steps in addressing gun violence in Washington communities OLYMPIA, WA — Firearm violence is a persistent health and safety threat for communities and families in Washington state, where a person is killed with a gun every 12 hours (The State of Gun violence in Washington – 2020). These deaths and injuries are preventable. One year into its work…

Commerce names Alison Beason and Carolyn Busch to industry sector director posts

Commerce names Alison Beason and Carolyn Busch to industry sector director posts

Beason leads development of state life science and global health sector; Busch comes on board in new position leading workforce innovation and industry sector programs OLYMPIA, WA — The Washington State Department of Commerce Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness appointed two new industry sector directors this month. Alison Beason joined the team in January as Director/Sector Lead for Life Science and Global Health for the life science and global…

Spokane’s Paul Trautman named chair of state Affordable Housing Advisory Board

Spokane’s Paul Trautman named chair of state Affordable Housing Advisory Board

New chair will focus on understanding trends in Washington’s rental and homeownership markets and plans to work toward a cohesive picture of housing need, availability and affordability. OLYMPIA, WA – Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Spokane senior housing developer Paul Trautman as chair of the state’s Affordable Housing Advisory Board (AHAB). Trautman will start his term with the first AHAB quarterly meeting of 2022 on March 2. “Paul’s experience and background…

State Public Works Board accepting broadband construction loan applications through April 26

State Public Works Board accepting broadband construction loan applications through April 26

Over $19.9 million available for projects providing broadband to unserved Washington communities OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Public Works Board is accepting applications for broadband infrastructure construction loans now through midnight, April 26, 2022. Cities, towns, counties, public port districts, special purpose districts, quasi-municipal corporations, Tribes, nonprofit organizations, cooperative associations, limited liability corporations organized for the purpose of expanding broadband access, and incorporated businesses or partnerships may apply. Approximately…

Commerce awards nearly $19 million in infrastructure funding to boost affordable housing development in seven counties

Commerce awards nearly $19 million in infrastructure funding to boost affordable housing development in seven counties

Grants will fund utility connection fees and the improvements needed to connect affordable housing to municipal water and sewer systems. OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced $18.6 million in funding for 16 projects that will support the development of more than 1,500 affordable housing units throughout the state. Funds will lower the effective cost of development by about $12,000 for each housing unit. “The communities…