Strengthening Communities by Growing the Economy and Promoting Washington

When Gov. Inslee took office, we were still wondering whether we had hit the bottom to the Great Recession, so job creation was job one.  From January 2013 until today:

  • Washington ranked #1 for personal income growth
  • #1 Fastest growing economy (GDP)
  • Over 500,000 net new jobs created in the state

Our work began with rebuilding the state economic development system by reestablishing trust with counties, cities and our associate development organizations (ADOs). We created the industry sector lead programs and introduced completely new approaches to economic development throughout the state.  We launched bold initiatives that will be helping our economy for years to come, including Maritime BLUE, a life science skills gap assessment, the Washington Military Alliance,

Regulatory Roadmaps, the Small Business Retirement Marketplace, Startup 365 Centers for rural entrepreneurs, Economic Gardening for second-stage businesses, and a state broadband program.

On a shoestring budget, we restarted and vigorously pursued targeted international marketing, export assistance and business recruitment lead generation. We increased by 250 percent our lead generation for international business recruitment. 

Overall since 2013, our business recruitment team has helped 131 companies locate or expand In Washington, representing 14,375 jobs and $7.75 billion in capital expenditures. Many of those business development projects strengthened rural communities.

Each year, we’ve been consistently the top performing state for small business export assistance programs, helping 1,804 companies achieve over $1.09 billion in new export sales.

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