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, including our new interactive property search tools, 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 2013, the OEDC’s Business Development team, in partnership with economic development agencies statewide, has attracted or retained 135 projects, creating an estimated 14,297 jobs.

Thirty-six percent of those recruitment wins were in aerospace, followed by agriculture/food manufacturing (12.1%) and information & communication technology (10.3%), Fifty-one percent of these projects were located or sited in rural parts of the state.

New IPZ's designated.

The Washington State Department of Commerce has designated one new Innovation Partnership Zone (IPZs) and reauthorized two others to help spur regional economic growth in key industry sectors. The Central Washington Data Analytics Technology IPZ became the 14th Innovation Partnership Zone. It is based in Wenatchee.

Read more about partnership zones.

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

The cover of the Washington State Small Business Playbook

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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.

Are you looking for an internship?

The Washington State Department of Commerce, Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness office in downtown Seattle recruits volunteer interns on an ongoing basis. We ask that interns volunteer 10-20 hours per week, for a minimum term of 3 months. To learn more, go to our Internship Application page