New Approaches: Testing a new community engagement model

Little blonde hair boy in orchard climbing tree. Sunshine in background. Shallow depth of field.

What is Commerce's New Approaches pilot?

Commerce currently supports Washington communities through an expansive portfolio of programs that address many community needs, such as housing, infrastructure, economic development and clean energy. New Approaches builds on our portfolio by testing a new way to engage communities. This pilot will meet communities where they are and deliver tailored technical assistance that matches the communities’ highest priorities.

What is happening with the New Approaches pilot in 2019?

Commerce will partner with Washington communities to:

  • Strengthen relationships between Commerce and the communities
  • Increase the communities’ capacity to better understand, navigate and access Commerce programs
  • Increase the communities’ access to Commerce subject matter experts
  • Build momentum within the community to elevate their local priorities

Upcoming events

Feb. 11: Community Event in Chewelah

​Community leaders in Chewelah are inviting residents to attend a community event Feb. 11 co-hosted by Commerce. Attendees can stop by the Chewelah Civic Center at 315 E. Clay Street anytime between 5 – 7 p.m. to share what matters to them. This information will be used to help elevate local priorities. Attendees are welcome (and encouraged) to bring a few friends. Free food and light refreshments will be provided.

Which communities is Commerce partnering with?

Chewelah, in Eastern Washington (

Toppenish, in Central Washington (

Hoquiam, in Western Washington (

What are the next steps?

* Summer 2019: Finished identifying and selecting the pilot communities.

* Fall 2019: Outreach in Chewelah and Hoquiam to learn community needs and top priorities.

* Early 2020: Outreach in Toppenish to learn community needs and top priorities.

More information

If you have additional questions, send an e-mail to or contact: 
Stephen Dunk
Outreach Specialist