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Economic Vitality Final 10-26-11 -   2.2 - Business recruitment, retention and expansion

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Economic Vitality Final 10-26-11
1. Employment & Worker Services
2. Economic Growth & Development
3. Economic Foundation
4. Business Relations
Action Plan

2.2 - Business recruitment, retention and expansion
Companies recruited, retained, expanded since July 2007

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Data Notes
Data Source: Business Services Division performance management database
Measure Definition: Businesses recruited, retained and expanded with assistance from Commerce and/or the Associate Development Organizations (ADOs).
Target Rationale: Average using historical data but reduced in FY10 due to over 25% reduction to program budgets.
Link to Agency Strategic Plan:

Supports strategic goal to:  Retain, grow and attract businesses by improving and communicating Washington's competitive advantages.

Relevance: Businesses recruited, retained or expanded in Washington are critical to our economic vitality.
Notes: (optional) ADOs contract with Commerce, and are partners focused on local economic development.
Also Available
Action Plan: Yes
Extended Analysis: Yes



 Drill Down Measures

 Summary Analysis

FY11 Compared to FY10:  Results held steady, but dropped compared to FY10.  Expansion is down 20%.  Retention is still dominating the ADOs activity, although some have shown significant increase in the number of start-up projects (i.e. Skagit, Chelan).

Commerce staff is still seeing an increase in CERB applications, as well as requests for the Governor’s Strategic Reserve funding and Workforce Investment Act funds, indicating an uptick in business activity.

  • Increasing requests for lending services from smaller businesses.
  • Increasing interest in the “biomass/biofuels/renewable energy” sector, particularly in the area of agricultural waste conversion to valuable fuels or chemicals as oil prices rise.

FY11 Results: The ADOs reported 5,913 jobs created and retained.   283 companies were recruited, retained or expanded, 165 business started, and $576 million of private investment was leveraged. The primary drivers for the private investment include:

  • $40 million investment with Cosmo Specialty Fibers to restart the former Weyerhaeuser Pulp Mill in Grays Harbor.
  • $65 million investment from Bennu Glass to reopen the idle wine bottle manufacturing facility in Cowlitz previously owned by Cameron Family Glass Packaging, LLC.  Bennu purchased most of Cameron’s assets through foreclosure after Cameron filed chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009.
  • $210 million investment in the Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project, 48 turbines, 98 megawatts.
  • $28 million in capital investment with Versacold Storage Center in Tacoma.
  • Governor’s Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Training support for Heath Tecna (HT), which resulted in an additional 250 workers with another 150 planned July – December 201.  HT business is sold out to 2013.
  • Economic Development Association of Skagit County committed to a business start up training program with a number of Employment Security Department Commissioner approved participants in 2011 that started businesses.
  • $35 million Investment in Spokane with the siting of Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc.
  • $30 million investment in Grays Harbor with the Ag Processing Inc. expansion.

The number of cases for recruitment and regional staff has sharply decreased in FY11 Q8.  Budget restrictions have affected our ability to generate leads, driving the number of cases down.  The instability of the current economy is also slowing companies’ expansion.  A lot of the current projects are on standby, with companies waiting to see what the economy will do in the next months/year to come. The lack of financial aid with competition from other states has been a deal breaker for a lot of projects.

Most companies across the country and in WA still encounter challenges gaining access to capital.  In Washington, lending restrictions continue to impede business creation and job growth.  A third of the state’s chartered banks are under some form of federal scrutiny, limiting business growth.  This has thwarted growth for the small to middle-market, non-publicly traded entities and has slowed our recovery. 

















Updated 10/4/2011