We must do better…. Washington state is among the most innovative regions in the world, home to forward-thinking firms and a magnet for creative talent. However, the overall pace of job recovery from the great recession is tepid and unemployment levels remain unacceptably high. Innovative and lean approaches which align programs and services with stakeholder needs are required. The starting point is to adopt and sustain a clear, cohesive, and proactive strategy. The Washington Economic Development Commission has approved a final draft report—Driving Washington's Prosperity: Strategy for Job Creation and Competitiveness-- which includes recommendations for growing jobs by boosting the state's competitiveness. It is the product of an in-depth collaboration among leaders in business, education, labor, regional economic development, and government. Over 650 stakeholders provided input at 15 regional strategy forums. The Commission identified five key economic drivers for ensuring job creation and competitiveness. They are:
- Make talent a top priority
- Invest in entrepreneurship
- Connect through reliable infrastructure
- Regulate in the smartest ways
- Expand international business
For each driver, the report presents a roadmap of policy priorities. The recommendations are not all dependent on new funding; more important is to align current resources in ways that are directly responsive to sector and regional needs. In short, the alignment must drive private-sector job creation, lean and efficient regulations, and expanded trade. If we do this we will do better.
LINK to website and report: www.wedc.wa.gov