Startup Washington Success Stories
- Railroad Coalition Expansion
Adams County Development Council is currently working on a project with the Railroad Coalition for an expansion plan in Adams County. The two groups are working on a plan that would expand the railroad in Adams County that would benefit businesses as well as the railroad.
- City of Kennewick to Advance in America’s Best Cities Contest
Named one of America’s Best Communities in April 2015, Kennewick is advancing in a $10 million initiative to stimulate economic revitalization in small towns and cities across the country. Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel – the competition’s sponsors – are awarding Kennewick and each of the 50 contest quarter-finalist $50,000 to develop comprehensive strategies to accelerate the revival of their local economy and improve the quality of life. Quarter-finalists have until November 2015 to submit revitalization plans and compete for up to an additional $3 million to bring their ideas to life. To read more and see how you can help, click here
- TRIDEC announces trade deal to open up Asian markets to Mid-Columbia producers
The Tri-City Development Council (TRIDEC) has announced a trade deal with a Hong Kong-based organization that could generate millions of dollars in business for the Mid-Columbia agriculture and wine industries. Officials with TRIDEC and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council officially signed the agreement in August 2015.
- Trail Tech
A fast-growing company that designs and builds a variety of digital gauges for motorcycles and off-road vehicles, Trail Tech just purchased a 2.91-acre parcel of land where a new 40,000-square-foot building will be erected in the next two years. The expansion will pave the way for Trail Tech to hire dozens of new employees in production and administrative positions over the next three years…
- PROTECH Composites
A small, family-owned and operate business, PROTECH will be expanding from their current 6,000 square foot facility to a new 10,000-12.000 square foot facility in the 2nd quarter of 2015. PROTECH achieved record revenue goals in 2014, with a projected revenue stream to double by the close of 2015. PROTECH qualified for and received a number of R&D and manufacturing tax deferrals, allowing for the purchase of a multi-million dollar piece of manufacturing equipment.
The company will be expanding from 12,000 square feet of non-contiguous manufacturing and clean room space to 53,000 square feet of contiguous space. Build out will be completed by the close of the third quarter of 2015 and represents the addition of approximately 50 FTE, family wage, skilled trade and manufacturing technician jobs.
- Columbia Pulp, LLC
Columbia Pulp is planning to develop and build a 140,000-‐ton-‐per-‐year pulp mill on a 449-‐acre site in Columbia County, Wash. The $150 million facility, which is expected to start production in the 3rd quarter of 2016, will create roughly 130 new jobs. To learn more, go to www.columbiapulp.net.
- Blue Mountain Station Artisan Food Center
This summer, the Blue Mountain Station Artisan Food Center will be getting much of the electricity it needs to operate from solar panels atop the building, which is already a leader in energy efficiency. “This project will help the Port and the Artisan Food Center,” said Jennie Dickinson, manager of the Port of Columbia, which owns the center and leases space to local artisan food processors. “The funding award of $80,000 from Pacific Power’s Blue Sky customers is what is making this happen so quickly. The project will be the final piece that will allow them to apply for Silver LEED certification status, making it the first food processing center in the state to earn that designation. The project will save approximately $2,800 in power bills over the year and allow the Port to focus more of their resources on maintenance as well bringing new jobs to the area and supporting entrepreneurship. Read the press release.
- Grasshopper Festival
The 2015 Grasshopper Festival was celebrated on July 24 & 25 with the science and fantasy of grasshoppers, in a festival atmosphere in Republic Washington, and promoted the local and global value of the areas abundant local resource, grasshoppers. This festival was a wonderfully quirky festival idea that spontaneously emerged from the community on social media, during a boom grasshopper season in 2014 and brainstormed at a workshop developed with Kinross Mines and the Washington State Department of Commerce.. After the initial revenge fantasies of different ways to eat them, it was suggested that they are a good future food, so why not turn lemons into lemonade and have fun with the ‘hoppers! The festival featured lots of fun for kids, including insect mask making, storytelling and music. This festival was attended by over 300 people and looks like the first of many hopping into Ferry County’s strategy to bring outside dollars into the community. To learn more about next year’s festival and cooking with bugs, click here.
- A growing economy
From 21 employees in 2010 to 605 employees in 2013, data centers in Central Washington are adding jobs at a rapid pace. Ninety-‐eight percent of these jobs pay over $20 an hour and 80 percent pay over $30 an hour. This translates to an overall average data center wage of about $68,000 a year, which is roughly double the countywide average wage of $35,000 a year. With the way the industry is continuing to grow, Central Washington could easily have more than 1,000 data center jobs by 2017. This means a total of $68 million dollars in annual payroll and $37 million in consumer expenditures on housing, transportation, food and other items. To learn more, visit www.grantedc.com.
- Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center
In partnership with Zaycon Foods, students at Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center in Moses Lake have developed an oatmeal cookie recipe specifically for the Korean market. Matt Kunz, vice president of foreign market development for Zaycon Foods, took samples of the cookie to the Seoul Food Show in Korea in May. The cookie was a success and the Korean companies that sampled it requested additional recipes and are working to getting it on shelves in stores in Korea. Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center is a brand new facility with programs for students ages 15-‐18 in culinary arts, entrepreneurship, manufacturing, engineering, global health, machining, composites and more. To learn more, visit http://cbtech.k12.wa.us or www.grantedc.com.
CenturyLink opened a new data center in central Washington State and will tap the abundant hydro-electric power in support of its hybrid IT services portfolio. More than 85 percent of the utility power supplied to the facility is hydro-electric. The data center will have an initial 8 megawatts but will ultimately support up to 30 megawatts of IT load. The data center is located in Moses Lake, Washington, with electricity supplied in part by the nearby Columbia River. Data centers have appeared all along the river in both Washington State and Oregon. The river and its hydroelectric power are supporting a growing northwest data center scene, one also complemented by low natural disaster risk (lowest seismic rating in the western United States) and friendly sales tax breaks on data center equipment purchases. Read more.
- Grant County Economic Development Council
Representatives from Moses Lake, Quincy, Ephrata, and Soap Lake accompanied the Grant County Economic Development Council to Las Vegas for the third time to attend the annual Retail Real Estate Convention. Team members were able to speak with companies such as: Sports Clips, Panda Express, Planet Fitness, Amazing Lash, Panera Bread, Bass Pro Shop and many more. “Going to RECon is about building relationships and marketing our communities,” said Emily Braunwart, Business Recruitment Manager for the EDC “Every year we’re able to share how rapidly the Grant County economy is growing and why we’re the next place these retailers should locate.”
Work is almost complete on the first phase of Microsoft’s newest data center facility in Quincy, Washington. Microsoft already operates three other centers in Quincy and when the new phase is complete its Quincy operations will be one of the largest data center campuses in the world. The idea that data centers don’t create very many jobs is just not true. Microsoft, along with six other data center companies, employ a full time work force of more than 600 people. Eighty percent of these jobs pay more than $30.00 an hour which is roughly double the average wage in the region. This is in addition to the hundreds of temporary construction jobs created when the facilities are initially built.
- Harbor Card
The Harbor Card is a pilot program designed to strengthen their local economy by encouraging the community to Shop the Harbor First. This program entitles cardholders to many valuable discounts and is another great way to attract and build lasting relationships with your customers. It also works for the consumer, as they save money on local products and services. For more information.
- Port Improvements
More than $7 million was invested in infrastructure and capital improvement projects at port facilities in 2014. This investment has created opportunity locally. Between 2010 and 2014, the port invested more than $47 million in Capital Improvement Projects, $36.5 million of which was spent locally with Grays Harbor contractors.
- Tote Bag Project
Historic Downtown Longview is working on an elegant shopping tote bag project to be used in all of the downtown stores. The project is both an advertising opportunity for sponsors as well as a fundraising opportunity for our much needed lamppost decorations. If all goes as planned, the project will raise approximately $3,200 to be used for future banners and hanging flower baskets for our new lampposts.
- Juno Therapeutics
A start-up biotechnology company, with headquarters in Seattle, Juno Therapeutics announced last week the signing of a lease agreement for a manufacturing facility in Bothell, where the company will make its immunotherapy cancer treatment. The company leased an existing 60,000 square foot building that was redeveloped in 2008 for biotech tenants. Juno’s initial use of the site will be for small-lot manufacturing, increasing their ability to produce product for multiple clinical trials and commercialize their pipeline of additional products.
- Bastyr University Collaboration
The City of Kenmore and Bastyr University are collaborating with the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County (EDC) to identify and promote the growing business sector related to natural health products and services in King County. In addition to Bastyr University, Kenmore is home to a number of natural health-related businesses and sees the potential for more companies who are interested in being close to the University to locate in the Kenmore area. The EDC has identified over 500 naturopathic physicians in the Seattle/King County area, as well as more than 100 supplement outlets and nearly 100 natural food stores. One example of a fruitful partnership between Bastyr University and a natural health company is with Choice Organic Teas, headquartered in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. With the help and expertise of Bastyr herbalists, Choice Organic Teas developed a line of eight herbal wellness teas. Choice contributes a portion of every purchase to the Bastyr University Student Scholarship Fund.
- Casino Expansion
The Suquamish Tribe of Washington will debut a $30 million casino expansion project in June. The tribe is adding a new hotel ring with 98 rooms to the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort. There’s also a cafe, steakhouse and a 10,000-square-foot conference center. The project is the second phase in a five-year expansion at the casino. The first — a 670-space parking garage — opened last year. The third phase will include a renovation of the casino interior and a new entertainment space. It’s expected to be complete sometime in 2017.
- BCF Awards
The Bainbridge Community Foundation (BCF) is pleased to announce that it will award more than $195,000 to 48 organizations serving Bainbridge Island residents through its 2015 Community Grants Cycle. BCF, together with One Call for All and Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island, will publicly honor its funding recipients and celebrate the invaluable services and positive impacts that our local nonprofit organizations provide in our community at its annual Nonprofit Celebration. To read more
- Lakewood Industrial Park
Northwest Building LLC recently completed a 136,000 square foot building to accommodate increased need for industrial and manufacturing space in the South Sound. This is the first of two new buildings the park will offer in Lakewood. The second, a 268,300 square foot building is expected to be completed by Q1 2016. LIP offers over 2.5 Million square feet in leasable space and employs about 1300 individuals making it the 4th largest for-profit employer in Pierce County.
- Rainier Woodworking
Rainier Woodworking has been making cabinets for Puget Sound customers since 1957. However the company’s building in Tacoma had outlived its useful life. Rainier Woodworking needed a bigger, better space for its operation. Locations outside the region were well suited for the maker of top-quality cabinets. However, thanks to an already strong relationship with the economic development board of Tacoma-Pierce County through their business retention and expansion program, a partnership with Bates Technical College, incentives offered by Tacoma Power’s rebate program, and assistance from the right people at the city of Tacoma, Rainier Woodworking found a 32,000-square-foot facility that was double their previous space. The facility provided easier access for incoming and outgoing deliveries, a much-improved work environment, and a space well suited to house new state-of-the art equipment. The company now employs a staff of 44, including designers, craftspeople and office personnel.
- Team Corporation Expansion
The Economic Development Association of Skagit County (EDASC) and the Port of Skagit worked to secure a $4 million expansion project at the Team Corporation facility on the Port of Skagit property. Team Corporation, a rivet manufacturer that currently has systems deployed worldwide at leading commercial, educational and governmental laboratories and research facilities, broke ground on the expa nsion project in August 2014, and expected to complete the project in 2015. Team Corporation currently employs 58 workers, and expects to add 70 once the expansion is complete.
- Gielow Pickles
A five-generation, family-owned Michigan company, Gielow Pickles has signed a 10-year lease with the Port of Skagit to establish a vegetable processing plant at the Port of Skagit’s Bayview Business Park. The Port of Skagit invested $600,000 to prepare the 70,000-square-foot production facility that began operations in Fall 2014. EDASC worked with the Port of Skagit to attract the company, traveling to their headquarters in Lexington, Michigan in March of 2014. The plant currently employs 30 workers.
The company will double the size of its Skagit County facility in 2015 and add an autoclave capability at their facility located at the Port of Skagit. EDASC submitted a proposal that included an incentive package, and worked as a liaison for Hexcel during the bid process. Competitors for the 100,000 sq. ft. multi-million dollar project included locations in Pennsylvania and Washington. Hexcel currently has over 130 employees.
- FedEx Ground
EDASC and partners identified a site in Burlington for the relocation and expansion of FedEx Ground. Fisher & Sons broke ground on the $25 million 220,000 square foot facility late in 2014. Fischer & Company, Windermere Real Estate, the Washington State Department of Commerce and the City of Burlington assisted with the project. The distribution center will serve Skagit County and employ 90 FedEx Ground employees.
- America’s Best Communities Competition
The communities of Darrington and Arlington, succeeded in the first round of the America’s Best Communities (ABC) competition, a $10 million initiative to stimulate economic revitalization in small towns and cities. The communities will receive $50,000 to develop comprehensive strategies to accelerate the revival of their local economies and improve the quality of life. The communities are among a group of 50 quarter-finalists who advanced from a pool of 400 applicants nationwide. Click here to read more.
- FedEx Ground
FedEx is expanding its distribution center in the Spokane Business & Industrial Park. The expansion includes an addition with 46,600 square feet of warehouse space and 1,000 square feet of office space. The project is valued at $3.5 million.
The company recently announced it will build a state-of-the-art customer support center in the Spokane area, creating 750 jobs. The center, which will open in summer 2016, is a part of the company’s multi-year commitment to create more than 5,500 new customer service jobs with the addition of three new customer support centers in Spokane, WA; Albuquerque, NM; and Tucson, AZ. For more information, go to http://corporate.comcast.com.
- Keystone Automotive Operations, Inc.
This Exeter, Pennsylvania corporation recently announced an expansion in Spokane County, with the construction of a large distribution warehouse in Spokane’s West Plains area. The 250,000-square-foot facility will be home to approximately 60 employees who will be responsible for inbound and outbound freight activities. Keystone is the leading distributor and marketer of aftermarket automotive equipment and accessories in North America.
- Ice Chips
In April 2015, a newly renovated 21,000 square feet facility in Tumwater, WA will be Ice Chips new home to the famous Ice Chips Grannies. Ice Chips is moving their operations from a less than 4,000 square feet facility in rural Yelm near where the business started. Ice Chips are hand-crafted candies naturally sweetened with birch-based Xylitol. Xylitol deters bacteria from growing on teeth. Ice Chips are offered in 18 flavors, from peppermint to margarita. The company was started by long-term friends and grannies (41 grandchildren total between them!) Charlotte Clary and Bev Vines-Haines in a garage. They were featured on Shark Tank in November 2012, which helped propel them to phenomenal success. Sales in 2014 were forecasted to be right at $4 million, compared to $1.1 million in 2012. Ice Chips employs 34 people and anticipates “adding to their roster” once the move is complete. “When we move, our first priority will be production, but we have hopes to add a retail outlet as well,” said Charlotte. Bev added, “We expect our sales to grow six-fold with our move. This is a monumental leap.”
- Preferred Freezer Services
Preferred Freezer Services, a global leader in advanced design and engineered temperature–‐controlled warehouses, announces the newest addition to its continually expanding footprint in Lynden, Washington. This 331,000 sq. ft. cold storage facility is a $32 million investment and one of the largest private investments in Whatcom County. It will largely benefit regionally grown produce like berries.
- Shovel Ready Sites
The Port of Bellingham in its role as Associate Development Organization worked with the City of Lynden to identify a shovel ready site. The city expedited permitting so this facility can be operational by fall. This project is a testament to the business friendly environment of Lynden, Washington.
- Relay Application Innovation
A provider of electric power system protection, the company recently finished construction of its new headquarters in the new Palouse Business Center in Pullman. It is the first tenant in the business center. For more information, visit www.relayapplication.com or http://palousebusinesscenter.com.
- Dahmen Barn
Artisans at the Dahmen Barn in Uniontown received grants from the Inland Northwest Community Foundation ($29,581) and Northwest Farm Credit Services ($2,500) to complete restrooms in the facility’s new 3,600-‐square-‐foot addition that includes more studio space for artists, a multi-‐ purpose room to be used for larger classes, live music performances and rentals for private events, restrooms and storage. Also included is a commercial kitchen to be used by event caterers and will allow us to expand our programming into culinary arts classes. The addition adds 60 percent capacity to the facility. To learn more, visit www.artisanbarn.org.
- Avista recently launched its Energy Storage Project to test a new large-‐scale battery storage system in a real-‐world setting at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories using batteries manufactured by UniEnergy Technologies. The $7 million project is funded by a $3.2 million grant from Governor Inslee and the Washington State Department of Commerce’s Clean Energy Fund and $3.8 million in Avista matching funds. The Energy Storage Project is part of Avista’s investment into research that will improve power system reliability. To learn more, go to http://avistacorp.mwnewsroom.com.
- Cup O’ Joe Program
The Whitman County office of Southeast Washington Economic Development Association (SEWEDA) announces the launch of a new entrepreneurial support program on the Palouse. Cup O’ Joe offers local entrepreneurs the opportunity to network, share information about their businesses and receive technical support. “Cup O’ Joe is in response to feedback I have been getting from small businesses and start-ups throughout the region. This first meeting will help determine the kind of programming entrepreneurs are seeking,” says Robin Ohlgren, Whitman County Director of SEWEDA. For more information about Cup O’ Joe or other SEWEDA activities, contact Ohlgren at email@example.com.
- Entreprenur Bootcamp
The Palouse Knowledge Corridor’s Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp kicked off with 26 campers and a dozen mentors and advisors Sunday, June 14 at Banyans on the Ridge at the Washington State University Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman. The campers spend the rest of the week in intensive entrepreneurial sessions, where they were mentored by area business and academic leaders, honed their ideas and began to pitch their businesses. The campers went down the entrepreneurial rabbit hole, hearing from about 42 presenters on topics ranging from business model development to startup strategies, financial pitching and funding, marketing, and many other topics related to entrepreneurship and small business. To learn more about the Palouse Knowledge Corridor, click here.
- Yakima Captures Second All-America City Award
During a ceremony this month at the Sheraton hotel in downtown Denver, Colorado, a group of 25 people from Yakima hugged, high-fived, and celebrated when Yakima was announced as one of the communities receiving a 2015 All-America City Award. Billed as the oldest and most prestigious community recognition designation in the U.S., the All- America City Award has been presented by the National Civic League since 1949 to communities that utilize collaboration and innovation to address pressing local problems. Yakima’s 2015 application and presentation highlighted the Yakima Gang Free Initiative, the Perfect Attendance Creates Excellence program, and the 100 Jobs for 100 Kids project. To view the press release click hereNatural Food Show Opportunities
New Vison President David McFadden reports that his team’s trip to the Los Angeles area for the Natural Food Show was the busiest and most productive prospecting trip in his 20+ year career. The show is the largest specialty foods show in America and it is turning out to be one of the best venues for business recruitment efforts for that sector. The health food industry is growing rapidly and the show features many newer companies and attracts fast growing businesses that are often thinking about expansion plans and future facility needs. Over the last two years New Vision has met with at least 15 growing food companies at the Natural Foods show. More