Self-driving cars may sound futuristic, but Washington state is leading the way right now on developing autonomous vehicles that could help save lives, reduce carbon emissions and create jobs. My executive order supports safe testing and operation of AVs on our public roadways and enables organizations developing AV equipment and technology. Just as we did in aerospace and information and communications technology, cultivating emerging 21st-century technologies will promote economic growth.
These opportunities have no borders. British Columbia premier Christy Clark and I affirmed this by creating the Cascadia Innovation Corridor to promote our tech industries through talent, transportation and innovation. Washingtonians have always looked outward and forward for opportunities. Our culture of entrepreneurship continues to attract and build business legends, such as Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, Costco and Starbucks. Our diverse economy multiplies our strengths and bolsters our ability to weather inevitable downturns in our interconnected world economy.
Sustained growth requires ongoing support for small business and broadening economic benefits in communities throughout the state. Above all, we invest in our greatest asset: people. Washington engages with employers, including our major military bases, to ensure there is a ready and talented workforce available with the skills to adapt quickly to rapidly changing needs.
My top priority as governor of this great state is continuing to grow our thriving economic climate that spurs job growth and keeps us at the top echelon for years to come.
— By Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee
Editor's note: This commentary was written before the release of the Top States 2017 data. The governor did not have knowledge of the rankings or the comprehensive data.