Washington State: Building business legends

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
Source: The State of Washington
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

Washington State is a powerhouse of innovation, economic vitality and growth with nearly a half million companies engaged in building our economy. Many of them are already legends in the business world—Amazon, Costco, Boeing, Microsoft, Nordstrom and Starbucks to name a few. Others aren't quite household names yet, but soon will be.

They are drawn to the state by the opportunity created by our pioneer spirit that spurs innovation, celebrates geographic and cultural diversity and recognizes the importance of responsible stewardship of the environment. Washington offers businesses and their employees a competitive landscape that is not only economically vibrant, but breathtakingly beautiful.

The advantages of doing business here are compelling. Washington offers the competitive advantages needed to succeed in a global marketplace. We are equidistant between Asia and Europe, and at least one of our ports is a day closer to key Asian markets than other West Coast export hubs. We have a savvy trade culture, an interconnected supply chain that crosses industries, and a quality of life that draws the best talent from throughout the world.

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It's our talent pool that often first attracts businesses looking for a workforce that can step right in and contribute immediately to the bottom line. At the recent Paris Air Show, Airbus Americas Chairman Allan McArtor announced that Airbus is considering locating operations in Washington, largely because of its century of know-how in aerospace. "We are attracted to Washington state. ... That's where the talent is," he said. "If you want to have access to the talent that developed over the last 100 years of aviation, Washington is very fertile ground."

Of course, Washington is hardly a one-industry state. We are known for building the world's best airplanes as much as for growing the world's best apples. We employ nearly 200,000 highly skilled workers in the technology sector and are ranked No. 1 in both software publishing and renewable energy. We're home to world-class companies in clean tech, life sciences/global health, advanced manufacturing, agriculture/food processing, military, marine technology and information communication technology—industries with tremendous opportunities and growth potential.

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Many businesses today require substantial amounts of power that is not only affordable and scalable, but clean. Washington has met this demand with the largest coordinated hydroelectric system in the United States and has supplemented our historic low energy rates (as low as 2.5 cents per kwh) with a growing portfolio of wind, solar and tidal energy. Our low-cost energy is one of the main reasons the BMW/SGL Group located their carbon fiber plant in eastern Washington.

If your company is looking for a new place to do business, one that spurs innovation, has a critical mass of top-notch business partners, competitive energy rates, integrated workforce training and a competitive and resourceful culture that builds legendary businesses, Washington state welcomes you.

By Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

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