It's all about our community and creating a vibrant region that is connected, inspired, and driven to succeed.
Together, we support business expansion to create job growth for a thriving economy.
Together, we have a greater voice for the future of our region.
Together, we build, champion and retain a talented workforce.
The Spokane Region’s Business Development Organization Greater Spokane Inc is a non-proﬁt 501C6 with a 501C3 Foundation
The West Lawn Plaza is Open for Business
The City of Spokane Valley has developed a new outdoor event space at CenterPlace Regional Event Center. The 10,540-squarefoot hard scape plaza is surrounded by lush green lawn and blends seamlessly into the natural backdrop of Mirabeau Point Park.
The plaza and adjacent lawn are the perfect location for community celebrations, festivals, weddings, receptions and other events. The outdoor space has the capacity to serve 1,000 attendees. CenterPlace can provide additional indoor conference facilities, on-site catering and free parking.
To tour or reserve the beautiful West Lawn Plaza, visit CenterplaceSpokaneValley.com or call 509.720.5200.
West Lawn Plaza CenterPlace Regional Event Center 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley
Greater Spokane Inc. (GSI) is the Spokane region’s business transformativeorganization,developmentleadingbusiness and community initiatives to build a robust regional economy.
GSI is a non-profit 501C6 with a 501C3 foundation.
This publication is made possible through a partnership of GSI and the Spokane Journal of Business.
© 2022 Greater Spokane Inc.
Yes, you can.
You want to go from passion to profession. We’re here to help make it happen. Because at Washington Trust Bank, we believe you can do anything you set your mind to. Visit watrust.com to get started.
Welcome to the GSI Connect Magazine.
There have been complex initiatives to work through this year and we’re proud to have such a diverse set of community partners around the table sharing different perspectives, shaping policy issues, and developing economic development strategies that benefit everyone to create a thriving Spokane region. Growth Through Partnerships is a fitting theme for the 2022-23 magazine.
THANK YOU. Thank you for your work and support. We don’t achieve anything alone. Coming out of the pandemic and collaborating with community leaders has allowed our organization to implement large-scale visionary initiatives that address short-term needs and help shape the future of our region.
With approximately 40 community partners around the table, we launched and are now implementing THRIVE Spokane, the Spokane region’s comprehensive economic development strategy, which aims to develop and implement programs that support equitable business and economic growth over the next five years. This addresses many issues such as transportation, housing, and our region’s talent shortage.
GSI teamed up with SP3NW and many other partners to give life sciences a heavy lift and create the Evergreen Bioscience Innovation Cluster (Evergreen BIO) with a grant awarded from the Washington State Department of Commerce. Evergreen BIO works to build a modern life sciences innovation cluster with a focus on life science contract services in discovery, development, and manufacturing.
We were excited to be back in person in Washington D.C. for our annual D.C. Fly-in. This was a tremendous opportunity to be in front of policymakers while helping convene a community-wide advocacy effort around health care policy and infrastructure investment. In our state legislature, Senate bill 5901 passed (thank you electeds!) and creates a tax deferral of up to $400,000 for new buildings, machinery, and equipment used for manufacturing, research and development, and commercial testing among other applications.
GSI houses Career Connect Northeast (which is the combined Spokane STEM and Career Connect WA East Networks) to further talent and workforce development. These programs support the Eastern WA region’s economy by providing career-connected learning and STEM career pathway experiences for middle and high school students. GSI is expanding these career pathway experiences to support our 18-30-yearold Thesepopulation.arejusta
few examples of how a team of remarkable people in our region is continuing to work to pave the path for a better future and a stronger economy.
There are big challenges and opportunities ahead as we tackle creating an environment for businesses to continue to grow and thrive. Our success is built on forging deeper more inclusive partnerships and leaning into economic growth, innovation, talent attraction, and retention. We are committed to advocating on behalf of your business, understanding the needs of our business community, leading our region’s economic development strategy, addressing the talent shortage, and ensuring we look to the longterm for visionary initiatives for our region.
All of this leads to community development, which at its core, needs cross-sector leaders coming together to do the hard work of transformative change.
Thank you for joining us in this essential work!Alisha Benson CEO, Greater Spokane Inc. Marcelo Morales Board Chair, Greater Spokane Inc. Founder, A4Ventures
BUSINESS TOCONNECTSAFTERSCHOOLSTUDENTSCAREERSPia Hallenberg, Content by Pia
Like so many other high school students Tabby Smith, a senior at Cheney High School, is not 100 percent sure which career path she is going to choose. She is interested in the corporate side of tech companies, and she also wants to spend some time overseas.
So, when Adam Smith, a Career and Technical Education teacher at Cheney High School, reached out to his students to attend the GSI Business AfterSchool workshop at the new Amazon facility on West Plains, Tabby jumped at the opportunity.
“It was very smoothly run. Everyone was standing up working, and we met people who work in all kinds of management,” Tabby Smith said. “I was really impressed with this 20-year-old who had been promoted to management within a couple of weeks
of six in-person workshops after the pandemic that GSI organized for its Business AfterSchool program. In-person tours were not an option during COVID, so Adam Smith was excited to be able to take students to Amazon.
“We want to take the students to all the different career opportunities,” Adam Smith said, adding that he’s dreaming of having a small bus available to make transportation easier. “The value of tours like the one we did at Amazon can simply not be Businessoverstated.”AfterSchool
evolved from the high
school career fairs GSI used to organize, said Cassidy Peterson, Career Anyimpact,”wayfairscontinue“WeatLearningConnectedManagerGSI.wantedtotodocareerbutinadifferentandwithmorePetersonsaid.businessintheSpokane
area can sign up to host a Business AfterSchool workshop. The business’ commitment is to put on a two-hour program for local middle and/or high school students, usually from 3-5 p.m.
“Perhaps students have driven by Pyrotek and wonder what they do,” Peterson said. “Our goal is to expose the students to the business and the business to the students – it’s a matchup of local businesses and local talent.”
One thing that’s often surprising to the students is how professionals weave their way through and to a “Thecareer.students
love to hear the personal stories and they realize that a career usually doesn’t go straight from point A to B,” Peterson said. “Sometimes you start in one place and end up in a completely different place.”
Talent shortage is affecting a lot of businesses, some to a point where they have to cut hours or limit services
She added that a successful workshop often includes a hands-on element and a tour of the worksite. Peterson said each workshop is business-driven so there is no wrong way to host a group of students.
“The important thing for us is that the students get to experience a local business,” Peterson said.
During the COVID pandemic, Business AfterSchool conducted virtual tours at Wagstaff, Community-Minded Television and UW School of Medicine. This spring, workshops were hosted by Bernardo|Wills Architects, CHAS Health, TDS Fiber, and Amazon, among other places.
“We are interested in highlighting all kinds of businesses and careers,” Peterson said. “We want students to know there are many different career paths besides going to college and getting a bachelor’s degree. You can work and be very successful in the trades too.”
“We have some students that come all the way from Inchelium. We welcome all students in the eastern Washington school districts.”
The business decides if it’s a better fit to host high school or middle school students.
“The best tours are the ones where the host makes their industry come alive,” Peterson said. “Maybe there is an activity, or maybe the students are broken out into smaller teams to work on a project. Almost anything goes.”
Adam Smith said that high school students know all the “right” answers to career questions, but sometimes there is a disconnect between what’s perceived to be cool – like studying abroad – and what the student realistically can achieve.
“The reality for a lot of the students is that they don’t have the capacity or the financial backing to study overseas or go to a big college far away,”Adam Smith and Tabby Smith, Photo by Rogue Heart Media, Luke Kenneally
Adam Smith said. “In high school, there is a high status associated with saying that you are going to study abroad. So, it’s really important to plant the seeds in the students that there are other great options.”
He said he’s very thankful for the businesses that are already participating in Business AfterSchool, and he’s hopeful more will sign up.
“Businesses should not underestimate the value of trips like this and the impact working with their local schools can have,” Adam Smith said. “Many kids come right back home after a stint abroad or being away for college, and they need to know what is available right here in their community.”
Tabby Smith’s summer plans included an internship at Wagstaff ’s Production and Manufacturing Academy, and as much summer work as she could find. She’s not rejecting finding her future career in Spokane but said her dream is
to go abroad first.
“I really want to work internationally – experience new cultures, new food, I would enjoy getting lost in a new country,” Tabby Smith said. “I speak French and I’m learning Japanese and Korean. But I can see myself always owning a couple of properties right here at home.”
Businesses interested in getting involved in GSI’s education and talent work may contact Peterson at GSI. The same goes for school districts that’d like to be part of career-connected learning. “We’re working on ‘what’s next’ for Business AfterSchool and optimizing access to career experiences for students,” said Peterson.
More information can be found at businessafterschool.com.
CAREER CONNECT NORTHEAST BUILDS TALENT PIPELINE
The GSI Education and Talent department houses and leads the Career Connect Northeast (CCNE) Network which combines the statewide network efforts of Spokane STEM and Career Connect Washington. The goal of CCNE is to build eastern Washington’s talent pipeline.
This regional network supports our economy by collaborating with business, education, and community-based organizations to offer career-connected learning and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) career pathway experiences for middle and high school students, as well as our workforce, across the 59 school districts supported by NEWESD 101 throughout Stevens, Ferry, Pend Oreille, Lincoln, Spokane, Adams, and Whitman counties.
We’re right here. With you.
Just like you, we at Avista call the Inland Northwest “home.” We’re your neighbors, living and working alongside you each and every day. It’s why we care so much about our commitments to you.
You can count on us to deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy. You also have our promise to help the regional communities we serve, whether it’s building prosperity through strategic partnerships and technology or offering our time, talents and resources to civic organizations and charities. Our mission is and will always be to improve life for us all.
One Spokane student’s reflection on struggle, progress, and hope
The transition between young adulthood in university to a business professional is best described as a journey. I graduated from Eastern Washington University in June 2021. Eight months later I stepped into the Creative Marketing Manager position at Greater Spokane Inc. Like most worthwhile positions, my way here has been
a matter of opportunity, fortuity, skill, and hard
decade of college, I worked for Walmart Inc. in Airway Heights. After graduating, the period thereafter left a lot of room – too much room at times – to reflect on who I was. I’d beenTamika Williams, Creative Marketing Manager, Greater Spokane Inc.
a student for a decade. I’d been a retail associate for a decade. College alone rarely prepares you for achieving the lifelong goal. The period after obtaining the degree is frankly, scary. College graduates don’t know how to discuss it. Moreover, my last decade was not without difficulty.
Nor was it without triumph.
Life is rarely lived well if we don’t learn from some modicum of struggle and healing and learn to live better because of it. I received a Bachelor of Design from the Visual Communication Design Department alongside three minors. This did not come without a price. Achievements often require sacrifice. Transitions, then, are the reconciliation of your sacrifices and victories with your new reality.
There were beneficial and harmful ways in which I existed during this period. I worked myself to the bone which was ultimately harmful to me. After college ended, I began a new period of deep, necessary, and rewarding recovery. However, my college years were beneficial to me in the ways I did choose to apply myself. Testing my limits, I found I could reach for more than I anticipated.
This has found me a home at GSI. It has allowed me to step into a position that fills me with pride in a community-centered organization.
Thus, the in-between periods of my life have been a longstanding art of finding balance. It’s an endeavor worth pursuing. Hard won.
And I find that balance is often the purest form of moving from and to anything.
Today, my position at GSI places me at the intersection of so many industries, people, and places - of a new community. I sit at the cusp of a future that can grant me knowledge, hope, and change. In the years to come, I will move toward balance, prospect, and open possibility. www.integrusarch.com
Integrus Architecture + YGH Architecture are thrilled to announce our coming together to practice as one unified firm. Our merger is the next step in a joyful collaboration of two great Pacific Northwest design firms who, for generations, have played significant roles shaping our public realm.architecture | structural engineering | interior design The Hive, Spokane Public Library Liberty Park Spokane Public Library Spokane Conservation District The Podium, Spokane Public Facilities District
Leadership Spokane, a GSI program partner, graduated 51 Spokane community leaders this year including, Stacia Rasmussen, Life Sciences Spokane Business Development Manager with GSI. The Leadership Spokane program is an intensive, 10-month commitment to personal growth, professional development, and community service.
BACK IN D.C.
The D.C. Fly-In was back in 2022. A regional delegation of Spokane business leaders, non-profits, and educators went to Washington D.C. to advocate for projects on behalf of the business community.
To read the GSI state and federal agendas, go to greaterspokane.org.
Advocacy an Important Push for Economic IncentivesPia Hallenberg, Content by Pia
The day Senate Bill 5901 passed was a good day for workforce and business development in Spokane. The bill created a sale-and-use tax incentive worth up to $400,000 for companies that invest in new buildings, new equipment for manufacturing, as well as research and development, that lead to the creation of more manufacturing jobs.
“That bill is so important to Spokane,” said Jake Mayson, Director of Public Policy for GSI. “We worked hard to get that bill passed this session.”
Sponsored by State Senator Andy Billig (D-Spokane) and five of his colleagues, this bill also allows for total forgiveness of tax deferrals on projects that meet certain criteria and are located in counties with fewer than 650,000 residents. Spokane County has about 513,000 residents according to the 2020 Census.
The bill is part of the State of Washington’s overall goal to create 300,000 new manufacturing jobs over the next 10 years.
“This bill is going to help us so much on the road ahead toward recovery and resiliency as we work to get back to a pre-pandemic level of business development,” Mayson said. “We have to continue to strengthen our workforce systems, so we have the people to fill the jobs that are coming our way.”
Mayson said the bill is a great tool for job creation in “It’sSpokane.justone of many things that have to be in place,” Mayson said. “It will definitely help us compete with Idaho.”
Another funding source for economic incentives, is the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund which can be used for workforce development and job creation, as well as relocation funding and environmental analysis – with awards granted at the discretion of the Governor.
“That funding can be used to entice a company that is looking to move to Washington State,” said Gary Ballew, Vice President of Economic Development at GSI.
GSI is the Associate Development Organization (ADO) for Spokane County, which means GSI is the primary contact for the Washington State Department of Commerce and all county-based economic development elements.
And it was through that channel GSI was able to secure a $350,000 grant for CarbonQuest, an industry leader in decarbonizing. CarbonQuest moved its headquarters from New York to Spokane Valley, where the grant is expected to create more than 100 new jobs.
“CarbonQuest is a great example of economic incentives at work,” Ballew said. “They also looked at Idaho, but we did the grant application for them, and we just wrapped up the contract.”
CarbonQuest will be using the funding for facilities and workforce training. The company employs 12 people and plans to expand both its facility and operations in 2022.
As a matter of fact, Spokane County has added more than 4,000 new green jobs in the last five years. That’s a growth rate almost three times as high as the rest of the Spokane job market.
Along with strong economic incentives it’s also important for the Spokane-area to have strong workforce development plans.
Mayson said there was a worker shortage going into the pandemic and it’s important to continue to build a competitive workforce.
“Going into the pandemic we had shortages especially in nursing but also in other areas,” Mayson said. “Today we have massive shortages in the trades, like plumbers and pipefitters.”
Existing workforce shortages were exasperated by the pandemic, but Mayson said he is hopeful that educational outreach to middle- and high school students will help them realize that careers in the trades are very rewarding.
The number of baby boomers retiring is increasing at a faster rate than ever before, partly because of age and partly because the pandemic accelerated retirement for some.
“We have to strengthen our workforce development as we prepare for the ‘silver tsunami’ – the massive retirement numbers that are coming our way,” Mayson said.
businesses seeking to relocate.
“We produce a highly skilled workforce, especially in the medical and life sciences fields,” Mayson said. “Now we must continue to reach all the way into middle school and get students there interested in the trades. It’s the trades where we need to beHowever,competitive.”easy
The bill created a sale-and-use tax incentive worth up to $400,000 for companies that invest in new buildings, manufacturingandmanufacturing,equipmentnewforaswellasresearchdevelopment,thatleadtothecreationofmorejobs.
He added that the Spokane area overall has a great workforce, and that’s very attractive to
access to great educational facilities is another way in which Spokane remains very competitive compared to other cities of equal population size.
“We had more medical students than the city of Seattle last year,” Mayson said. “That’s really great.”
In the end, Senate Bill 5901 certainly will help provide what Ballew calls a softer landing for companies seeking to relocate to “TheySpokane.ask:
What sort of assistance can you offer me when I try and relocate my company? How can you help me stretch my dollar?” Ballew said. “Senate Bill 5901 will provide help to get a new startup to the point of breaking even more quickly – and that’sSpokanehuge.”Valley,Photoby Rogue Heart Media, Megan Schuyler Kennedy
Get free supportentrepreneurialattheCentralLibraryAmanda Donovan & Mark Pond, Spokane Public Library
When the pandemic started Matt Mitchell was looking at the next twenty years of his life in an unfulfilling corporate role and realized it was time to make a change. With the idea to create a van conversion business, he needed a business plan but didn’t know where to start. That’s where Spokane Public Library and Business Research Librarian, Mark Pond, came in. Mark connected Matt with access to big data, usually only accessible by large corporations, to help guide Matt through writing a comprehensive business plan. Since then, Matt has landed his first client and converted his first van, all because free resources from the library set him on the path to owning his own small business.
“Startups are facing a big scope of risk, but I can throw mountains of data at that risk to help shrink it,” says Mark Pond, Business Research Librarian at Spokane Public Library. “It’s a win for them, it’s a win for the library, and it’s a win for the Spokane economy.”
To help more small business owners and entrepreneurs reach their goals, Spokane Public Library created an entire space at the Central Library dedicated to offering programming and services to local entrepreneurs and the small business community. The Business Lab offers coworking space, classes, and one-on-one business research coaching and support by a dedicated business research librarian. Entrepreneurs
and business owners can access more than 15 cutting-edge databases for free, including Statista, Pitchbook, RMA University, Morningstar, IBISWorld, LivePlan, and Business Source Complete. Spokane Public Library also boasts a Bloomberg Terminal – one of only two libraries in the country to offer access to this specialized computer software system.
The Spokane Public Library partners with Greater Spokane Inc. to bring you StartUp Spokane, which connects entrepreneurs to the resources they need to launch and grow a successful business. StartUp Spokane’s JumpStart Event series features local entrepreneurs who share tips and advice on how to launch and grow a successful business.
If you want to start a business, StartUp Spokane and the Spokane Public Library’s Business Research Librarian, Mark Pond, should be any aspiring entrepreneur’s first stop to get connected with all things entrepreneurial around the Spokane region. Spokane Public Library has one of the best business reference collections of any public library in the nation. Get the info you need to launch or grow your business: demographics, industry trends, market research, and more.
Visit startupspokane.com to get started.Central Library, Inside Spokane
MEET THE DOCTOR NEXT DOOR
Together, the University of Washington and Gonzaga University are growing the next generation of health-care professionals, rooted in our community — and here to stay.
AMY EDDY, M.D. School of
More than 40 partner organizations worked together to produce Spokane’s new comprehensive economic development strategyTHRIVE Spokane.
Pia Hallenberg, Content by Pia
As the Spokane region continues to recover from the challenging COVID years, a solid strategy for economic development is more important than it ever was before. At the core of GSI’s mission is the ability to serve as an economic development driver, creating and supporting longrange economic plans in partnership with local businesses, community organizations, elected officials, and non-profits.
THRIVE Spokane - a five-year economic development plan - was developed by GSI together with Austin-based TIP Strategies, using an exciting collaborative effort that brought together input, needs, and ideas from more than 40 partner organizations. The goal of THRIVE Spokane is to build a robust regional economy for all people by creating a comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS), yet the method used to create the plan is very different from what’s been done in the past.
“It used to be that we asked the underserved and disenfranchised groups: how do we get you to the table? We don’t do that anymore. Now we bring the table to the groups we want to include,” said Gary Ballew, vice president of economic development at GSI. “So yes, GSI has a role in this plan but it’s not GSI’s plan – it’s truly a community
Foreffort.”one of the participating partners, Ben Cabildo,
who founded the multi-ethnic business association AHANA in 1998, there is one big difference between THRIVE Spokane and many of the other economic development plans he has been a part
we included the word ‘equitable’ in the mission statement to make sure that the plan would include all the multi-ethnic communities and other disenfranchised groups,” Cabildo said. “This is a completely different approach. Equitable economic development means that all the folks will be engaged in the process, not just the white business community.”
THRIVE Spokane is built upon four guiding principles. Each principle or pillar has dozens of sub-tasks and examples of actions that may be Recoverytaken:
and resilience – focuses on efforts that prepare the region to avoid, withstand, and recover from economic shocks and natural disasters. For example, this could mean coordinating local supply chain events and making sure multi-ethnic businesses become part of the Competitivenessnetwork.
– positions the greater Spokane region as a strong competitor to attract talent, capital, and resources for strategic economic development. One example is to pursue the formation of an economic development district
through the US Economic Development Administration, to access better funding opportunities and technical assistance.
Connectivity – promotes the interconnectedness of the greater Spokane region and drives cross-sector partnerships to align efforts that advance economic opportunity for all. The focus of this pillar is on creating vibrant and inclusive communities, investing in infrastructure, and identifying and maintaining green spaces.
Equitable growth – seeks to understand, address, and dismantle outcome disparity through intentional initiatives that include all Spokane residents in the benefits of economic growth and prosperity. An example of how to achieve equity could be actively working to remove barriers for smaller businesses that are seeking contracts with public-private partnerships.
THRIVE Spokane is also very intentional about supporting indigenous and LGBTQ+ businesses.
“Equity is important throughout and to make sure we keep it at the center of the work we do, we made it one of the four pillars of the plan,” Ballew said. “How can we help underrepresented small businesses get government contracts? How can we make sure small businesses get what they need to be successful? Equity has to be part of all the work weEvent, Photo by Rogue Heart Media, Luke Kenneally
Some may have an oversimplified view of economic development simply being the matter of attracting a lot of new businesses as quickly as possible. Multinational companies often do bring in wellpaying jobs and opportunities that do not exist here yet, but THRIVE Spokane also has a strong focus on businesses of all sizes that are already located here, and it is inclusive.
“One problem for multi-ethnic businesses is the lack of generational wealth. These businesses are very small and fragile because they just don’t have money in the family,” Cabildo said. “There is also a lack of generational knowledge base with many ethnic businesses. They don’t have resources they can go to when they need help to get a business started.”
Cabildo, who’s been involved in the Spokane
businesses milieu for more than 30 years, said GSI never previously reached out to ethnic businesses and that was one reason why he founded AHANA.
“This is a very different approach and it’s very genuine – THRIVE Spokane is an important plan for the future,“ Cabildo said. “I am very excited to have been part of this work.”
For Ballew, it’s all about reaching the communities that have not been represented in previous economic development plans.
“We want to understand what people here are working on, especially in our communities of color and the geographically isolated communities,” Ballew said. “There is great value in diversity and inclusivity.”
Outreach will not stop just because THRIVE Spokane is finalized. It’s an ongoing effort
This is a very diﬀerent approach and it’s very genuine – THRIVE Spokane is an important plan for the future...
throughout the implementation phase.
“There is still work to do in reaching out to underrepresented communities,” Ballew said, adding that he recognizes some groups are still missing from the economic development table. “We are hoping to incorporate some of the great work being done by others in our community, and we understand that developing relationships and growing trust will take time.”
The completion of THRIVE Spokane was celebrated at a great community event in June, the next big step is implementation.
“The plan has officially been launched,” said Joey Gunning, strategic growth manager of GSI. “Now the real work begins. Community outreach will continue as we work to move the needle on several big issues facing our region such as workforce trends, connecting supply chains to key sectors, transportation and infrastructure access, housing availability, and more.” Gunning will be working with community members over the next five years to implement the plan.
Ginger Ewing, who’s the executive director of
Terrain, a nonprofit dedicated to stimulating a vibrant and inclusive arts environment through shows, fairs, and events, said her participation in THRIVE Spokane is her first endeavor into regional economic development.
“I feel like Gary Ballew is a game-changer for GSI,” Ewing said. “He was very intentional about including all people and building those relationships. When you haven’t reached out to certain groups of people ever – then it’s going to take some time for them to come around.”
Ewing said there is room for more community participation in THRIVE and she hopes the plan generates excitement and engagement.
“Implementation is the elephant in the room. It’s going to take funding and it’s going to take strong community partners,” Ewing said. “I’m optimistically holding my breath. It’s an ambitious plan. If we can make this happen, we will all be so much better off than we are today.”
For more information about THRIVE Spokane, visit thrivespokane.org.
“Knight Construction & Supply is Celebrating 50 Years as a Deer Park business. Deer Park is business friendly, with great skilled labor and a ‘can do’ attitude. e best kept secret north of Spokane. Deer Park, you can’t beat it!
- Douglas J. Knight, President, Knight Construction
“Northwest Steel Fab Inc. has utilized the local resources and talent that Deer Park and the surrounding area have to create an empowered team of skilled workers. We have tripled in size since moving to Deer Park in 2008. e airport capability has been a real plus for us too.
- Josh James Northwest Steel Fab Inc.Lars , Numerica Credit Union 509-276-8801
It was great to work with such a dedicated group of professionals throughout the CEDS process. I believe strongly that the four-goal strategies identified for THRIVE Spokane provide a solid foundation to build into the implementation phase of the plan.
The mission of the Inclusive Development Council (IDC) is to support a vision for equitable economic growth and wealth creation opportunities. Fellowship is our top priority. Our three key focus areas are Supplier Diversity, Talent Development, and Access to Capital/Financial Inclusion. Aligning our work with the CEDS goal of Equitable Growth is an outstanding way to collaborate.Lance Beck, Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce Ben Krauss, Inclusive Development Council THRIVE Launch Event, Photo by Rogue Heart Media, Luke Kenneally THRIVE Launch Event, Photo by Rogue Heart Media, Luke Kenneally
New Evergreen Bioscience Innovation Cluster Creates Opportunity for GrowthKatrina Rogers, Evergreen Bioscience Innovation
After more than a year of effort, the Washington State Department of Commerce awarded a $500,000 grant to Greater Spokane Inc. to create the Evergreen Bioscience Innovation Cluster. To secure the grant, GSI worked with its partners at SP3NW and a host of other folks. The funding came through the Innovation Cluster Acceleration Program (ICAP), which identified nine innovation clusters across Washington State.
A modern innovation cluster is an industryled organization including members from five different economic sectors (entrepreneur, capital, corporate/industry, government, and academe.) The mission of Evergreen Bioscience focuses on life science contract services. Pharmaceutical and medical device companies use contract services throughout their supply chain to meet milestones in a capital-efficient manner. There are gaps and limited capacity in this supply chain in the region of Spokane, across the nation, and around the world. Evergreen Bioscience Innovation will fill an ecosystem-level business development role for contract services in life science discovery, development, and manufacturing. We aim to help our industry fill these gaps and bring economic growth to our region.
In many ways, Evergreen Bioscience is the culmination of a decades-long effort by the community, much of it led by GSI. It started with Momentum 87, which sought to develop an education hub and reinvigorate downtown. The initiative identified the “Riverpoint Campus” (now known as the University District) as its home
and, starting in 1996, brought programs from Eastern Washington University and Washington State University to the campus. Milestones in the following decades include the development of the EWU Health Science Building (1996), the creation of the WWAMI UWWSU partnership (2008), WSU College of Nursing (2009), WSU Health Science Campus (2010), and the Pharmaceutical/Bio-medical Building (2013).
The growth of the University District, especially in the health and life science sector, spurred community leaders to convene a new initiative in 2015. VISION 2030, now known as Life Sciences Spokane, challenged Spokane to move toward creating a world-class center for health and medical sciences education, life sciences research, and commercialization. The target of this project was to leverage the unprecedented growth of the region’s health care and life sciences industry to create a positive economic impact across the community. The VISION 2030 team not only supported the creation of the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and the new WWAMI regional partnership between the University of Washington School of Medicine and Gonzaga University but also served as the foundation for Evergreen Bioscience Innovation. The recent expansion of biopharmaceutical manufacturing through the growth of Jubilant HollisterStier in Hillyard and Selkirk Pharma in West Plains are the latest milestones on the life science growth trajectory.
Initiatives like Evergreen Bioscience don’t just happen. They are built over decades of effort and
partnership. The cluster board and I look forward to engaging our industry, academic, capital, entrepreneurial, and government stakeholders this fall to clarify our strategy and goals. We open our arms to a community-wide effort to create sustainable economic development across our state and region.
Want to know more, share your ideas, or get involved? Visit evergreenbioinnovation.com.
Alex Barrouk grew up in France but founded his business Aim & Build Consulting and Development (ABCD) right here in Spokane. ABCD is a growth and change agent company that acts a lot like a company’s primary care doctor: they assess where it hurts, for how long, and then help the company find a better way of doing business.
“ABCD is not a traditional business with employees,” Barrouk said. “What we are is a group of strong subject matter experts, each with a special area like finance or communication. My job is to go out and find work for us.”
When COVID took hold and businesses shut down left and right Barrouk, like many other business owners, grew very worried about the future of his company.
“Basically, all private business was gone there for a while, but the one thing that didn’t shut down was the government,” Barrouk said. “And I thought to myself: that’s what I need for my business – a client that never shuts down - because you never know what’s going to happen to the economy.”
ABCD got a contract with SIMBA, and then was awarded its first contract with the City of Spokane.A chance encounter with Aleesha Roedel, BUSINESSESSTREAMREVENUEFOR ContractingGovernment Program Pia Hallenberg, Content by Pia
Eastern Washington’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) specialist, quickly made it clear to Barrouk that he was right on target with government contracts.
PTAC is a program of Greater Spokane Inc. that helps businesses compete for state and federal contracts, and most of the advice and instruction provided by the Eastern Washington office is “Alexfree.was
already doing so well when we met,” Roedel said. “But it can be quite overwhelming for a business when it first looks at becoming a government contractor.”
All government contracting and purchasing takes place via a giant online portal.
“The first step for a client seeking PTAC assistance is to register as a client,” Roedel said. “It can be overwhelming when they try to do it themselves. The biggest challenge is navigating through the signup process – but I am here to help with that.”
PTAC provides a sort of wrap-around business service with one goal: to get the business a government contract.
Roedel said there is a huge market for businesses because the government buys everything from screws to communication development to bird watching.
“Yes, bird watching. There was an eagle’s nest that could not be disturbed during some construction on Boundary Dam and we had a contract for someone to watch that nest,” Roedel
in various areas and markets, and they may also qualify for certifications such as ‘Women Owned Business’ or ‘Minority Owned Business’ which may help them bid for certain contracts.
Right now, Roedel has a lot of Forest Service clients partly because of the brutal fire seasons.
“The U.S. Forest Service operates with threeyear blanket purchasing agreements and right now it’s for heavy equipment and refrigerated trailers,” Roedel said. “Almost every client I have assisted in this area has won a contract. That’s 15 or 20 contracts.”
Businesses qualify in various areas and markets, and they may also qualify for Business’orOwnedsuchcertificationsas‘WomenBusiness’‘MinorityOwnedwhichmayhelpthembidforcertaincontracts.
Roedel added that PTAC is an untapped resource for local businesses because the process seems onerous. For instance, a company has to register in a specific purchasing profile to be competitive.
“I help them with state and federal certification and everything else they need,” Roedel said.
She did exactly that for Barrouk and ABCD.
“I’m selling a group of people who can impact a business on a deeper level and make for real growth and real change,” Barrouk said.
Roedel matched ABCD with several contracts, including one for GSI and another one for PTAC. “One of the things ABCD did for GSI was to look at a very granular level what makes a business locate in Hayden or Post Falls or Liberty Lake, and not in Washington,” Barrouk said. “Knowing that decision-making process will help GSI getAleesha Roedel and Alex Barrouk, Photo by Rogue Heart Media, Megan Schuyler Kennedy
better at motivating a business to locate in Washington.”
Barrouk added that Roedel is a fantastic resource for businesses of all sizes.
“She is just amazingly great at what she does – remarkably, we have access to this service for free,” Barrouk said.
“There are many different sizes and sources of contracts: Federal, state, county, and the city comes to mind, but there are also contracts for libraries and other districts. Sometimes businesses can collaborate and bid on a contract together,” Roedel said.
“If one lacks the qualifications in one area, then maybe the other one can step in and it works out really well,” Roedel said.
Barrouk is grateful for the help which has solidified his company.
“PTAC is a very inclusive process – anyone can go and get help. Inclusivity is part of who we are and how we can help Spokane be a great region,” Barrouk said. “I started with nothing and then GSI helped me and now I help them – it’s great.”
For more information about PTAC, visit gsiptac.org.
Greater Spokane Inc. was back this year with in-person events. Party on the Patio, in partnership with Visit Spokane welcomed our community back into our space and officially welcomed Visit Spokane to the Riverside Ave. building.
Avista maintains a generation portfolio that is more than half renewable and makes investments in new renewable energy, advancing the efficient use of electricity and natural gas and driving innovation that continues to become the gateway to a clean energy future.
Cowles is a fourth-generation family-owned enterprise that operates a portfolio of legacy companies and seeks to invest in high-potential growth businesses for the long-term benefit of shareholders, customers, employees, and the communities in which it operates.
With more than 20,000 team members, including employees, providers and volunteers, MultiCare is the largest, not-for-profit, community-based, locally owned health system in the state of ItronWashington.isdedicated
to creating a more resourceful world. Together with customers, they work to improve the quality of life, ensure safety, and promote the well-being of people everywhere.
Providence is dedicated to a holistic approach to medicine that employs not only the most advanced treatments to improve outcomes, but also puts compassion and humanity at the heart of every interaction.
STCU is a not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative helping members serve the community since 1934. STCU has grown to more than 710 employees serving more than 245,000 members at 34 locations.
Since 1902, Washington Trust Bank is the oldest and largest privately-held commercial bank in the Northwest. They base decisions and policies on what’s happening right here in the Northwest and stay focused on doing the right things for their clients and communities.
At Idaho Central Credit Union, the most important thing to us is helping our members succeed. We’re here to help you with a full range of both personal and business ﬁnancial services like checking, loans, mobile banking, and more. Come visit your local ICCU branch and see for yourself how we can help you achieve your ﬁnancial success.
• Ranked among the top in the nation for member giveback*
• Helping members achieve ﬁnancial success for over 80 years
• 24/7 access with eBranch Mobile and Online Banking
• Now open in Spokane a member today.
Alliant Insurance Services
ALSC Architects, PS
Furnace & Fuel, Inc.
Becker Buick - GMC Truck, Inc. Bouten
BurlingtonConstructionNorthernSanta Fe Railroad Cathay Inn Central Pre-Mix Concrete Co. a CRH Company City of CliftonLarsonAllenSpokane LLP Community Colleges of Spokane Cowles Company
Eastern Washington University Edge Construction Supply Empire Bolt & Screw, Inc. Fruci & Associates PS Global Credit Union Gonzaga University Goodale & Barbieri Company Goodwill Industries of the Inland MEMBERLEGACYPARTNERS
Moss Adams LLP Multicare Health System N.A. Degerstrom, Inc. National Electrical Contractors Assn., Inland Emp. Paine Hamblen LLP PayneWest Insurance Pepsi Beverages Company
Premera Blue Cross Providence Health Care Richards, Merrill & Peterson, Inc. Rockwood, MultiCare Health Systems
Rosauers Supermarkets, Inc. Ryerson, SchoedelInc.&Schoedel, CPAs PLLC Senske Lawn & Tree Care Sonderen Packaging Co., Inc.
Spokane Association of Realtors
Spokane County Spokane County United Way Spokane Hardware Supply, Inc. Spokane International Airport Spokane Public Schools
Teck American Incorporated WagstaffVitalant, WandermereInc. Golf Course Washington Trust Bank Wells St. John P.S. Wendle Ford Wendle WinstonWilbertWhitworthNissanUniversityPrecast,Inc.&CashattLawyers Witherspoon Kelley
In May of this year, Innovia, Spokane’s local community foundation, launched a new $150 million scholarship program called LaunchNW to pay for student college tuition and help improve the economic vitality of communities in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. The program is led by Ben Small, retired Central Valley School District Superintendent. For more information visit launchnw.org.
Northwest Natural Resources is a program partner of GSI and works to educate teachers and students about the importance of natural resources in their daily lives and offers student programs and workshops.
AG EXPO CONNECTS FARMERS
The Spokane Ag Expo held a successful comeback show in February at the Spokane Convention Center. 2,000 attendees benefited from 45 professional seminars and networked with 200 exhibiting companies over the course of three days. It was the 45th show and effectively continued its mission to support jobs and investments for the regional agriculture industries. The 2023 show is scheduled for Feburary 7, 8, 9.
We love having STCU as part of our team.”
The crack of the bat. The 7th inning stretch. The chance at a foul ball. Since 1892, the Spokane Indians Baseball Team have given us pure, family fun on hot summer nights.
STCU is honored to be the home team's business banker, providing checking and merchant services, so they can focus on the fun stu , like Bark in the Park Night.
To learn more about how STCU can serve your business, give us a call at (509) 579-7150, visit any branch location, or explore stcu.org/business.
Insured by NCUA.
“- Otto Klein, SVP, Spokane Indians Baseball Team