China’s President Xi to visit Redmond, Seattle, Tacoma and Paine Field

Chinese President Xi Jinping is coming to the United States next week – and the Puget Sound region will be his first stop.

President Xi Jinping

Trade and collaboration with China are integral to the region’s economic strategy.

President Xi will visit locations throughout the region September 22-24, including Boeing’s Paine Field, Microsoft’s main campus and Lincoln High School in Tacoma.

International trade is a key driver of the Puget Sound economy and integral to the region’s economic strategy.

China is a huge export market for the region across multiple categories. Nearly one-fourth of all Washington exports go to China.

“Over the years, Washington companies have developed strong ties with China, and hundreds of millions of citizens use products from Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks and other Washington companies on a daily basis. We know that our ties with the Chinese Academy of Sciences are just the beginning of a relationship that will allow the carbon pollution reduction goals the U.S. and China recently established to become a reality,” said Governor Jay Inslee.

Next year the University of Washington and Beijing’s Tsinghua University, with support from Microsoft, are opening the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) in Bellevue’s Spring District. The area will have a new Link light rail station opening in 2023.

GIX will bring together students, faculty, professionals and entrepreneurs from around the world to collaborate on technology and design projects and find innovative solutions to global challenges.

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WSU-Bellevue College forums this week

The proposed marriage between two of the region’s most important schools will be the subject of two town hall meetings at Bellevue College tomorrow and Wednesday.

Bellevue College ASG

The Associated Student Government of Bellevue College.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed in June – Bellevue College would become “Washington State University-Bellevue College” and offer both two and four year degrees from WSU-BC.

“In signing the MOU, we’re recognizing the increased capabilities for our respective institutions that we would like to further explore,” said BC President Dr. David Rule. “It is imperative to us that if this partnership moves forward, our mission will not change – only expand. As the community’s college, we will continue to offer an excellent and affordable education to anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort.”

The forums at the Carlson Theatre at Bellevue College are scheduled from 6-7 p.m. each night.

They are designed for each school to share updates on the proposed partnership and answer questions from the community.

Bellevue College has a great website, “Exploring the Partnership,” packed with information on the proposal – which started with informal conversations between leadership late last year.


More non-residents enrolling in Washington public universities

The number of students enrolling at four-year, public universities in Washington has increased by nearly 6% since 2009. But most of the increase comes from non-resident enrollment.


Non-resident enrollment increased by 31.6%, while enrollment by Washington state residents increased by only 2.4%.

At the University of Washington, the trend is more dramatic.  Overall,  enrollment at the UW increased by 7.1%. Non-resident enrollment increased by 50.8%, while in-state enrollment decreased by 0.4%.



This data is part of a PSRC effort to measure how the region is doing in achieving the Regional Economic Strategy.

Degree production is a key measure of how well a region’s educational institutions are producing graduates to meet the needs of local businesses.

Measuring changes in enrollment gives a view into the pipeline of students working towards a degree. In addition, isolating the number of Washington residents enrolled at public four-year universities gives insight into how well the state’s higher educational institutions are meeting the needs of state residents.

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Come hear from education and housing leaders at March 5 forum

Are there policies or partnerships that could help students get a better education and meet needs for affordable, stable housing in the region?

Join housing and education leaders a free forum on March 5.

Join housing and education leaders for a free forum on March 5.

The Where We Live and Where We Learn forum will highlight innovative housing and education collaborations that benefit families and children.

The event will be held 2-4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, at Seattle City Hall in the Bertha Knight Landes Room.

The case for interconnected housing and education policies and programs is especially compelling for Washington state policymakers this year. The McCleary decision, which requires that the Washington State Legislature enact reforms to meet its mandate to amply fund public K-12 education, will impact the funding landscape for all statewide programs and services.

The forum will cover:

  • successes and challenges in existing partnerships between housing authorities, schools, and others
  • future partnerships between education and affordable housing developers
  •  strategies to better support these partnerships through policy work

PSRC is co-hosting the forum in partnership with the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle and King County and the Puget Sound Educational Service District.

Register for the free event here.


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Survey of college students’ travel behavior kicks off

College students’ travel behavior is the focus of phase two of the Regional Travel Study.

Students at Green River Community College in Auburn will be part of the Regional Travel Survey.

Students at Green River Community College in Auburn will be part of the Regional Travel Survey.

College data is typically not captured in household surveys and PSRC has not gathered this type of information before. Surveying students will provide better understanding of their travel behavior, making PSRC’s travel models more accurate.

Students at University of Washington Montlake Campus, Bellevue College, Everett Community College, Green River Community College and the Seattle Colleges will be surveyed about their travel behavior.

The one-day survey of individual student’s travel choices will occur over a three-week time period and the data will be available for analysis starting in spring 2015.

Resource Systems Group, Inc. and ETC Institute, independent research firms, are administering the survey on behalf of PSRC. A random sample of students and some faculty and staff will be invited to participate in the all-online survey.

The goal is to receive 6,000 completed surveys out of 100,000 total students in the target schools or approximately half the number of individuals who reported in the spring travel survey of households in the region.

This survey of college students is Phase 2 of PSRC’s yearlong data gathering effort, which began with the household survey in the Spring of 2014 and will conclude with a follow-up survey of households in  spring of 2015. The spring 2015 follow-up is to determine if there have been any significant changes in travel choices over the year time period.

All individual and household information collected throughout this study will remain strictly confidential.

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Clover Park Tech wins nearly $2.5 million for new mechatronics degrees

$2.49 million from the federal Department of Labor will help Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood establish a Mechatronics Technician degree program.


Clover Park Tech’s mascot Simon is smiling about new mechatronics degree

Vice President Joe Biden made the announcement this morning.

Clover Park’s win was boosted by the Manufacturing Communities designation secured in June.

The federal grants are designed for community and technical colleges to retrain students for high wage, high skill jobs.

The median wage for a mechatronics technician is about $27-32 an hour.

MT’s have skills in many crafts and work on robotic and other intelligent equipment.  Clover Park’s program is focused on aerospace.

Everett’s Aerospace Center for Excellence is also a winner from this round of grants, through a $9.9 million grant to Centralia College supporting centers of excellence in aerospace, clean tech and construction.

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Community and technical colleges support a prosperous region

More than half of the state’s 34 community and technical colleges are located in King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap counties.

Olympic College is one of the region's 19 community/technical colleges.

Olympic College is one of the region’s 19 community and technical colleges.

The programs at these colleges help prepare students for jobs in industry clusters like aerospace, maritime, life sciences, and clean technology that align with the Regional Economic Strategy.

The Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges has developed a list of programs that support the region’s economic clusters.

For example, the following colleges offer applied bachelor’s degrees related to targeted industry clusters: Read the rest

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