Pokémon Go is a boon to the region

PSRC has been fielding questions all week on how Pokémon Go is affecting traffic.

Magikarp apprehended by PSRC's reception desk. Visitors to the office need to check in.

Magikarp apprehended by PSRC’s reception desk. Visitors to the office need to check in.

Perhaps we will put it to the test in one of our models someday, but in the meantime we can tell you it hasn’t hurt the local economy.

The game app is based on a famous Nintendo character. Nintendo of America has been located in Redmond since 1982.

Additionally, the game is giving a needed boost to augmented reality projects underway and could help Microsoft promote its new Hololens. Microsoft has been located in Redmond since 1986.

Given this long history in the industry, you are about 12 times more likely to meet someone who works in video games in the four-county region than you are in the rest of the nation.

PSRC is looking into this industry and others as it develops the new Regional Economic Strategy, which informs the region’s land use and transportation planning and supports a wide variety of state and local economic development initiatives.

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Regional Economic Strategy in the works

Today PSRC’s Economic Development Board heard an update on a new strategy aimed at sustaining the region’s economic vitality and global competitiveness.

What have we been hearing?

The graphic shows some of the key messages emerging from outreach on the strategy objectives.

The new strategy will enhance understanding of the forces that drive the region’s economy, inform the region’s land use and transportation planning, and support state and local economic development initiatives.

Since the kickoff of the strategy in March, PSRC staff and elected leaders have been meeting with key partners and stakeholders from cities, counties, towns, ports, economic development organizations, higher education, chambers and more.

Guidance from the stakeholder outreach, along with data analysis, will help shape a working draft strategy for discussion at the Economic Development Board’s meeting in September.

Find out more about the new strategy, here.

 

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Marchione and Somers elected to lead Puget Sound Regional Council

More than 200 local elected officials and regional leaders came together for the Puget Sound Regional Council’s annual meeting today at Husky Stadium.

PSRC leadership:  Mayor John Marchione and Executive Dave Somers

PSRC leadership: Mayor John Marchione and Executive Dave Somers

PSRC’s General Assembly members voted to elect Redmond Mayor John Marchione as PSRC President, and Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers as Vice President.

The Assembly also helped kick off and set priorities for a new regional economic strategy.

“This strategy is not going to be a re-do or update, it’s going to be fresh, from the ground-up, a bold new plan for the next phase of the Puget Sound economy,” said Marchione.

“Now, when our economy is strong, is the best time to figure out ways to leverage our strengths and overcome our weaknesses. Now is the time to secure our future prosperity.”

A video helped kick off the strategy (click to play).

One Region from mammoth on Vimeo.

President Marchione presented a VISION 2040 Award to state Representative Judy Clibborn for her hard work and leadership on state and regional transportation.

“Judy led the way to the most important transportation investment package in our region’s history. This means millions of people will have better access to opportunity and more choices in where they work, live and play,” Marchione said.

Mayor John Marchione presents State Representative Judy Clibborn with the region’s President’s VISION 2040 award for her leadership in securing the largest and most important transportation investment package in the state's history.

Mayor John Marchione presents State Representative Judy Clibborn with the region’s President’s VISION 2040 award for her leadership in securing the largest and most important transportation investment package in the state’s history.

The General Assembly also approved the agency’s supplemental budget and work program for 2016-2017.

The region’s General Assembly includes elected representation from all the members of the PSRC, including King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties, as well as more than 80 cities, towns, state agencies, transit agencies, ports, and tribal governments.

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IT and aerospace lead industry cluster job growth in the region

A draft economic analysis for the region shows the employment levels in the Regional Economic Strategy’s industry clusters from 2008 to 2014.

The last six-years has meant significant changes in employment levels for the region's industry clusters.

The last six-years has meant significant changes in employment levels for the region’s industry clusters.

Five of the industry clusters have had increases in employment over the six-year period, the bulk of which occurred in Information Technology (24%) and Aerospace (12%).

The other clusters with employment growth were Tourism & Visitors, Maritime, and Transportation & Logistics, which grew by 5%, 2.7% and 1% respectively.

Four clusters had declines in employment since 2008. Clean technology dropped by nearly 17%, Military and Business Services by 7% a piece, and Life Sciences & Global Health (which includes Philanthropies) by almost 5%.

The analysis is being done to help launch the new Regional Economic Strategy.


Region’s IT industry has many strong subsectors

As the PSRC’s Economic Development board gears up to launch the new Regional Economic Strategy, it is reviewing new draft regional employment data across all industry clusters.

The region has strong employment in several IT subsectors, including electronic and catalog shipping, software publishing, and entertainment goods.

The region has strong employment in several IT subsectors, including electronic and catalog shipping, software publishing, and entertainment goods.

One data point highlights all the different types of jobs related to Information Technology. Not surprisingly, the region has strong employment numbers among a variety of subsectors. For example, software publishing jobs make up 40% of the region’s employment in IT and the region is home to 13 times the national average for these jobs.

This is part of an overall performance measure tracking on how the region is doing in economic indicators. Data on other industries and foundational economic indicators is available here.

The new strategy will be developed over the next year.

The board also reviewed its 2016 priorities and action items and select a nominating committee for new officers. See the full agenda here or watch the meeting here.

Board members thanked Patrick Pierce for his staff work in support of the board and congratulated him on his new position at the Economic Alliance Snohomish County.


Expanding access to cultural organizations

More school field trips to the theater and free admission days at museums and zoos could result from new cultural access legislation passed by the legislature.

Governor Inslee signs the bill to authorize cultural access programs that will bring arts, cultural and heritage experiences to more people.

Governor Inslee signs the bill to authorize cultural access programs that will bring arts, cultural and heritage experiences to more people.

ESHB 2263 gives local governments a new tool to expand access to arts and culture, one of the goals of the Regional Economic Strategy aimed at supporting a prosperous economy and enriching quality of life.

The legislation allows counties to seek voter approval of a sales tax increase to fund a cultural access program.

The funds would increase access to educational experiences through cultural organizations, and provide services and facilities for people with mental illness, developmental disabilities and other vulnerable populations.

Cultural organizations eligible for support include those that advance science or technology, visual or performing arts, zoology, botany, anthropology, heritage or natural history.

The funds would be aimed at giving more people, regardless of income, a chance to take advantage of these cultural resources.

Cultural access has been a top priority of the Regional Economic Strategy and the effort towards getting legislation passed originated at PSRC a few years ago.

 


Maritime industry fuels local economy

Check out this great Port of Tacoma video that follows longshoreman Eddie Flores around town as he spends his paycheck. Eddie is a ILWU Local 23 member.

An estimated 40% of the jobs in Washington state are related to international trade. And the central Puget Sound region is home to a thriving maritime industry, which generates about $30 billion annually in Washington state. Maritime wages average $70,800 per year.

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