Press Releases and News

Find out what's happening in the Spokane region! We have news items that affect your business and our local economy.

Media: If you'd like more information on any of the stories published in this section, please contact Tricia Webster, Marketing and Communications Manager at 509.321.3612.



Inland Northwest Delegation Heads to DC for Regional Advocacy Trip

Next week Greater Spokane Incorporated, in partnership with the Greater Spokane Valley and West Plains Chambers of Commerce, will lead a delegation of 40 business, education and community leaders to Washington DC to advocate on behalf of the Inland Northwest region.

The annual DC fly-in gives area leaders the opportunity to meet with key officials and present policy priorities that are important to the region’s business climate. This year’s advocacy trip delegation will include representatives from local government, manufacturing, healthcare, financial, aerospace, clean tech, agribusiness, transportation and higher education sectors.

The 2015 GSI Federal Legislative Priority Agenda represents a targeted advocacy approach that prioritizes specific legislative goals and allows Greater Spokane Incorporated to present a unified community agenda around the most essential items that have the broadest regional impact. As such, the DC Fly-in delegation has been broken into special-interest groups that will attend sessions at the Capitol and share information with representatives connected with those particular issues.

Meetings with leaders at the Pentagon this year will help ensure that Fairchild Air Force Base remains top of mind.

Scheduled sessions include conversations with:

  • Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and staff: (HELP - Healthcare, Education, Labor & Pensions), Energy and Commerce
  • Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and staff: Energy, Natural Resources
  • Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and staff: Healthcare, Education
  • Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA): Export-Import Bank
  • Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA): Agribusiness and Environment
  • DOT Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez: Transportation

In addition to the advocacy work GSI has done for decades, this year's trip will incorporate an added emphasis on International Trade. As we fortify our trade efforts to international markets here at home, we will be participating in a roundtable discussion with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in DC. Members from the FICCI roundtable will also join our delegation for a reception at the Embassy of Canada.

Regional Fly-In partners include Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and West Plains Chamber of Commerce. The Grand Reception is sponsored by Asuris Northwest Health, the DC Luncheon is sponsored by University of Washington, and the Mobile App is sponsored by Pearson Packaging Systems.

Follow the trip with hashtags #DCFlyin and #CreateSomethingGreater; read updates on GSI’s Twitter feed (@GreaterSpokane), and read wrap-ups here on the blog.

To coordinate interviews during the DC trip, contact Tricia Webster, GSI's Marketing and Communications Manager, via text at 509.220.8033 or email at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
Armed Forces Persons of the Year Recognized
(SPOKANE, Wash.) – The Spokane regional community recognized the Armed Forces Persons of the Year and the winner of the Neal R. Fosseen award today, celebrating our region’s outstanding military personnel during the “Let Freedom Ring” program at Greater Spokane Incorporated’s monthly Good Morning Greater Spokane event.


The winners in each category for Armed Forces Persons of the Year are (photos available upon request):

Reserve/Guard, Junior Enlisted
Senior Airman Nicole N. Holland, WA Air National Guard

Reserve/Guard, Mid Grade Enlisted
Petty Officer First Class Jed Kappus, United States Navy Reserve

Reserve/Guard, Senior Enlisted
Master Chief Valencia S. Moon, United States Navy Reserve

Active Duty, Junior Enlisted
Petty Officer Third Class Lisa M. Torres, United States Navy

Active Duty, Mid Grade Enlisted
Technical Sergeant Katina R. Fraley, United States Air Force

Active Duty, Senior Enlisted
Master Sergeant Dawn M. Traurig, United States Air Force

Nominations were solicited from each branch of our armed services. Candidates were interviewed by a group of volunteer judges. The criteria consisted of:

– Responsibilities and accomplishments
– Ability of self-expression
– Appearance, poise and courtesy
– Leadership qualities
– Education and training
– Decorations, awards and honors
– Community involvement and civic activities

The winner of this year’s Neal R. Fosseen Base-Community Relationship Award went to the 92nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

This is the 59th year the Spokane community has recognized the Armed Forces Persons of the Year. The event, titled “Let Freedom Ring,” featured Brigadier General John Tuohy, who currently serves as the Assistant Adjutant General for Air, and Commander of the Washington Air National Guard. General Tuohy was commissioned in the United States Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps as a Distinguished Graduate in 1978 and was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base for his first assignment flying as an Electonic Warfare Officer in B-52 bombers.

Mayor David Condon also declared April “Let Freedom Ring” month in the City of Spokane, urging all citizens to help promote the memory and respect for our nation’s heroes.Major Sponsor for this event was Global Credit Union, Supporting Sponsor was Garco Construction, Event Sponsor was Haskins Steel Co., Inc. and support came from Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

About Greater Spokane Incorporated
Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI), the region’s chamber of commerce and economic development organization, has been creating something greater for Spokane and the Inland Northwest since 1881. GSI is charged with the mission of growing jobs and business investment through robust programs in economic development, workforce development, public policy and small business. GSI is funded through a combination of private and public investment, including 1,200 private-sector member investors who employ 145,000 individuals; Washington State; Spokane County; and the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Cheney, Airway Heights, Medical Lake and Newport. For more information, visit www.greaterspokane.org or contact us at 509-624-1393 or 1 800 SPOKANE.
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Vision 2030: Creating Robust Medical Education, Research & Bioscience Industry Growth in Spokane
For more than a decade Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) has been committed to providing community leadership that helps create and execute a vision for the growth of medical education, associated health and bioscience research, the spinoff businesses from that research and improved quality healthcare access in our community. Targeting full buildout by 2030, this vision for a comprehensive, world-class, center of academic health sciences medical education, and all that goes with it, could lead to unprecedented economic impact to the Spokane region, by building on our community’s largest economic driver – healthcare.

This project is the single largest economic development opportunity for our region and has the potential to fuel unprecedented economic impact through robust bioscience industry growth. Built on a foundation of four-year undergraduate and graduate medical education expansion, the growth of bioscience research, commercialization and business development will drive an ultimate 20-year economic impact of $1.7 billion annually and lead to the creation of more than 9,000 jobs.

But, why Spokane? Our region is in the midst of a critical physician shortage; in particular, we're experiencing a growing shortage of primary care physicians in rural and underserved areas in eastern Washington. Spokane has all the building blocks for creating a robust medical education and research center including our state’s two largest public universities committed to expanding in Spokane – WSU Spokane’s health sciences and research focused campus with plans to create an independently accredited four-year medical school and the planned expansion of the existing Spokane-based University of Washington School of Medicine’s WWAMI four-year medical school program that ranks #1 in primary care and rural education.

GSI supports the medical education expansion plans of both institutions. Building on the collaborative system of strong health sciences and allied health programs of our regional universities and community colleges with the nationally-recognized, regional community-based healthcare system, the foundation is set for continuing to engage business and community leadership in the advocacy and support for world-class medical education headquartered in Spokane.

As the lead economic development organization in the region, GSI has been working with community and higher education partners to shape this comprehensive vision. GSI is now providing community leadership and strategic oversight for the vision to assure that we achieve the far-reaching economic impact that is possible, by:
• Supporting and providing state legislative advocacy for WSU’s creation of an independently accredited four-year medical school
• Supporting and providing state and federal legislative advocacy for the expansion of Graduate Medical Education (residencies) in eastern Washington
• Providing economic development leadership for bioscience industry growth including biomedical and health-related research, commercialization and bioscience business growth
• Working to fill the health sciences workforce gap in our community through the support of allied health professions educational growth
• Developing the future pipeline of healthcare workforce-ready students through the advancement of STEM strategies (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)

A comprehensive center for medical education, research and bioscience industry growth will provide sustained economic impact, improved healthcare access and quality of care, expanded educational opportunities for students in Spokane and the state, and development of a new bioscience commercial sector in our region from research spin-off opportunities and bioscience business growth.

Realizing this vision is vital to the growth of our region. GSI is dedicated to seeing it through as we continue working toward a stronger, healthier and more robust economy, community and state.

For more on this story:
Read the guest opinion from the March 28 edition of The Spokesman-Review, written by our CEO & President, Steve Stevens.
 
City, Partners Offer Businesses Help to Find Space
'Select Spokane' offers site selection, data for free

Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , GSI Marketing & Communications Manager | 509.321.3612

The latest release of SelectSpokane.com is now live, offering free services for businesses looking to open a facility in the Spokane area. This online tool simplifies the process by providing access to real estate sites and business data.

Selectspokane.com gathers the economic, planning, infrastructure, geographic, and demographic information sought by businesses looking to relocate or expand into a 'one-stop-shop' portal on the web. The tool allows site selectors, local entrepreneurs and business people instant access to current site selection data on local communities in the Spokane region, including information on:
  • commercial real estate offerings
  • consumer spending
  • wages
  • available work force
  • housing
  • existing businesses and potential competitors
Built on Google Maps technology, selectspokane.com provides dynamic mapping capabilities, including the ability to zoom in/out, identify information and view geographic “layers” of information such as incentive zones, airports, universities, railroads, and zoning.

The online tool is not just for businesses looking to buy or lease. The website also allows brokers to list available commercial and industrial property.

The Select Spokane website is managed by public and private entities including the cities of Spokane and Spokane Valley, Spokane County, Avista, and Greater Spokane Incorporated. The site is designed to assist businesses considering the Spokane region in location decisions. The original Select Spokane website launched in June of 2007.

Visit SelectSpokane.com to learn more.
 
Greater Spokane Incorporated Applauds Proposed Transportation Package
(Spokane, Wash.) - The Greater Spokane Incorporated Board of Trustees applauds a transportation package proposed for the region that would fund critical infrastructure, road maintenance and preservation, and necessary upgrades and reforms. The package will improve efficiencies of our transportation system, which will generate economic development opportunities that support and meet businesses requirements for expansion and continued growth.

Senator Baumgartner and Senator Billig have championed several important regional projects to be included in a transportation package to be presented to the Senate Transportation Committee, calling for $15 billion dollars in new funding over the next 16 years for highway preservation and maintenance and highway project completion and improvements.

The plan includes an 11.5 cent gas tax increase phased in over the next three years and will provide funding for multiple Spokane area projects including $861 million for the North Spokane Corridor, $24 million for the Medical Lake/Geiger Interchanges, $21 million for Barker Road to Harvard Road, and more, all of which are projects listed on the regional 2015 State Legislative Priority Agenda. Other regional projects of significance include Spokane Central City Line, Palouse River and Coulee City RR - Rehabilitation and Bigelow Gulch.

"Funding is critical for the maintenance and preservation of our roads in this community - and our transportation needs are continuing to grow. If our community wants to stay competitive, attract businesses and grow jobs, we need to fund the infrastructure to support it," said Steve Stevens, president & CEO of Greater Spokane Incorporated. "This package contains several projects GSI identified as top priority projects for the region that are critical to mobility and future economic development."

The funding will also help maintain roads. Driving on deficient roads costs Spokane drivers approximately $1,423 per year as a result of driving on roads in need of repair.

Once completed, the North Spokane Corridor will reduce the time significantly for companies to ship and receive products, and will provide over 400 jobs a year while under construction, will support businesses transportation requirements, and will save travel time - over 9.4 million hours per year with an annual savings of 240 million.

About Greater Spokane Incorporated

Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI), the Spokane region's Chamber and Economic Development organization, has been creating something greater for Spokane and the Inland Northwest since 1881. GSI is charged with the mission of growing jobs and business investment through robust programs in economic and workforce development, public policy and small business. GSI is funded through a combination of private and public investment, including 1,200 private-sector member investors; Spokane County; Washington State Department of Commerce; and the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Liberty Lake, Medical Lake and Newport, as well as the Kalispel Tribe of Indians. For more information, visit www.greaterspokane.org or contact us at 509-624-1393 or 1 800 SPOKANE.

 
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Find out what's happening in the Spokane region! We've got news items that affect your business and our local economy. For more information please contact Marketing Director Maria Vandervert.