A New Thurston County Economic Road Map

A couple years ago a need was identified—over the next 15 years Thurston County needs grow 50,000 jobs. These jobs are needed simply to accommodate population growth; without faster job growth Thurston County will become a bedroom community.

So the Economic Development Council EDC pulled together 175 community members to gather ideas about what should be done to strengthen the local economy, be competitive and prosperous, and grow local jobs faster.

Through this giant initiative the Thurston Community Economic Alliance (TCEA) was formed. TCEA is a volunteer partnership dedicated to creating a local economy that serves everyone. The vision is for an economy where families in Thurston County have local access to jobs and opportunity, and businesses have the support systems necessary for them to innovate and grow.

At the beginning of 2017, the TCEA published the first-ever Thurston County Economic Development Strategic Plan. It is a road map for economic prosperity and dozens of organizations have signed on to lead or support key efforts.

Five key strategy areas have been identified, each with action items and parties who have committed to moving them forward.

  • Career Pathways and Workforce Readiness
  • Target Industry Growth and Innovation
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurial Resources
  • Infrastructure, Policy and Funding Coordination
  • Brand Development, Partnerships and Communication

Some of the initiatives included in the economic strategic plan include the South Thurston Economic Development Initiative (STEDI) and the Thurston Investment Network (ThINk). ThINk was highlighted recently with a fun video (link to Gala dinner video) at the EDC investor dinner.

Stay tuned in coming months to learn about other TCEA efforts such as Creative Districts, Lacey Makers Space, and Economic Development Districts.

For more information about how to personally support this effort with your time, talent or treasurer, contact Michael Cade.