Thurston Economic Alliance (TEA)

The Thurston EDC is working with over 100 community partners to implement the first ever Thurston Economic Alliance strategic plan. This plan will provide a community-led, community-wide framework for creating economic prosperity in Thurston County.

What is the TEA?

The TEA has created an economic development partnership, which leverages broad-based, county-wide public and private partnerships to:

  • coordinate economic development activities
  • identify goals to attract investment
  • and develop a long term strategy to support and diversify the regional economy

How was the TEA created?

At the beginning of 2016, the Thurston EDC Board directed staff to explore the possibility of creating a Thurston County-wide Strategic Plan for Economic Development. Currently, no such plan exists in our community, and we believe that a coordinated effort would help us identify common economic development goals, align community resources, and clarify the actions and roles community partners can take to build a resilient and vibrant economic base.

The response from our partners has been overwhelmingly in favor of this effort. More than 100 community leaders representing local government, non-profits, educational institutions and the greater Thurston business community have been actively engaged in developing the framework of the plan, participating in multiple strategy sessions to shape the foundation for a new Thurston Community Economic Alliance.

How it works

As the state-designated economic development agency for our county, Thurston EDC will serve as the convener of the Alliance, taking responsibility for tracking, managing and facilitating implementation of the plan, working with other partners on the implementation process, and providing annual progress reports for Alliance partners and the broader community.

The Alliance concept builds upon some excellent prior work, including the Sustainable Economy White Paper developed as part of the Sustainable Thurston Initiative, a regional Target Industry Cluster Analysis and the Pac Mtn Workforce Development Strategic Plan. A draft set of indicators will be used to evaluate overall progress of the TCEA. A variety of measures, from income to poverty, housing affordability and many others are included. The indicator and project background documents are available to review via links on the top right of this page.