Pin It
Favorite

Spokane Inc. 

by Doug Nadvornick & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & S & lt;/span & pokane's two major economic development agencies -- the Spokane Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Spokane Area Economic Development Council (EDC) -- have formally integrated. President Rich Hadley says the new organization will call itself Greater Spokane Incorporated.





"This is a good time to do this while the economy is strong," Hadley says. "This isn't like Momentum [Spokane's economic development initiative in the 1990s] when the area was desperate" for revitalization.





Hadley says the integration was first proposed three years ago by members of the boards of directors of both organizations.





"Both of us had been looking at how we could create more regional prosperity," he says. "How could we recruit better? How could we expand start-ups? How could we improve the way we tie schools to the workforce? How could we advocate for the region in a more unified way?"





Since then, the two companies have worked together on projects, even sharing staff. But Hadley says formal integration talks didn't become serious until last fall when the EDC's top two executives, Jon Eliassen and Theresa Sanders, resigned.





Hadley and his staff have been working the past few months to combine employees, to put together a new board of directors and to ask members of both organizations to increase their contributions to fund the new agency.


"We have serious issues - building and retaining a quality workforce, for example - where our efforts have been fragmented," says Tom Fritz, this year's EDC board chairman and CEO of Inland Northwest Health Services.





"When companies we're recruiting ask if we have 200 people to help them fill their jobs, we sometimes have to say no. This will improve our clout when we ask for permission to offer courses in high-demand areas, so we can pump out 500 graduates in a short amount of time."





Greater Spokane Incorporated will have a $3.3 million budget initially, although Hadley says a campaign to raise another $600,000 by September is underway. Ultimately he hopes the new organization can boost its budget to about $5 million to compete with economic development agencies in similar-sized communities in the region.





The new agency will have five divisions: economic development, public policy, business resources, workplace development and marketing and communications.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Hiring Among Friends
  • Hiring Among Friends

    What's wrong with this picture? Todd Mielke wants the top job in Spokane County and his colleagues get to decide
    • May 20, 2015
  • Walking to Where, Exactly?
  • Walking to Where, Exactly?

    Publisher's Note
    • May 20, 2015
  • Too Early to Tell
  • Too Early to Tell

    What's your opinion of Emily Farris? Hint: You probably shouldn't have one yet
    • May 20, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Spokane Firefighters Memorial Project

Spokane Firefighters Memorial Project @ Bank of America Financial Center

Mon., May 25, 4 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • This Old House

    If it could talk, it could tell stories of three generations, along with a lot of griping from neighbors
    • Apr 29, 2015
  • On a Roll

    Just-announced reforms do little to safeguard Spokane against the danger of oil trains
    • May 6, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Comment


Briefs


Publisher's Note


marijuana


education


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation