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Together we’re greater

January 31, 2020

one of Spokane’s great strengths has always been collaboration. It’s one of the reasons our region punches above our weight to achieve big things. The power of collaboration is also at the heart of our region’s leading business development organization – Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI). I’ve been involved in one way or another with GSI throughout my career and have seen first-hand the organization’s ability to bring business leaders together – as well as government and education leaders – to advocate on behalf of our region. From Fairchild to medical education and from school bonds to transportation issues, GSI has a long history of being a place we can come together to work on improving our region. As I step into the role as Chair of GSI’s Board of Trustees in 2020, I am looking forward to supporting this mission and creating focus in areas where I believe GSI can help lead important collaborative work, including:

Greater voice

Advocating for the .09 economic development funding: The Board’s top priority this year is to support the passage of SSB 5899 and HB 2494 that would expand sustainable economic development funding across our state and could be transformative for Spokane County, one of the only counties in our state that currently does not have a reliable ongoing funding stream to invest in infrastructure and other initiatives that would help to attract and retain businesses here. Learn more and lend your support here: www.point09.com

Greater talent

Most businesses will tell you that a talented workforce is key to their success. We know when companies look at locating or expanding in our region, this is often their first question. GSI has been recognized as a national leader in its work to bring business and education together to focus on raising the educational attainment across our region. This is one of the most powerful strategies we can employ to strengthen our economy as well as the standard of living for our residents. In 2020 GSI will continue to fuel post secondary education completion through its Greater Minds initiative as well as leading the regional STEM network.

Greater website

One of the powerful new tools our region has in telling our story is the new Advantage Spokane website. Launched this past fall, the website provides a powerful one-stop shopping experience for businesses looking at our region. All our municipalities, public development authorities and leading economic development players have collaborated to tell the story of the unique strengths and advantages our region offers. This collaboration is a differentiator for our region in the competitive landscape where cities across the county compete for companies that can bring the family wage jobs of the future to their communities. In 2020 GSI will be focused on activating this tool through the execution of targeted industry campaigns and a new Business Connections team. 2020 will be a great year for Spokane. If you are interested in any of these GSI initiatives, I’d welcome an email or a phone call. Together, we can continue to strengthen our region.

For a full recap of the 2020 GSI Olympia Fly-In, read their blog here.

Watch Invest NW’s interview with Michelle and GSI CEO, Alisha Benson:

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