WHEREAS, our state's ability to maintain and attract businesses that provide family wage jobs is vital to the economy and essential to our quality of life; and
WHEREAS, in 2001 I created the Washington Competitiveness Council to examine our state's business climate and to make recommendations to improve Washington's competitiveness in the global economy of the 21st century; and
WHEREAS, my administration has actively pursued implementation of the recommendations made by the Washington Competitiveness Council, through both legislation and administrative action; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development (the "Department") plays a critical role in ensuring the economic vitality of Washington State, yet it remains essential that our business and labor communities participate and be fully engaged in developing the state's trade and economic development policies; and
WHEREAS, the members of the Washington Competitiveness Council, upon completing their original charge, chose to continue the Council, partly in order to evaluate the progress of the Council's recommendations, assess changes in our state's competitiveness using the Council's performance measures, and to consider revisions to the state's competitiveness policies; and
WHEREAS, the Task Force on Economic Development formed by the Washington Competitiveness Council has recommended that an economic development commission be created to provide strategic and programmatic guidance to the Department;
NOW THEREFORE, I, Gary Locke, Governor of the state of Washington, hereby create the Washington State Economic Development Commission. The Commission shall:
- Review and periodically update the state's economic development strategy and performance measures, and perform an annual evaluation of the strategy.
- Provide policy advice to the Department.
- Provide planning, strategic and programmatic guidance to the Department, with specific emphasis on the following:
- Development of strategies that promote business retention, expansion and creation within our state;
- Development of marketing strategies for the global marketplace that promote products and services of our state;
- Development of strategies to enhance relationships and cooperation between local governments, economic development councils, state agencies, and the Legislature.
- Assist the Department with the procurement and deployment of private funds for business development, recruitment, and promotion.
Creation of the Commission shall not be construed to modify any authority or budgetary responsibility of the Governor or the Department. Staffing for the Commission shall be provided by the Department or other state agencies as appropriate, and within existing resources and operations.
The Commission shall consist of no fewer than nine and no more than fifteen members appointed by the Governor, serving at the pleasure of the Governor for four-year terms, and the Governor shall select the chairperson. The members shall represent the broad geographic, racial, and ethnic diversity of our state and reflect the state's various business and labor sectors. Members of the Commission shall serve statewide interests while preserving their diverse perspectives, and shall be recognized leaders in their fields with demonstrated experience in disciplines related to economic development.
This executive order shall take effect immediately.