State Seal

P.O. Box 40002 ∑ Olympia, Washington 98504-0002 ∑ (360) 902-4111 ∑



Martha Choe, Director, Community, Trade & Economic Development
Bruce Nutley, Deputy Director, Community Development

FROM: Gary Locke, Governor
DATE: May 15, 2000
SUBJECT: Establishing the Office of Trade and Economic Development and the Office of Community Development within the Department of Community, Trade & Economic Development

As you know, the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (the "Department") has two very distinct functions. The trade and economic development side of the agency focuses on the creation of jobs, expansion of the economic base, and promotion of Washington's products abroad. On the other hand, the Department's community development efforts focus on securing the basic needs of a viable community including food, housing and a safe and healthy environment.

We came to the conclusion last year that the Department's programs are too numerous and diverse in nature to be well coordinated under one state agency and director, and presented that conclusion to the legislature. Section 116(1) of HB2487, passed by the 56th legislature in the second special session of 2000 directs that the Department receive separate appropriations for the community development program and the trade and economic development program for fiscal year 2001 and thereafter.

A distinct trade and economic development office can work more effectively with businesses, labor, economic development councils, ports, industry and trade associations and local communities to serve the economic interests of Washington state. A distinct community development office can better concentrate on partnering with local governments and organizations to build and strengthen our communities. The establishment of the two divisions will enable each resulting office to be more focused, innovative and effective in delivering services and programs to the people of Washington state. Additionally, a number of the Department's constituencies and partners including labor, businesses, local governments, community organizations and advocates have asked for separate divisions.

Therefore, effective immediately, I direct that two separate divisions shall be created within the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development: (1) The Washington State Office of Trade and Economic Development, which will be comprised of the Trade, Economic Development, and Energy Policy and WorkFirst sections of the Department; and (2) the Washington State Office of Community Development, which will be comprised of the Housing, Local Government and Community Services sections and staffing for the Energy Facilities Siting Evaluation Committee (EFSEC).

While the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development will continue to retain its legal standing as an agency of state government, the new divisions will separately operate their respective program and budget areas. The departmental biennial budget prepared for the 2001-2003 biennium should reflect two separate but coordinated budgets submitted to the Office of Financial Management and should prioritize any requested enhancement or reduction proposals, discretely within each division.

Each division shall have its own director. Martha Choe will serve as the director of the Washington State Office of Trade and Economic Development, and Busse Nutley will serve as the director of the Washington State Office of Community Development. Both directors will be members of equal standing in my cabinet, and will report to me directly and be individually responsible for their respective offices. As required, Martha Choe will serve as Director of the Department.

The two divisions shall enter into a joint operating agreement, which shall cover all administrative and any programmatic issues necessary to effectuate this directive and to implement the division of the Department. After being separated, both divisions of the Department shall continue to recognize the single Washington Federation of State Employees bargaining unit.

I view this administrative division as an interim measure to more effectively serve the important economic and community-based needs of our state. It is my intention to request the legislature to statutorily separate the agency and provide adequate funding to permanently create two agencies at the beginning of the 2001 legislative session.