The Evergreen State of Washington is known for innovation & technology, skilled labor, superior life quality, a reliable logistics network and affordable energy resources–an environment that attracts businesses and manufacturers like a magnet. These factors contribute to Forbes ranking Washington #9 for ‘Best State for Business in America.’
Giving sanctuary to more than 250K organizations and Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, Boeing, SpaceX, Starbucks, and Amazon add incredibly to Washington’s commercial development. With a GDP growth of 2.9 percent, Washington was ranked as the sixth best economy in the United States in 2016.
The manufacturing industry contributed $74.98 billion to its’ economy by manufactured goods exports. Washington’s 6,655 manufacturers employ 314,987. Moreover, this is the sixth consecutive year when Washington State gained manufacturing jobs. All great reasons to include Washington in our U.S. Manufacturing blog series.
The State is also a hub for advanced military and commercial aircraft, space exploration vehicles and unmanned aerial systems (UAS), as well as maintenance, repair & overhaul (MRO) and air travel and cargo. It provides job opportunities to around 19% of the state’s population. In 2015, the transportation sector contributed a value of $70 million to Washington’s economy.
Washington’s aerospace sector includes visionary firms like Aerojet Rocketdyne, Blue Origin, SpaceX, Spaceflight Industries, and Vulcan Aerospace developing and innovating new techniques every day. The aerospace giant Boeing is perhaps the biggest name with a firm footing in various cities.
With approximately 14K companies under its umbrella, the Information and Communication Technology Industry ranks as the second-best manufacturing industry in Washington. Shockingly, only 6% of the state’s population work for this industry, yet it contributes about $40 billion to their economy. Workers include coders, software engineers, game developers, testers and more.
The fact that around 95% of the state’s people are connected to 100 MBPs internet or better also clearly demonstrates the quality of their Information Technology. With growing companies such as Tableau and established software giants like Microsoft, Washington is an I.T. centric state.
Snatching third place for the biggest manufacturing sector is the food processing industry. This sector employees about 16% of the state’s population.
15 million acres of farmland is extensively used to produce the nation’s best pears, apples, grapes, red raspberries, sweet cherries and much more. Big agriculture means big food processing. Washington specializes in canning and preserving fruits and vegetables. However, they also have a foothold in canned meat and fish.
Their connectivity to Europe and Asia through 3666 miles of railways, 139 airports and 75 public ports (which includes cold storage facilities too) is applauded for the quick and timely export of crops to numerous countries.
Given the data, there is no doubt the future of Washington looks bright. It very well deserves to be called the Evergreen State for Businesses.
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