Hi all: I had the good fortune of attending Economic Development Conference for Washington State today. It was interesting.
The conference started with a speech by the King County Executive Dow Constantine and then there was a panel discussion with three renowned economists and their predictions for 2013 and beyond. Their prediction for housing was a modest recovery due to still tight credit. I agree with their sentiments even though our area has seen year-over-year sales increases that are pretty robust this year. Part of the credit problem is homebuilders are often having a tough time funding their projects. I'm hopeful that this can be solved in the next year or two as there is a shortage of buildable lots.
The next speaker was our Governor-elect Jay Inslee. He delivered a positive message and indicated he felt his staff was unusual in that he chose people not necessarily entrenched in government but doers in the community instead.
The final panel before lunch was composed of high-tech executives. In the Seattle area, tech is a huge part of the workforce and one reason why our area is rebounding nicely. All the tech. companies represented indicated they are hiring. The biggest barrier is education as a lot of the jobs need more experience than what people are getting in school. Therefore, the jobs remain open.
We then broke for lunch and heard two award winners share about their companies (one was the CEO for Digipen-they have a gaming technical college and the second was Tom Douglas who is a successful restauranteur in this area). Finally, we were keynoted by Brad Smith who is the Chief Legal Counsel for Microsoft. Again, he talked about how education needed to be the highest priority.
All in all, it was interesting to go the Economic Development Conference for Washington State. There were a lot of politicians there and I'm glad I was invited. The message seems to be one of slow but steady growth and the future looks bright for the region long-term. Let me know if you have any further questions by