By Amy Watkins The Herald Business Journal
EVERETT — Hundreds of business leaders are expected to turn out for Economic Alliance Snohomish County’s second annual meeting.
The event will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on May 23 at the Lynnwood Convention Center. It’s a time for networking, to discuss EASC’s progress in 2012, highlight current business trends and discuss the 2013-2014 business plan, said Troy McClelland, president and CEO of EASC.
“We want to follow a pretty clear format, which is a report to the community and a conversation with the community,” he said.
EASC in 2012 recruited five businesses to Snohomish County and met with 270 small businesses to help them receive specific programs and awards and to give them assistance in business planning. It helped more than 50 companies expand through business services related to energy incentives, customized training and competitive business consultations.
EASC also held more than 50 events where more than 3,800 people were brought together and conducted more than 60 outreach meetings to entrepreneurs, small-business leaders, young professionals and government leaders.
During the year, EASC was also a force in multiple categories for investment in the region, McClelland said.
“We were a strong part in the success of over $81 million in investment that came to our region for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) at the four-year and community-college levels,” he said.
The organization also advocated for $1.5 million in state grant money for an industrial park in Arlington and for a proposed facility in Bothell to support the medical device industry.
As for business trends, McClelland said Snohomish County is first in the concentration of manufacturing jobs and second in the number of technology-based jobs when compared to other counties in Washington.
“We account for nearly a quarter of the manufacturing jobs in the state, so our results spoke to the things that we need in order to continue to advance manufacturing as well as tech jobs in our county,” he said.
One plan for EASC’s future, according to McClelland, is to develop and attract the talent and the pipeline necessary for more than 200 technology and manufacturing businesses to grow. Others include achieving a world-class infrastructure to support the movement of people, products and ideas, and focusing on supporting aerospace, including the Boeing Co. as well as strengthening the military sector that includes Naval Station Everett.
The meeting is also a time to recognize four leaders. The recipients of two EASC community awards, the John M. Fluke Community Service and the Henry M. Jackson Citizen of the Year, will be announced. Winners of The Herald Business Journal’s Executive of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year will also be honored.
The awards are a fun part of the event, said Shannon Affholter, EASC’s vice president of business and economic development.
“The annual luncheon in a way is a celebration of what people have accomplished and it’s a celebration of what the alliance has accomplished in 2012,” he said. “In my mind, the biggest thing we accomplished was developing a unified voice in Snohomish County. It was a big foundation building year for us.”
Printed copies of the annual report and business plan will be available at the annual meeting. Both documents will also be posted online after the meeting at www.economicalliancesc.org.
The second annual meeting of Economic Alliance Snohomish County is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on May 23 at the Lynnwood Convention Center, 3711 196th St. SW. Registration opens at 11 a.m. To learn more, go to www.economicalliancesc.org.