Category Archives: Education

University of Washington ranks in top 10.

Business First, Buffalo NY, a sister publication of the Puget Sound Business Journal, evaluated public universities and colleges across the U.S. to determine which offers the best educational experience to their students. Top ranking schools had highly selective admissions criteria, strong retention and graduation rates and solid earnings by alumni, affordable tuition and housing costs, diverse faculties and student bodies, and were located in economically robust communities. The University of Washington ranked #7 from the 499 institutions in the study which puts them up there with top tier universities across the country.

Washington State has had a long history of academic excellence with two major academic research institutions, the UW and Washington State University, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Across the state there are 65 two- and four- year public and private higher education institutions preparing students for the demands of an ever-changing workplace. Business incubators and entrepreneurial support network help bring new ideas successfully to the marketplace.

Washington boasts a highly educated workforce, a pioneering spirit and a culture of creativity and collaboration that keeps businesses on the leading edge of innovation.

Read more in the Puget Sound Business Journal.



Boeing breaks ground on new training center.

boeing-education-center-auburnBoeing has started work on a new Workforce Training Center at its Auburn, Washington facility. It’s the first new building constructed on the site in almost 25 years.

The $16.7 million center, which covers almost 71,000 square feet, is a significant investment in Washington and its workforce, the company says. When completed, the Workforce Training Center will provide training to the facility’s 5,300 workers who work in the seven manufacturing units under its roof.

The new facility is the first of two buildings to be constructed on the site. The second will be an Operations Readiness Center which will house critical spare parts. The Auburn site currently produces about 15,000 parts per day for Boeing aircraft.

Read the Puget Sound Business Journal article on the new facility.

Washington ranks with top “knowledge capitals” worldwide.

uw-logoWashington State and the University of Washington have been highly ranked in recent studies by the Brookings Institute and Reuters.

The Brookings Institute study considered a range of factors from talented workforce and elite research universities to GDP growth, internet speed and number of globally engaged companies. Seattle ranks with the top 19 “knowledge capitals” in the U.S. and Europe. These regions are at the cutting edge of innovation and are highly productive centers. The study included 123 of the largest metro economies in the world.  Read more in The Seattle Times.

The Reuters study looked at the top 100 most innovative universities. University of Washington, with campuses in Seattle, Tacoma and Bothell, placed fifth in the world. The ranking demonstrates the ability to turn discoveries into real-world commercial solutions. The UW repeatedly ranks in the top tier showing the consistency of innovation year after year.  One center of innovation is University of Washington’s CoMotion startup incubator which has helped 126 startups become viable businesses over the past decade, with 21 spin-off companies just in 2016.  Read more in Geekwire.

From it’s pioneering history, Washington State has consistently been at the forefront of innovation. With a talented and well educated workforce, a culture of collaboration and entrepreneurial spirit, new ideas are quickly brought to market. Washington companies are setting industry standards in technology, aerospace and space exploration, advanced manufacturing and life sciences.

If you would like to know more about the innovating companies in Washington State contact


Researching the ground beneath our feet.

soil layersWhile there are many Washington companies exploring outer space, Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) in Richland, Washington is studying the molecular structures found just below the surface of the earth. One of Washington’s top-tier research institutions, PNNL is discovering  how the carbon cycle in soils and rock found below the earth’s surface can be used to mitigate some of the problems with above ground pollution. Read more on this research in The Tri-City Herald.

Washington State is home to major top-tier research institutions including the University of Washington, Washington State University and PNNL. These researchers partner with Washington companies to develop and bring to market innovations in everything from the life sciences and clean technology to advanced manufacturing and space exploration. Washington also boasts 65 two- and four-year public and private higher education institutions producing a highly skilled workforce that fuels innovation across industry sectors.

To learn more aboutthe connection between cutting-edge research and business in Washington State contact

Bringing innovations to the marketplace.

uw-logoWashington State has a proven history of pioneering new innovations whether it’s giving birth to the commercial aircraft industry or inventing life saving devices that become the standard in healthcare. Washington’s research universities have been at the forefront of new technologies across industry sectors that have had a significant impact on the economy.

For the past 10 years, the University of Washington’s Center for Commercialization, now called CoMotion, has been helping researchers commercialize their work. Their focus is exposing researchers to entrepreneurs-in-residence and angel investor groups. These “tough but friendly voices” help bridge the gap between a worthy project and success in the marketplace.

Currently CoMotion has an 80% survival rate of new startups. The emphasis is on nurturing ideas that will be able to thrive in the marketplace and have a good chance at long term success. This year 18 new startups were launched addressing  a variety of issues such as cancer treatment, medical testing and energy efficiency.

Because of their proven success at bringing innovations to the marketplace, the University of Washington is ranked by Reuters as the 4th Most Innovative  University in the world.

Read more in Geekwire.


STEM education gets a boost from innovative partnership.

Engineering conceptThe fusion of science, technology, engineering and math are becoming increasingly critical skills to enable the next generation workforce to tackle world challenges. In Washington State innovative partnerships and collaborations have produced groundbreaking solutions to tough problems.

Recognizing the importance of a creative thinking and highly skilled workforce of the future, Microsoft has invested in a unique partnership between the University of Washington and China’s preeminent technology institution, Tsinghua University of Beijing. Students in the new Global Innovation Exchange will address the role that science and technology can play in addressing issues such as climate change, energy, healthcare and urban planning among other challenges facing the world. The 15-month degree in technology innovation will bring together students, industry experts and entrepreneurs in a range of fields.

Other institutions are expected to join in this new educational initiative. A state-of-the-art facility is being built in Bellevue, Washington to open in 2016.

Read more in The Seattle Times and TechTimes.

Washington State’s research institutions have a long history of creating  the next generation of engineers, scientists and problem solvers.

Hexcel receives Work Start grant to update worker skills.

composites-workerWashington’s workforce has long held a reputation for being highly skilled and on the cutting edge of emerging manufacturing techniques.

To strengthen the state’s workforce training, the Department of Commerce has created an innovative program, Work Start, that allows businesses to craft customized training programs in partnership with state educators.

Governor Inslee just announced that Hexcel has received a $$101,000 Work Start grant from his office to train workers for advanced manufacturing jobs at its newly expanded facility in Burlington, Washington.

This collaboration between local economic development organizations, workforce advocates and technical colleges will result in a customized  training program for employees needing specialized skills in the rapidly growing field of composites manufacturing.  Washington Work Start is a highly effective, employer-driven training solution that meets the specific and changing needs of companies and industries.

Washington Work Start is another example of Governor Inslee’s commitment to supporting business expansion and the growth of highly skilled, highly paid jobs in our state. Read more about Washington Work Start.

GEW events celebrate entrepreneuriship statewide.

startuplogo-horizGlobal Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) officially gets underway Monday, Nov. 17 with a week of events around the state designed to introduce entrepreneurship to thousands of residents around the state. Coordinated by the Washington State Department of Commerce, GEW events range from lemonade days and business plan competitions at local elementary, junior and high schools to seminars and workshops. Every county in the state has at least one GEW event.

Most of the nearly 100 events are free to the public, and organizers hope that those interested in entrepreneurism or starting their own business use the weeklong celebration to learn more about what it’s like to be your own boss or to start a business from scratch.

Governor Inslee declared the week of Nov. 17-23 Global Entrepreneurship Week. To see a complete list of events, visit

Training for advanced manufacturing expands in Everett.

Laser cutting of metal sheet with sparksThe increase in aerospace production in the Puget Sound is driving the expansion of customized, hands-on training across all aerospace trades. Everett Community College is opening their new advanced manufacturing training facility this fall to meet the increasing demand for highly-trained aerospace workers.

Washington State’s community and technical colleges have been at the forefront of delivering top-notch, customized training to meet  industry demands. Twenty-four of the state’s 34 community and technical colleges offer aerospace-supportive training programs. With a robust aerospace supply chain and a highly-trained workforce the future of aerospace in Washington State is unlimited.

Read more  in the Puget Sound Business Journal about the new Advanced Manufacturing Training & Education Center at Everett Community College.

Young entrepreneurs nurtured by academia.

logoFosterNavPerhaps it’s our pioneering spirit, but Washington State has long been a place where young entrepreneurs have taken their fresh ideas and built successful businesses. The close collaboration between our premier academic institutions and our business community has given us a well-educated workforce and the desire to break new ground and build a better world.

For the past 14 years, the University of Washington Foster School of Business has been showcasing student-led entrepreneur teams in their annual Business Plan Competition. This year’s finalists include plans to improve health care, teach business skills to high school students, reduce landfill waste and carbon footprint, revolutionize solar panels, streamline business processes and more. Washington State boasts a strong venture capitalist community ready to support the most promising entrepreneurs and technical resources necessary to bring the next great ideas to the marketplace.

Read about the Business Plan Competition finalists in GeekWire.