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Washington BEST Manufacturing Act

Building economic strength through manufacturing

Manufacturing is crucial to Washington’s ability to compete globally, build a resilient economy and create living wage jobs across the state. Washington has a long history of leadership in manufacturing and the research and development needed to spur further innovation.

Having a strong manufacturing-based economy also provides a solid tax base communities can use to improve infrastructure and public safety, offer children a good education and create vibrant communities that are safe, resilient and attractive to residents, families and visitors alike.

As such, it is important to identify and invest in strategies to ensure every geographic region of the state can benefit from a strong manufacturing and research and development base, with the goal of doubling the state’s manufacturing employment base, the number of small businesses, and the number of women and minority-owned manufacturing businesses in the next 10 years.

Evergreen Manufacturing Growth Grants

This grant program is designed to increase the number of manufacturing and research and development jobs in Washington State. The $2 million in grants will be awarded to eligible manufacturing and research and development businesses as well as organizations defined as innovation clusters in the funding application. Each grantee will be eligible for a grant between $200,000 and $400,000.

Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate the availability of capital investment or matching funds to support a significant business expansion or proposed cutting-edge development work. Submissions will be evaluated according to their ability to generate manufacturing and R&D jobs as well as their strategic alignment with the state’s key sectors: aerospace, agriculture, advanced manufacturing, clean technology and renewable energy, creative economy, forest products, information and communications technology, life science, maritime, and defense.

Program Link: Evergreen Manufacturing Growth Grants – Funding the development of regional cluster acceleration strategies and manufacturing growth – Washington State Department of Commerce

Manufacturing Council

To support manufacturing, R&D and the workforce of the future, the Department of Commerce staffs the new Manufacturing Council, which provides important consultation, recommendation and advisory to the department and the state legislature.

As the council moves forward, we’ll be posting meeting information, including agendas, meeting notices and minutes, on this page.

In its first order of business, the Manufacturing Council consulted with Commerce on a report addressing hands-on, skills-based remote learning.

R&D Report

Every fourth year, Commerce prepares a comparison of state R&D incentives for the state legislature. The first report is provided here.

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