#42 Washington

4.16 out of 10 in Taxation and Regulation

6.78 out of 10 in Workforce Quality

6.69 out of 10 in Living Environment

The State for Stem

While Boeing moved its headquarters to Chicago in 2001, and Amazon announced it will situate its new second HQ elsewhere, Washington remains one of America’s top locations for STEM talent. Microsoft is still headquartered here; it is home to 80,000 of 100,000 Boeing jobs nationwide; and Amazon now employs more than 40,000 people in the state. Escalating real estate values in San Francisco means tech firms have been expanding their workforce in the Puget Sound area.

From the Governor

“Global connections and a strong international relationship are among the things that make Washington a great state for business and help us maintain one of the most vibrant economies in the nation.” —Gov. Jay Inslee

Key Industries

Aerospace & Defense, Biotech, Clean Tech, Forestry, I.T., Maritime

Key Companies

Capital One
General Dynamics
Lockheed Martin

Key Contacts

Dept. of Commerce

Brian Bonlender, Director
1011 Plum Street SE
P.O. Box 42525
Olympia, WA 98504-2525
[email protected]

Key Incentives

Business and Occupation (B&O) Credits: Offers tax credits up to $2,000 per position with annual wages of $40K or less and up to $4,000 per position with wages over $40K for manufacturers, R&D laboratories and commercial testing facilities in a rural counties.

Community Economic Revitalization Board Committed Private Partner Program: Offers loans of up to $2 million and grants up to $150,000 for the construction of public infrastructure to support business expansion.

Reduced B&O Tax Rate for Aerospace Business: Offers a reduction in B&O tax liability for manufacturers and processors for hire in the aerospace sector.

B&O Tax Credit for Customized Training Program: Offers a B&O tax credit of 50% of the full cost of a training program, up to $500,000 in training allowances per year.


Department of Commerce: commerce.wa.gov

Choose Washington State: choosewashingtonstate.com

Seattle Economic Development Commission: seattleedc.com

Greater Spokane: advantagespokane.com

Highlighted Program or Initiative

The Washington Technology Industry Association’s Apprenti program works with the tech industry to find mid-tier jobs and combines paid on-the-job training and education for placement in high-skill occupations.

Big Deals

  • RealWear announced in March 2017 it will expand operations at a new office in Fort Vancouver and add 100 employees in the first five years.
  • Airborne ECS announced in May 2017 it will relocate its headquarters and design and prototype facilities from West Hurley, New York, to Port Angeles. The company will add 100 new jobs in the first five years.
  • Infoblox designated its Tacoma office in June 2017 as a Center of Excellence for Technology Innovation and said it would expand its workforce there by 150 people by the end of 2018.
  • Katerra announced in September 2017 it will add 150 new jobs and construct a 250,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Spokane Valley.

Big Companies

10 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in state, including:
Expeditors International of Washington

C-Suite Testimonials

“I think the preponderance of technologists in the [Silicon] Valley causes them to lose sight of the real world. Seattle, on the other hand, has just the right mix; enough of us to feel part of the tribe, but in small enough measure that we don’t, inadvertently, create an echo chamber bubble of boredom.” —Spencer Rascoff, CEO, Zillow

“I think we are very accepting of different cultures, different ways of doing business, and I think the companies that are in Washington really could represent [entrepreneurship] across the whole country when you look at Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks and, soon, some amazing stories.” —Mark Anderson, CEO, Anderson Hay & Grain

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