For years, Seattle has been experiencing dynamic growth, from our flourishing tech sector to a vibrant arts community. Our citizens are creative, entrepreneurial, and smart, and we’ve seen a jobs boom as a result. But how do we ensure continued growth and prosperity? The Seattle Economic Development Commission has a plan. Meet the Commissioners


We are a diverse group representing employers, workers, educators and major institutions brought together in April, 2013, by the Seattle Mayor and City Council to think deeply about Seattle’s long term economic health. We have been honored by this call to serve, and are pleased to share read more...what we have learned and the actions we are taking to build on Seattle’s remarkable economic assets and address our chronic challenges. We hope you will join us in realizing the economy we envision for Seattle. Perhaps our most important discovery was the recognition that we are blessed with a diverse and creative economy that draws its resiliency from the independent and pioneering spirit of the people who live here. Relative to other places, we are a city and a people unbound by conventions that aspire to make things and solve critical problems that benefit others. This spirit is bolstered by our natural setting and the strength of our built institutions. The environment around us inspires our imaginations and our perch on the Pacific Ocean opens our eyes to Asia and the world beyond. Our public and private institutions of education and research are on the cutting edge of human discovery. Our economic health is enhanced by strong social, cultural, and artistic expression. Even with these assets, we recognize that Seattle still experiences all the problems and inequities that challenge every other community. Our prosperity evades too many people who grow up here. Our political systems are often stalemated and incapable of imagining and executing solutions to our most challenging problems. Drawing upon Seattle’s assets and with an eye toward its challenges, we are shifting our focus from deliberation and analysis, to leadership and action. This Executive Summary shares the attributes of the economy we envision for Seattle, offers a framework for making decisions on how to invest scarce resources to achieve this vision, and identifies three major initiatives, with eight individual action areas, that the Commission itself will undertake to bring about the prosperous, equitable, and sustainable economy we all desire. We take our responsibility to help Seattle chart its economic future seriously. We hope you take the time to review our work, offer your own feedback, and join in to help us advance our work. Only together will we achieve the economy we envision. Seattle Economic Development Commissioners April 2014


Four “foundational areas” serve as a framework which city government, industry, labor, and educational partners should continually use to evaluate existing conditions and invest resources in supporting Seattle’s economic development over the next 10 years.

Innovation ecosystem

Talent and creativity

Infrastructure and the built environment

Cultural and social environment


The main responsibility of the Economic Development Commission is to help the people who run the City of Seattle partner more effectively with those who lead and represent the businesses, workers, and major institutions that together comprise the economy. This partnership has resulted in a vision for Seattle in 2024.


The Commission has identified three initiatives and action areas as transformative, achievable, and measurable for Seattle.

Improve social mobility through access to college and career


Advance our infrastructure and built environment as economic catalysts


Build strategically on our economic strengths


The Economic Development Commission’s Inaugural Year Report outlines the vision and recommended initiatives that the EDC believes – through the combined work of City government and other sectors – can bring significant and meaningful change to ensure a vibrant and equitable economic future for Seattle.
  • Issue Papers
    A number of papers were developed and vetted with EDC Commissioners and other community leaders for each of the three initiatives and its related action areas. These brief papers include an exploration of the rationale and need, and a look at the current status of action in this area. Initial milestone and potential actions were also considered. Each initiative and action area was also examined for its relationship to the four foundational areas to ensure alignment in with one or more areas.


In 2014, the Commission will shift from its initial phase of discovery, analysis, and agenda-setting related to Seattle’s economic health to a phase of expanded engagement, information-sharing, and early action. These three areas will guide the Commission through 2014.
Accelerating and Leading

Encouraging city government, the private sector, and education to collaborate in developing priorities, creating new

Simplifying and Analyzing

Identifying opportunities to improve policies and regulatory functions, and surfacing and investigating economic strategies

Telling the story

Sharing Seattle’s economic vision and strengths