EDASC hosts annual Economic Forecast Night
Thursday, February 28, 2019
EDASC held its Economic Forecast Night on Feb. 6 at the Swinomish Casino & Lodge, featuring an exciting announcement from CEO John Sternlicht, and talks from keynote speakers on the county’s economic trends and its relationship with Canada.
About 325 attended the annual event. Keynote speakers included Dr. Laurie Trautman, director of the Western Washington University Border Policy Research Institute, and Dr. Anneliese Vance-Sherman, regional economist for the Employment Security Department.
Sternlicht’s opening remarks included a surprise announcement that aerospace company VT Volant is expanding to a facility in Burlington. The multi-million dollar expansion will bring an estimated 125 new family-wage jobs to Skagit County. Other accomplishments Sternlicht noted included bringing in maritime company LAVLE in late 2018 and finalizing the Anacortes Maritime Strategy.
At the dinner, EDASC also presented its 2019 Skagit Business Guide, promoting its investors and detailing additional EDASC investments.
Keynote speaker Dr. Vance Sherman spoke about the unemployment rate in the county, which is slightly higher than state average. She attributed the above-average rate to rural areas in the county taking a little longer to recover from the recession in comparison to the rest of the county.
She said the industries expected to see the most growth in the area include construction and information technology jobs.
Keynote speaker Dr. Trautman talked about the importance of Canada’s relationship to Skagit County and the state as whole, calling Washington the most trade-dependent state. She said Canadians crossing the border also play a vital role in the local economy.
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Chairman Brian Cladoosby also spoke, providing welcoming remarks and updates on the tribe’s economic and health-related activities.