Greater Spokane Incorporated launches new regional economic development strategy

<p><p>Greater Spokane Incorporated and community leaders are launching a new economic development strategy for the region.</p></p><p><p>THRIVE Spokane will identify a long-term vision for the area and create opportunities for economic growth through programs for small businesses, entrepreneurship resources, workforce and talent recruitment and boosting innovation and technology that allows area startups to flourish.</p></p><p><p>It will also address local workforce needs so companies have access to the best talent to meet business goals, according to the organization, which is the region’s economic development agency and chamber of commerce.</p></p><p><p>THRIVE Spokane is in the planning process, with the first phase focusing on data collection, analysis and community engagement. The project will continue through spring 2022, according to a news release.</p></p><p><p>“It’s important to get feedback and have meaningful conversations with all members of our community so we understand what’s important to them and what their vision is for the future,” Gary Ballew, GSI’s vice president of economic development, said in a statement.</p></p><p><p>“Our goal is to engage the broadest possible constituency to drive inclusive economic development for our community. This will help us shape a more unified approach to planning and create goals for our region that benefit everyone.”</p></p><p><p>The project is funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and contributions from economic development partners. GSI is partnered with consulting firms TIP Strategies Inc. and Maul Foster &amp; Alongi Inc., on the economic development plan.</p></p><p><p>THRIVE Spokane’s project team is obtaining feedback through surveys, interviews, focus groups, roundtables and social media.</p></p><p><p>The public is encouraged to visit <a href=”https://greaterspokane.org/thrivespokane” target=”_blank”>ThriveSpokane.org</a> to learn more and take the community survey.<span class=”print_trim”><em>Amy Edelen can be reached at (509) 459-5581 or at amye@spokesman.com.</em></span></p></p>