At today’s Prosperity Partnership luncheon, Scott Carson laid out a series of cogent observations about what economic survival in the 21st Century means. I thought he summed it up nicely when he said:
For a global company in a highly competitive industry, a supportive business environment is a critical element of success. And location is a choice.
To paraphrase Michael Scott…
In the emerging global economy, many of the world’s most prominent companies can be headquartered anywhere on the globe. Businesses will locate where there is a high quality of life, good schools, efficient transportation, affordable housing, and supportive government policies. There are no guarantees that the Puget Sound region will be able to attract new businesses, or keep and grow existing firms. The region must take steps to remain competitive because if we fail to act, jobs and economic prosperity could pass us by.
Scott also told us that a competitive business climate includes:
- A sustainable state budget
- Reform of Unemployment and Worker’s Compensation to prevent uncompetitive increases in rates
- Completion of important transportation projects
- A recognition that education is the key to a vibrant state economy.
And our very own Bob Drewel issued the challenge to do something about this:
We need to listen to Boeing…because Boeing is giving voice to concerns shared by other community leaders – in business, in non-profits, in labor, in education and among our social service agencies.
We need to keep investing in education at all levels – pre-school, K-12 and our colleges and universities. Our cultural programs are part of this too – the museums, galleries, aquariums and zoos play an important role in educating our young people.
Let’s get the Viaduct and 520 floating bridge replaced, and then get with the other big projects that must be done.
We need tax reform. Our state tax system is a 100-year old model based on an agricultural economy. We can do better in the 21st Century.
We need to do more on the policy level and with regional coordination to support, grow, attract and sustain companies in key economic sectors.
UPDATE: Added photo 9:45am Nov 7.