Tuesday, December 10, 2013

WA Names Tech Sector Leads

Department of Commerce Director Brian Bonlender recently named Maura Little  and Will Saunders  to the sector lead team in the Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness.  All told, the three target industries they will focus on represent more than $35 billion in payroll for residents of Washington State: Information and Communication Technology and Life Sciences.

“Our sector-based economic development strategy is a reflection of the fact that we face intense international and interstate competition for good jobs. We have to be constantly vigilant about identifying opportunities and strategies for cultivating employers in Washington,” said Bonlender.  “We can’t rely on luck for the next Boeing, Microsoft or Amazon to develop here.”

Little joined the Department of Commerce as the Life Sciences and Global Health sector lead. She has deep background in the life sciences field, including liaison work for then-Congressman Jay Inslee with industry leaders and helping to draft and pass related legislation. After that, Little was Washington State Director of Government Relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network working on healthcare and other life-science issues at a state level.

Saunders brings more than a decade of experience in the information and communications technology field to his position of sector lead for the industry.  Most recently, Saunders has been the director of the Washington State Broadband Office since 2010 and has worked with app developers, educators, public and private providers and economic development agencies across the state.
Sector-based economic development heads the list of Commerce’s five core strategies for job creation, Bonlender said.

Little and Saunders join Kristine Reeves (Military and Defense), Alex Pietsch (Aerospace) and Steve Sewell (Maritime) to represent the State of Washington in their respective industry sectors.  They are tasked with identifying and pursuing new economic development strategies that keep Washington State in the forefront of these key industries, and advance the Governor’s goal of targeted company recruitment, retention and expansion.
The Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness supports the Governor’s Working Washington Jobs Agenda, which recognizes that these sectors are critical to our future prosperity --  if these industries are doing well, our economy will be doing well.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

e-PLU e-Business Day 2013

DATE:       Tuesday, December 10, 2013
PLACE:     Morken Center for Learning & Technology, Room 103
      Pacific Lutheran University

The School of Business and ePLU E-Commerce & Technology Management Center at Pacific Lutheran University invite you and your colleagues to join us for e-Business Day 2013. Business analytics is a top priority of CIOs and general CxOs for good reason. Effective business analytics – from basic reporting to advanced data mining -- enable enterprises to better understand market demands and innovate effectively.  We will discuss how to turn big data challenges into opportunities for organizations to create and sustain competitive advantage — Come hear from industry experts, share your business ideas and practices, learn about internship opportunities, and network with others!


8:00 AM - Networking (Morken Center Atrium) w/ refreshments
8:30 AM - Dr. Nancy Albers-Miller, Dean, School of Business, Pacific Lutheran University
8:35 AM - Keynote Presentation: Ted Wham, VP, Travel Industry Solutions at Responsys
9:15 AM - Networking Break

9:30 AM - Panel 1: Real-Life Cases: Analytics Technology Helps Businesses to Win Customers and Make Smarter Decisions
Moderator: Justin Foster, Co-Founder/VP Market Development, Liveclicker
Panelist 1: Neil Crist, CEO Venuelabs
Panelist 2: Henry Chou, Onvia
Panelist 3: Josh Howell, EMC
Panelist 4: Aaron Fossum, Society Consulting

10:30 AM - Networking Break (Morken Center Atrium)

10:45 AM - Panel 2: Education and Training of Business Analytics
Moderator: Dr. Chung-Shing Lee, Director of ePLU
Panelist 1: Aaron Fossum, Society Consulting
Panelist 2: Jason Phelps, Microsoft
Panelist 3: Josh Howell, EMC
Panelist 4: Professor Laurie Murphy, PLU Department of CS&CE

12:00 PM - Event Wraps (Dr. Chung-Shing Lee)

12:05 PM - Lunch

For more info:  

Dr. Chung-Shing Lee (李中興)
School of Business
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, Washington, USA

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pierce County earns national recognition for Mobile App Internship

If you’re a local college student looking to jump start a high tech career, Pierce County has an app for that.

Thanks to a partnership between Pierce County and the University of Washington Tacoma (UWT), local students get real-world experience making mobile applications for smartphones. As one of the first programs of its kind in the nation, Pierce County’s mobile internship was honored this month by the widely respected Digital Government Achievement Awards.

"The internship program is a great success for the community and the university," said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. "The county's Information Technology Department is providing enhanced services to citizens and staff, the university is offering practical learning opportunities, and interns are learning state-of-the-art programming skills that give them an edge in a competitive job market. I'm proud of the excellent work being done by sponsors and participants."

Interns work closely with a mentor to design, build, and launch a mobile app that works on Apple and Android devices. Students learn the latest software tools and gain skills that are in high demand with companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing.

Since the program began in 2011, interns have created seven apps for internal or public use. Here are three examples:
•    The MyVote app provides secure access to a citizen’s voter record as well as sample ballots and locations for ballot drop offs.
•    The Road Operations Active Response (ROAR) app enables Public Works and Utilities crews to instantly report mudslides, downed trees, etc. during emergencies. The app feeds Pierce County’s emergency databases with real-time road conditions.
•    The Emergency Shelter app helps residents find the locations and details of open emergency shelters during flooding, ice storms or other disasters.

More information about two of the public apps can be found here. Other public apps are in development.
Andrew Fry, assistant director of Industry Partnerships at UWT, praised the program as a “model” for how local government and universities can expand career opportunities. “I have worked with both large and small companies from Boeing and Microsoft to three-person startups. If I picked a model for how I would create an internship program with an industry partner, the one that has been developed with Pierce County is where I would start.”

The Digital Government Achievement Awards highlight outstanding agency and department websites and technology programs. View the complete list of DGAA awardees.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

SiteCrafting Wins Award for Inner City Achievements

The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and FORTUNE announced that SiteCrafting,Inc. (Rank # 66) was selected for the 2013 Inner City 100, a list of the fastest-growing inner city companies in the U.S. The Inner City 100 program recognizes successful inner city companies and their CEOs as role models for entrepreneurship, innovative business practices and job creation in America’s urban communities.

Brian Forth, President, SiteCrafting, said, “We are proud to have been recognized for the fourth consecutive year by ICIC. It is a testament to the hard work of our team and our commitment to delivering the best web design, development, and mobile application services. We are grateful to our clients, without whom, we would not be able to do the work we love to do. “

SiteCrafting is an award-winning website design and web application development company that specializes in custom web-based solutions for mid- to large-size businesses, counties, and municipalities. SiteCrafting showed 5-year annual growth rate of 20%. 

Among its community involvement, SiteCrafting developed and hosts the site for the TacomaAngel Network, an associate program of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber.

The rankings for each company were announced at the Inner City 100 Awards on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Awards marked the Inner City 100 program’s 15th year and launched a formal alumni network of Inner City 100 winners.

“We are excited to celebrate inner city businesses like SiteCrafting whose success stories are not told nearly enough,” said Mary Kay Leonard, ICIC President and CEO. “These entrepreneurs are driving economic forces in America’s urban cores, growing their communities along with their businesses.”

For 2013, winners represent a wide span of geography, operating in 48 cities and 27 states. The 2013 Inner City 100 winners grew at a compound annual growth rate of 36 percent and an average standard growth rate of 411 percent between 2007 and 2011. Collectively, the top 100 inner city businesses employ 10,391 employees and have created more than 5,863 new jobs between 2007 and 2011. Not only are the winners powerful job creators in their communities, but they also help grow their employees – 56% provide onsite training programs.

The full list can be viewed at www.Fortune.com

The list is proof of the concept that doing business in an inner city area holds a distinct competitive advantage. ICIC has been studying the economic condition of the largest 100 American cities for more than a decade and is working to revitalize inner cities across the country.

Business Examiner link.

The News Tribune link.