December 18, 2017
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Washington launches Maritime Blue 2050 initiative

Gov. Jay Inslee visited Seattle last week to help launch the Washington Maritime Blue 2050 initiative, the first initiative of its kind in the United States to bolster innovations in the maritime sector that creates living-wage jobs, protects the environment and ensures sustainability for the industry.

The vision for the program includes ships and passenger ferries powered by electricity, zero-carbon-emission port terminals, more investments in research and development, and increased workforce training.

A key part of the initiative will involve training maritime workers for the science- and tech-heavy jobs of the future. This is especially important as the industry faces a critical “age wave” in its workforce, with significant numbers of workers getting ready to retire in the next 10 to 15 years, Inslee's office said in a Medium post.

“Maritime activity has long been a pillar of our state’s economy, and we are uniquely positioned to lead the country in maritime innovation,” Inslee said. “This initiative allows us to show the nation that we can adopt new management practices and clean technologies while creating living-wage jobs for Washingtonians.”

Washington’s maritime sector includes commercial fishing and seafood, recreational boating and sport fishing; shipping and cargo handling; shipbuilding, repair and maintenance; passenger ferries; military and defense; marine technologies; and maritime support businesses.

Read more about Washington's maritime sector in the winter 2016 cover story in AWB's magazine, Washington Business.

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International Growth Zone

Northwest Startup Supporters Grow U.S.-Canada Economic Ties

By Benjamin Romano, editor, Xconomy Seattle

There's a new network organizing the incubators, accelerators, and investors fostering innovation in the Pacific Northwest on both sides of the U.S. - Canada border.

Business collaboration across the 49th parallel is having a moment, thanks in no small part to a dramatic divergence in immigration policies between the two countries this year that have prompted U.S. tech companies to establish or grow their presence in Canada to access talent from around the world.

The Cascadia Venture Acceleration Network (CVAN) is focused on collaboration at the grass-roots level of the innovation economy -- specifically the cleantech, life sciences, and IT industries -- in the broad area known as Cascadia, encompassing Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia, Canada.

Read the full column in Xconomy Seattle
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