Survey shows manufacturers’ concerns

Statewide poll will be focus of Vancouver event

By Courtney Sherwood, Columbian freelance writer



If you go

• What: “State of Manufacturing in Washington” survey, report and discussion.

• When: 9 a.m.-noon Dec. 16.

• Where: Washington State University Vancouver, Administration Building, Room 129, 14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Ave., Vancouver.

• Cost: Free.

• Information: http://www.impact... or 425-438-1146, ext. 107.

Nearly six in 10 leaders at Southwest Washington manufacturers believe that the state’s business environment is on the wrong track, according to a statewide survey aimed at better understanding the sector.

But local manufacturers’ worries about the cost of health care trump even concerns about federal policies and regulations, the survey found.

Sponsored by Impact Washington, a nonprofit industry group, the survey polled 410 manufacturers statewide in August and September, including roughly 50 from Clark and Cowlitz counties.

John Vickland, president of Impact Washington, will present full results and analysis at a three-hour “State of Manufacturing in Washington” event at 9 a.m. Dec. 16 in Vancouver.

Bonnie Moore, Columbia River Economic Development Council director of business services, said the survey results could help economic development officials with their continued efforts to nurture business growth and development in Clark County.

The CREDC and Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council are co-sponsoring the event.

After Vickland’s presentation, businesses that attend on Dec. 16 will be broken into small focus groups so they can discuss next steps for Southwest Washington. Information will also be presented on low-cost resources aimed at helping manufacturers to grow.

Manufacturers employ about 11,900 people within Clark County.