Evaluation of Washington’s
Economic Development System
WEDA Winter Conference
February 12, 2013
Senior Policy Advisor
Washington Economic Development Commission
Legislation (SB 5741)
• Establish standards for data collection and
maintenance for providers in the economic
development system, including core data to
be collected by each entity.
• Establish minimum common standards and
metrics for program evaluation.
• Periodically administer scientifically based
outcome evaluations of the state economic
1) Review of Washington’s economic
3) Economic development budget.
4) Evaluation practices.
5) Survey of businesses innovation
Seasonally adjusted non-farm employment, based on 3mma
Data source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Change in Non-Farm Employment by Metro Area
November 2012 year-over-year, based on 3mma, seasonally adjusted
Data source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics.
Largest Manufacturing Sectors, 2011
By employment, based on 4-digit NAICS
Data source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,
Census of Employment and Wages; author’s calculations.
Assessments based on state-by-state comparisons
I. Talent & Human Capital
Above average education
and talent production
II. Investment in
Entrepreneurship and Small
High patent production;
large share of federal
Decline in venture capital
(though 2012 uptick)
No data for state-by-state
comparisons of long-term
IV. International Business
Exports continue to be
strong; 6.4% increase in
non-aerospace, nonagriculture exports.
Only 4.0% of state covered
employment in FDI firms.
V. Regulatory Environment
No reliable data for stateby-state comparisons.
State Auditor’s Office found
highly fragmented and
incomplete system for
Economic Development System Inventory
Strategic Reserve Account
Dept of Commerce
Dept. of Social &
Dept. of Agriculture
University of WA
36 other state economic programs
Business and Local Economic Development Organizations
City & County
II. Budget—State Economic Development Program
Expenditures by Activity
Distribution of State Economic Development Program
Expenditures by Targeted Demographic
III. Evaluation Practices—Key Findings
• Lack of resources for economic development
• Outdated, unsophisticated systems for
tracking client data.
• Lack of standardized and robust methods for
Data Standards and Guiding Principles
Market failure your program is designed to address?
Primary outcome(s) associated your program?
Is the outcome measurable?
If “no,” what is the intermediate output you directly impact?
How do you measure this impact?
How do you validate the data being tracked to measure
impact? Is it standardized to allow for year-over-year
• Average amount of time it takes from program intervention to
observable outcome? Are you metrics aligned with this
• To what extent do you collaborate with other state, federal,
and non-profit programs? [Qualitative response.]
• Implement a unified statewide client relations
• Require programs to use administrative 3rd party
data whenever possible
• Redefine Government Management, Accountability,
and Performance (GMAP)
• Invest in rigorous analysis of long-term net impacts
of transportation investments
IV. Survey of Businesses Innovation Practices
Key Findings, Program Awareness %
Innovation-based activities within firms
tend towards productivity improvements
Major sources of innovation are from
customers, followed by internally from
employees and industry.
Based on our sample, most important
areas of state improvement are: 1) tax
system; 2) access to capital for small
businesses and start-ups; 3) regulatory
environment; and 4) K-12 system.
Among the programs reviewed, general
awareness tends to be low.
Survey of Businesses
• Evaluate agency methods in implementing marketing
programs and effectiveness in reaching target clients.
• Assess awareness among program managers of
other programs that focus on the same business
• Direct agency directors to implement joint marketing
and coordination of service delivery (e.g. concierge
• Assess feasibility to expand customer relations
management system (CRM) to manage delivery of
state services (e.g. Commerce Salesforce CRM)
V. Plan Going Forward
• Apply “guiding principles” to develop a rigorous data
collection process [Winter and Spring 2013].
– Develop of program-specific logic models.
– Sign MOUs with ESD, DOR, and L&I for data-sharing system.
• Implement better system for inter-program service
– Propose shared CRM system [Spring 2013]
– Convene sector- and activity-focused meetings among ALL programs
• Work with Commerce and Economic and Revenue
Forecast Council for collaborative data analysis and
Largest Absolute Changes in Employment
October 2012 year-over-year, based on 3 month moving average
Data source: Washington State Employment Security Department.