7:00 am - 4:00 pm
December 7, 2023
This year’s theme of “Building Regional Economic Prosperity” will once again have a strong emphasis on workforce and will showcase the economic impact our Tribal Nations have on our regional economy. Content and discussions will delve into the issues facing our business communities related to infrastructure, energy, AI, the creative economy and more. Business and community leaders will gain insights into critical and emerging trends, and will be provided with information to guide business models and action plans. The Regional Economic Forecast & Innovation Expo is presented in partnership with the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council and the five economic development organizations of the Pacific Mountain Workforce Region.
This important networking event draws over 500 decision makers, community leaders and innovators from all sectors of business and industry in the five-county region of Thurston, Mason, Grays Harbor, Lewis and Pacific counties and beyond.
This conference in its 15th year brings together regional businesses from a wide range of industry sectors, as well as leadership from non-profit, education and the public sector. Exhibitors will display cutting-edge technology, products and innovations. Attendees will have the opportunity to network, attend breakout sessions, hear an economic forecast from leading regional economists, and more.
EDC DIRECTORS PANEL
Leadership from the five economic development organizations of the region will discuss exciting projects in their counties, and outline future trends of economic prosperity.
KEYNOTE & FORECAST SPEAKERS
James McCafferty , Director, Center for Economic & Business Research, Western Washington UniversityDr. Hart Hodges , Associate Professor, Western Washington University
Breakouts will focus on the very real issues and opportunities facing our 5 county region--first and foremost among these— workforce. A strong focus will be placed on the future— where are we at today; where do we want/need to be; and how do we get there? Major topics include explorations of our infrastructure and energy needs, the rising importance of the creative economy, and how AI is impacting our regional business world. From the importance of planning, to the very real challenges of implementation, our panels of experts will engage you in discussions on how to best create the world we want to live in. Intent will also be given to how diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging are woven into these themes & innovations.
Attendees will get to sample delightful local food and Craft Beverage tastings. The event will conclude with a chance to network with local vendors and savor the diverse culinary offerings the region has to offer.