Here’s a press release about it from Western Washington University, which supports the Center for Economic Vitality
BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University’s Center for Economic Vitality (CEV) has been awarded a $664,726 Washington Export Assistance Program Grant to support its new Jump Start Washington Exports (JustWAEx) initiative, a program focused on supporting the export of Washington state products and services through research, training initiatives and hands-on assistance for businesses.
“This is an excellent opportunity for the CEV to use its expertise in assisting local and regional companies,” said WWU President Bruce Shepard. “It also shows what kind of partnerships are possible when such crucial funding can be secured, and it’s just one more way Western is having a real impact on jobs, lives, and the regional economy.”
The JustWAEx program will support products and services produced in the greater Puget Sound region, and its research and matchmaking services will be open to businesses directly or through other export assistance providers. The program’s strategic partnerships will include chambers of commerce throughout Washington and boards of trade in British Columbia.
While JustWAEx will support all businesses desiring to export or expand their exports, targeted outreach will be focused on industry clusters such as forest products, fresh agricultural products, manufacturing, and information and communications technology. The CEV has already worked with many businesses in these sectors, assisting a number of them with expansion into international markets.
JustWAEx will partner with the Edward Lowe Foundation to implement a statewide Companies to Watch recognition program, recognizing second-stage companies (those with 10-99 employees, more than $1 million in sales, and typically more than three years in operation) that demonstrate high performance in the marketplace, exhibit innovative products or processes, success in exporting or otherwise make those companies “worth watching.”
JustWAEx will also execute the following initiatives:
Export connection/matchmaking services – Will connect export-ready Washington state businesses with prospective agents, importers, and directly to qualified businesses in the British Columbia/Canada markets and abroad.
Technology matchmaking initiative: British Columbia/Washington state connections – will develop a virtual marketplace for matching Washington state exporters and B.C. buyers on a Web portal.
One-to-one confidential export business advising – For more than 25 years, the CEV has been advising businesses on export issues, practical experience in business ownership and management.
WWU students add value through service learning projects with export assistance – WWU’s College of Business will use its international business experience and expertise to contribute to achieving JustWaEx objectives. Through the use of undergraduate international business students and students in the M.B.A. program, prospective international markets for local firms will be studied.
Export Training services – training initiatives will be built on already existing programs, versus inventing new ones, and add our unique services as a value added benefit.
For information on the CEV’s new Washington Export Assistance Program or the Jump Start Washington Exports initiative, contact CEV Executive Director Tom Dorr at (360) 733-4014 or email@example.com.