Spokane has more of a small town economy feel.. not up to date with corporate america, seems to be primarily divised up of private owned small business, it just doesnt have many large employers.. looking at boise you have Micron, Hewlett Packard, URS, Winco Foods, Simplot, New Albertsons, etc. Ugobe, a robotics resaerch company based out of the bay area california just built a facility near boise. many silicon valley high tech firms are considering relocationg here, there are no nationally recognized companies in spokane.
via City-Data Forum – View Single Post – Boise vs. Spokane.
Actually, there are a few name brand companies in Spokane, but they are not well known consumer brands. Itron, which builds electric power meters, and Hollister-Stiers, which does contract pharmaceutical manufacturing used to make the Ana-Kit, similar to the Epi-Pen (they sold the manufacturing rights to another company). Or Telect, which makes communications industry products – although both Telect and Itron have most of their employees located elsewhere. Sterling Savings has banks along the west coast and just completed a successful de facto bankruptcy, raising $730 m and nearly wiping out existing shareholders. DISH Network runs a satellite uplink outside of Spokane, but its only about a dozen workers. B.F. Goodrich makes commercial airplane tires, also just outside Spokane. Kaiser Aluminum still runs the rolling mill in Trentwood. PAML, a medical lab, is in the midst of a major expansion into other states. (I am not including firms like Avista or Qwest because every place has a utility and a phone company. Gonzaga University is also a bit of a “name brand”, certainly in the Northwest.
OneCall.com and Purcell Systems are two more. Red Lion Hotels is based out of Spokane.
Sterling International’s RESCUE -brand insect traps (around here, think yellow jackets) are made in the Spokane Valley.
The really large employers are government (lots!), health care, especially Sacred Heart Medical Center, Inland Northwest Health Services, Deaconess Medical Center, … well, government and health care.
Beyond Itron and the above, its mostly lots of small to mid-sized businesses. Which the locals will spin as a benefit of a “diversified economy“. We wouldn’t want to have large employers like, say, Boeing, Paccar, Safeco, Microsoft, Amazon – wouldn’t be diversified!
Some well known name brand companies that left Spokane recently – Kaiser’s Mead Smelter (bankruptcy/closure), Agilent (closed), General Dynamics/Itronix (closed), Egghead Software (bankrupt), Metropolitan Financial (bankrupt), ISC/Getronics (bought out, later offshored, now gone).