The trail leading to Spokane’s economic plan for today

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  • 1970s – Spokane Unlimited, a huge achievement leading to the ’74 World’s Fair
  • 1980s – gave way to Spokane Momentum, tasked with increasing higher education and graduate education – and addressing a good use for the then empty land just east of downtown. Led to establishing SIRTI and the Joint Center for Higher Education. The State bought the land for the Riverpoint campus location of SIRTI in 1988, and then opened SIRTI in 1994.
  • 1990s – Focus 21, SIRTI, JCHE set up. 1998 –  JCHE shut down, SIRTI reorganized.
  • 2000s – Gave way to the “Spokane Innovation Zone” which in turn became “The University District”. Main goal today is establishing a health care/health science centric university campus (WSU-Spokane) and get the State to fund and establish a medical school in Spokane.
  • 2005-2009 – the earlier prominence given to high tech vanishes from several economic plans.  Agilent, Vivato Wireless, Itronix, Software Spectrum, ISC/Getronics and other technology companies closed or moved out of the area. Others, like Telect and Keytronics, moved their manufacturing elsewhere or out of the country.
  • The focus today is health care delivery, health care education and health care research and the desire to establish bioscience/biotech related businesses.

Historical info is sparse; I stitched the above together from mentions in various documents. Would be interesting to learn more about the economic planning history.


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