Thurston Economic Development Council
October 2012

A1Valley Freightliner Moving on Down the Road
Old Ritchie Bros. Site Newest Location for Trucking Equipment Dealer

"Coming Soon. Valley Freightliner" says the sign just off the newly redesigned Maytown exit. As we welcome in the New Year, we will also be welcoming a new truck dealership to Thurston County.



Who is Valley Freightliner?

Valley Freightliner, Inc. (VFI) is a full-service Freightliner brand dealer. Freightliner Trucks, headquartered in Portland Oregon, is the largest manufacturer of medium and heavy duty trucks in North America.


VFI provides authorized sales, service and parts for Freightliner, as well as parts and service for other brands. In addition to trucks, VFI services motor homes, school and transit buses, and package delivery vans such as UPS or Federal Express.


Why Thurston County?

VFI's franchise covers Canada to the Lewis/Cowlitz county line, east to the Cascades and west to the Pacific Ocean.


"During the last few years Valley Freightliner has considered expansion in the Thurston/Lewis county area," said VFI General Manager Alex Bernasconi. "We see strong growth opportunities in the communities between Olympia and Portland and this new location makes for an exciting expansion point."


VFI already has sites in Pacific and Mount Vernon. The south Thurston County location provides a convenient and efficient location for maintenance or service prior to hitting the I-5 congestion spanning from Olympia to Marysville.


For the county, VFI's presence creates a draw for manufacturers and distributors whose success is closely tied to an efficient transportation system. A recently released Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council report revealed half of the most impactful economic clusters were in the manufacturing sector. All clusters showed transportation as a critical supply chain component.


Why this Site?

Initially VFI was searching for land when broker Don Moody of CBRE brought this high visibility site to their attention. Previously owned by Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, VFI purchased a 34 acre parcel along with the existing high bay structures.


"It presented a great location on I-5 with an existing infrastructure that aligns with our needs," said Bernasconi. The location has good access and visibility, along with ample parking. It also has an existing facility that fits the truck dealership model.


Some minor remodeling and basic updates will be done to optimize its use. "We're hoping to get permit approval from the county in the next couple weeks," shared Bernasconi.


Job Creation

Valley Freightliner is currently hiring about 20 people for positions ranging from managers to sales people to mechanics. Within 3-5 years they expect to employ between 50-75 employees to support their seven day a week operation.


As Valley Freightliner evaluated the property, the EDC worked with the county to be sure zoning was appropriate for their desired use. "We both agreed using the property to create jobs and build a solid tax base maximizes the site's potentional," said EDC Deputy Director Ren´┐Że Sunde.

A2Manufacturing, Medical and Military...Our Areas Economic Drivers

Industry Videos Highlight Development Projects thoughout Community


Thurston County is continuing to experience a slow and steady economic recovery led by key employment sectors. Our video crew has been out capturing some of the development projects around the community.


Industry development videos, created for the 2012 Real Estate Forum, focus on three industries: manufacturing, medical and the military.  


Both IP Callison & Sons and H2O Jet, who have a global reach, continue to grow their market and have expanded their local facilities. I.P. Calison's Inc., the world's largest supplier of mint oil, recently completed a 34,000 square foot expansion of their existing facility in Lacey's Hawk's Prairie area. H2O Jet Inc. moved to a larger 28,000 square foot building in Tumwater.


The medical industry continues its expansion of services, assisting Thurston County residents and those in the surrounding South Puget Sound region. Providence Medical Clinic is now up and fully operational with a brand new 28,500 square foot building off of Marvin Road in Lacey. Olympia Orthopaedic is wrapping up construction of a 63,000 square ft. surgery and physician center, on Capital Mall Drive across from Capital Medical Center.  


The economic impacts of our growing military neighbors at JBLM provide Thurston County businesses expansion potential. Doors are opening to more government contracting opportunities. Shur-Kleen Car Wash, the 3rd largest chain of professional car washes in the state, not only has a prime location on base but also in Lacey and Olympia's Westside.


Other information shared at the Real Estate Forum included: the EVI - Third Quarter Results, a Labor Market Evaluation, and a Cluster Analysis.

A3Access the USA Praised for Attracting Foreign Investment 

Access, Boeing and Norm Dicks Receive Trade Center Globe Awards


AccessUSA Logo 

Over $212 million in foreign investment has been infused in Washington's economy since 2009 due to the efforts of Access the USA.


For this effort they were presented the Service Provider of the Year Globe Award by the World Trade Center Tacoma. The annual Globe Awards recognize those who excel in international trade. Other recipients this year include Boeing and Norm Dicks.


Under the leadership of Mike Mattox, the company helps immigrants to achieve their American dreams. In doing so, they bring jobs, critical capital and investment, and trade to Washington State.


Established three years ago, Access the USA recently established their offices in Lacey, bringing an international business component to the region.

A4Job Creation Up; Energy Use Down

EDC Receives Grant for Five County Energy Efficiency Program


It's all about jobs. And the Thurston EDC's newest tool for job creation is being funded by WSU Energy.


Based on the Thurston Energy program's success, the EDC received a grant to create and lead a similar five-county effort. At the heart of the award is promoting and incentivizing job creation through energy efficiency improvements.


The new Pacific Five-County Energy Efficiency Program ("Pac 5 Energy") will conduct energy efficiency outreach, evaluation and upgrade projects through a partnership of five economic development organizations. The Thurston EDC will serve as the lead organization, partnering with the Lewis County EDC, EDC of Mason County, Greater Grays Harbor Incorporated and Pacific County EDC.


The objective is to replicate Thurston Energy's "Pathway to Savings" model. It's a good fit with the EDC's three prong mission of recruitment of investment, retention of local business and expansion of regional market opportunities.


"Our overarching goals include creating good jobs, boosting local construction markets, reducing operating costs, reducing energy usage and creating lasting local energy programs," says Michael Cade, Thurston EDC executive director.


The five counties have varying economic situations and community values. They also use separate electric and natural gas utilities. Electrical utilities are the true experts on energy efficiency so much of Pac 5 Energy's efforts will be promoting and building upon existing utility programs.


The partners will hire staff knowledgeable in energy efficiency. Their main charge will be to connect business with energy efficiency opportunities complementing their business' needs, such as cost savings and facility improvements.


A significant portion of the funding is for cash incentives to help pay for the energy evaluations and efficiency improvements. Thurston EDC is now working with WSU Energy on the details of these incentives, which will roll out later this fall.

In This Issue



Pac 5 Energy Program Aims to Create Jobs


"Let's Talk Business" on October 10th

New! Live! Online!


Register for Regional Economic Forecast & Innovation Expo Event



Access the USA Recognized for Attracting International Capital



SB1Join the Conversation

Live webinar for new business owners designed to inform
and inspire


Let's Talk Business


Click on the above link

Wed, Oct 10th - 9am

and let the fun begin!


Interactive online discussion for learning and sharing useful tips and strategies.

Business Resource Center


 Hosted weekly by

BRC's Daryl Murrow.


SB2Save the Date!


2012 Regional Economic Forecast & Innovation Expo


Thurs, Dec 13th

Great Wolf Lodge

9am - 5pm



Organizers and attendees from five county region


Exclusive 2012 Economic Vitality Index briefing


Economist John Mitchell


Insight and advice from area business leaders


Innovation Expo...


products and


to help you

stay competitive


Sponsor or Exhibit

call 360.754.6320







Learn the basics of selling to federal and state government


Tues, Oct 23rd

10am - noon


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& Registration


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