Technology in Whatcom County
Whatcom County is a growing hub for technology-based business. A survey done by TAG in 2007 has identified 574 technology-based companies in the county. Three of these - Toolhouse Design Company
and Logos Bible Software
- rank among 5,000 fastest growing privately owned businesses in the nation1
. It has one of the highest technology job growth per capita in the state at 10 percent. View the report.
Bellingham has exhibited strong potential for growth in the technology sectors in terms of jobs, patent generation and financial capacity. It has the highest company formation rates in the state2.
Whatcom County has the 7th largest technology based employment in Washington state3.
The technology jobs make up 8 percent of overall employment in the county. Also, average annual wages is higher in the technology sector as compared to overall average annual wage2.
There has been a growth in the primary technology employment sectors in the county. For example, Bellingham has experienced a growth in jobs in custom computer programming services2.
Occupations in fields such as electronics, chemical, mechanical, civil, computer software engineers, architects, physicians and surgeons have an expected average annual growth rate of at least 2.8 percent over the period 2004 and 20144.
The county has many assets that make it an ideal city for technology-based business opportunities:
- Proximity to thriving urban technology centers such as Seattle, WA and Vancouver, B.C.
- Existing economic development organizations, business advocacy groups and trade associations (Some of them are listed on our Partners page)
- The potential for clustering, new company formation and spin-outs from existing companies
- The creation of Innovation Partnership Zone by Port of Bellingham on Bellingham's Waterfront District, which is one of the 5 zones in the state to be awarded $1 million dollars for economic development
- The Northwest Consortium for Technological Innovation and Development initiative by Western Washington University's College of Science and Technology to bring together higher education, government and private sector partners to promote and support growth of a technology-based economy.
All these facts are a good indicator of growth potential.
1. Source Inc Magazine
2. 2005 Index of Innovation and Technology, Washington Technology Center
3. Technology Alliance
4. Washington State Employment Security Department