Lewis EDC is excited at the close of 2018 with what has been a busy and productive year. Business visits throughout the year have shown that many local businesses and organizations are looking to further expand and grow. Entrepreneurship activity continues to make its presence known throughout the community. The new year looks to be promising as business outlook is optimistic.
Business Retention & Expansion
Valley View Health Center, Lewis County’s local non-profit health care provider, is one of the main employers in the area with over 200 employees. Their employee base consists of physicians, all levels of medical staff, dental staff, administrative professionals, IT, and many more. Valley View has clinics in Centralia, Morton, Raymond, Pe Ell, Tenino, Toledo, Winlock, Onalaska, and as far north as Olympia. Valley View just recently opened their Children’s Dental Clinic in Chehalis and is continuing to work on other exciting openings further expanding their contribution to providing health care jobs to residents of Lewis County. Valley View is a Health Care Center focused on providing the community with integrated health covering medical, dental, behavioral as well as pharmacy. Career opportunities with Valley View are available on their website at https://www.vvhc.org/careers/ .
This Month we had the pleasure of hosting A Smart Tank workshop at Centralia College. This workshop was led by award-winning educator Aram Chavez of Arizona State University. Aram Chavez taught his AHA to EXIT map that helps people turn their ideas into a reality with a 10 step plan for success. Several people from the community attended the workshop entrepreneurs and people working to scale up their businesses. The EDC intends to hold a series of workshops in 2019.
Regional Economic Forecast & Innovation Expo
This event was held this month at the Little Creek Casino, this expo was focused on the future. The focus of this annual event is to highlight economic development across the region. The event provides a series of workshops and keynote speakers. We were welcomed by two keynote speakers, Melanie Matthews and Glen Hiemstra.
Melanie Matthews who is CEO of Physicians of SW Washington, spoke to the attendees about the future and history of health care. She encouraged attendees to be on the lookout for disruptive technologies to the health care system. She said companies like Amazon and CVS Pharmacies are likely to change the way health coverage is provides. They may be disruptors to the health care sector in the same way that they transformed the way that we shop. Data and the collection of data between clinics and pharmacies may be the major change to the industry.
The Lewis EDC held a panel of the future of forest products where we were honored to have representatives in the industry answer question and talk about the future of the forest industry and what steps have and will be taken to make forest practices safer and attract new workers into the industry. Panel participants included Matt Comisky of the American Forest Resource Council, Lisa Perry of Sierra Pacific, and Trevor Gonska of Weyerhauser.