Teamwork: Impact Washington Helps Companies Thrive
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August 21, 2017

Teamwork: Impact Washington Helps Companies Thrive

Impact Washington Helps Companies Thrive

This is the third in a series about resources and programs in Tacoma-Pierce County to help businesses grow and expand.

The Wilcox Farm success story is just one example of how Impact Washington helps small- to mid-size manufacturing companies become more globally competitive.

For nearly two decades, Impact Washington has provided consulting and training services around lean-manufacturing training, business valuation, supply chain performance, food processing and compliance, strategic and transition planning, exporting, manufacturing technology, growth strategy and leadership training.

Impact Washington also administers several federal, state and local manufacturing grants and loans, like the Work Start grant that will help keep Wilcox Farms keep pace with changing government regulations. And the organization works closely with partners like the EDB, as well as the Washington State Department of Commerce, technical and community colleges, workforce development councils, local chambers and more to connect companies with tools and resources to grow and sustain.

No matter how small the manufacturing operation—the organization works with companies with up to 200 employees—or how limited a company’s resources, Impact Washington can help. “The small manufacturing company of today is tomorrow’s larger one,” said Geoff Lawrence, Impact Washington account executive. “We’re here to help them make that jump.”

A great example is Celebrity Cake Studio, a highly successful boutique cake shop in the Tacoma Dome district that specializes in artistically designed wedding and occasion cakes. The company recently purchased two additional bakery-related companies and needed to expand their operation. Impact Washington worked with owner Odette D’Aniello to institute lean manufacturing practices to enable the company to grow smartly and sustainably. Impact Washington partnered with the City of Tacoma’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to put together a program that provided additional support and training. Celebrity Cake Studio benefited from the expertise of a food scientist Impact Washington has on staff, hired specifically to help clients navigate and comply with more stringent federal food regulations.

As a nonprofit organization, Lawrence said, Impact Washington has the ability spend ample time with clients to assess their needs. “That’s part of our mission-based objectives,” he said. “Even if we don’t get the contract, that’s ok. If we are able to connect clients with other resources, or provide tools to enable them to be successful in their business, that’s a success for us.”

The numbers speak volumes. In just the past five years Impact Washington has helped more than 400 manufacturers, resulting in a statewide impact of:

  • $377M in new sales
  • $222M in retained sales
  • $415M in increased investment
  • Creation/retention of 4,627 jobs

Learn more about Impact Washington.

Copyright © 2017 Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County. All Rights Reserved.
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