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Manufacturing opportunities: Why manufacturing companies should relocate or expand in the Spokane region

Manufacturing has been at the core of the region’s economy for many decades, with more than 600 manufacturing businesses making up 7.2% of the local economy. Many manufacturing companies cite competitive utility costs and electricity rates as some of the top reasons for launching or expanding manufacturing operations in the region. With an abundance of real estate and open land, the Intermountain Northwest is a prime location for all segments and manufacturing industries, many of which are already enjoying the economic and tax benefits of the region.

Leading manufacturing sectors in the Intermountain Northwest

Home to over 5,600 healthcare and life sciences companies, the Spokane region is a prime location for medical equipment manufacturing. Our local health care community includes the region’s largest hub of hospitals, all sharing a commitment to partnership and an attitude of support. Hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, research labs and other medical partners understand that collaboration with medical manufacturers improves supply opportunities and serves a common goal: supporting a thriving and growing medical community.

Aluminum and metal manufacturing companies in Spokane have enjoyed a long history of prosperity and growth, with companies such as SCAFCO, Wagstaff, Spokane Industries and others providing over 15,000 manufacturing jobs. A healthy and consistent pool of educated and qualified workers help to keep metal manufacturing businesses successful and growing. 

Over 8,000 people are employed in airframe production, making the Spokane region the nation’s fifth largest aerospace cluster, and the second largest in Washington State. Aircraft manufacturing, auxiliary equipment manufacturing, and maintenance, repair & overhaul operations make up 1.5 million square feet of production and manufacturing space. The aerospace manufacturing industry enjoys quick and convenient interstate access and direct pathways to Spokane International Airport and railways. 

What incentives can Spokane offer manufacturing companies?

Spokane County is home to 11 Opportunity Zone tracts which offer opportunity funds for businesses seeking to relocate or expand manufacturing operations in low-income communities. 

Locally referred to as “community empowerment zones,” Opportunity Zones incentivize expansion into these areas by deferring sales and use tax on new equipment and construction. 

Private investments within Opportunity Zones may yield tax relief on capital gains invested in the Opportunity Fund, and gains generated through the investment by the fund.

A diverse inventory of manufacturing sites and properties

With business parks in almost every city, the Spokane region offers a wide range of new or expanding business opportunities at rates that are much more affordable than other western states. Industrial land prices range from $2.50 to $5.50 per square foot, with construction costs for industrial buildings ranging from $60-$65 per square foot plus site prep and building features. 

Home to many aerospace manufacturing operations and the newly built Amazon fulfillment center, The West Plains provides convenient interstate and International Airport access, as well as quick connection to railways. The strategic location of the West Plains area allows for “Seattle-and-back in a day” access, as well as convenient routes to international shipping on the coast and to Canada.

Quality of life incentives 

In addition to tax incentives, business owners and their families enjoy a quality of life not often afforded in other areas of the country. We understand that selecting a site for manufacturing expansion or relocation is not only a financial proposition, but comes with numerous personal and family considerations as well. 

The Spokane region is a wonderful place to start or raise a family. As the economic, educational and cultural hub of the Intermountain Northwest, our community offers an average commute time of 20.1 minutes, affordable housing (8% below the national average), and an exceptional K-12 education system. A dozen area public high schools reside in the top 100 in statewide rankings, pointing to excellent college readiness and high graduation rates.

A steady supply of skilled and qualified workers

Spokane County is home to 60 private schools and 14 school districts offering K-12, charter programs, STEM academies and bilingual programs. 

The area also provides education to over 90,000 post-secondary students within an 80 mile radius of Spokane. Local colleges and universities supply a pool of qualified, ready-to-work graduates in a number of manufacturing skill sets and disciplines, including Machinist/CNC Technology, Welding and Fabrication, Hydraulic and Pneumatic Automation, and many more.

The Spokane Workforce Council partners with area manufacturing companies, aerospace manufacturers, and other industrial businesses to match highly skilled and qualified job seekers to manufacturing careers in Spokane.

Contact our Site Selection Representative for a custom report highlighting our excellent graduation rates and quality workforce.

Click here to download Why Spokane, our guide to relocating, developing and expanding in the Spokane region.

Ready to learn more about manufacturing growth opportunities in the Spokane region? We’d like to listen to your company’s goals and provide you with a customized package of resources to help you find the perfect place to grow. Contact Advantage Spokane’s Business Growth Coordinator Joey Gunning at 509-321-3617 or click here to fill out our contact form.

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