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Economic Development Brokers

This page provides information about public agencies in Washington State that have the authority to facilitate economic development.


Economic development in Washington State is facilitated by a number of agencies and organizations that have statutory authority, and by recognized organizations which public agencies may contract with for the purpose of economic development.

Economic development is carried out through partnerships. At the state level, the Department of Commerce contracts with organizations that promote and coordinate economic development. This is done through local service agreements with local governments, small business development centers, port districts, community and technical colleges, private industry councils, and other development organizations, for the efficient delivery of community and economic development services in their areas.


The Washington State Department of Commerce is charged with community and economic responsibilities (RCW 43.330.050).

Associate Development Organizations (ADO)

The associate development organization (ADO) is the lead agency in each county for economic development. It is designated by the board of county commissioners or the county council.

The ADO is defined in RCW 43.330.010 as "a local economic development nonprofit corporation that is broadly representative of community interests." The more familiar term is economic development council (EDC). The term economic development council is generic, but it generally refers to associate development organizations. The ADOs most often are named economic development councils or associations, but others are not, such as the Economic Alliance (Okanogan County) or Enterprise Seattle (King County). Some of the counties ADOs have designated port districts as their ADO.

Economic Development Districts - Federal

Economic development districts (EDD) are chartered under the Economic Development Administration's (EDA) 302(b) planning grant program. EDDs help communities build capacity to focus on long-term economic challenges. Economic evelopment district organizations are often coordinating entities for various federal and state programs.

Economic development districts in Washington State:

Resource Conservation and Development Councils (RC&D) - Federal

RC&D Programs are sponsored by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to coordinate multi-county activities. Programs are carried out by the RC&D Council and the Coordinator within the context of an RC&D area. The area is a multi-county, locally defined, sponsored, and directed to carry out a program that encourages land conservation and utilization, accelerated economic development, and/or improvement of social conditions where needed, to foster a sound local economy.

Port Districts

Chambers of Commerce and Other Organizations

Partnerships and Coalitions

Last Modified: August 23, 2017