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Strategic Industry Clusters for Workforce Development

This ranking of industry clusters is intended to guide and inform policy and investment decisions for workforce education and training. The Workforce Board will guide investments toward clusters that are at the higher rather than the lower end of the strategic rankings.The Workforce Board adopted these clusters in November of 2011.Policy for using Strategic Clusters

Previous Cluster Rankings by Region

Olympic Workforce Development Area
Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Area
Northwest Workforce Development Area
Snohomish County Workforce Development Area
Seattle-King County Workforce Development Area
Tacoma-Pierce County Workforce Development Area

Southwest Workforce Development Area
North Central Workforce Development Area
South Central Workforce Development Area
Eastern Washington Workforce Development Area
Benton-Franklin Workforce Development Area
Spokane Area Workforce Development Area

Ranking Criteria
Olympic Workforce Development Area - Region 1
Cluster or Industry Overall Rank
Navy 1
Health Care, Rehabilitation, and Elder Care 2
Marine and Advanced Manufacturing and Marine Port Activity 3
Wood Products 4
Aquaculture, Fisheries, and Fishing Vessel and Equipment Repair 5
Technical Services 6
Construction 7
Wholesale Trade Distribution Services 8
Tourism, Accommodation, Hospitality, Gaming and Recreation 9
Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Area - Region 2
Cluster or Industry Overall Rank
State Government 1
Forest Products 2
Health Care 3
Business Support Services 4
Fishing, Seafood Processing, and Shipbuilding 5
Warehousing and Storage 6
Agriculture and Forestry Support 7
Heavy and Civil Engineering and Construction 8
Northwest Workforce Development Area - Region 3
Cluster or Industry Overall Rank
Manufacturing (Advanced Manufacturing) 1
Petroleum & Coal Products Manufacturing 1.a
Wood Product Manufacturing 1.b
Primary Metal Manufacturing 1.c
Food Manufacturing 1.d
Machinery Manufacturing 1.e
Transportation Equipment Manufacturing (including aerospace and marine) 1.f
Construction 2
Health Care 3
Snohomish County Workforce Development Area - Region 4
Cluster or Industry Overall Rank
Aerospace and Composites Manufacturing 1
Computer and Electronic Manufacturing (includes Medical Devices) 2
Ship and Boat Building and Composites Manufacturing 3
Architectural and Structural Metals Manufacturing 4
Wood Furniture and Cabinets Manufacturing 5
Heavy Construction (roads, bridges, utilities, infrastructure) 6
Research and Development in Biotechnology 7
Forest Products* 8
Navy* 9
*Indicates clusters the state lists as strategic, but local Workforce Development Council does not.  
Seattle-King County Workforce Development Area - Region 5
Cluster or Industry Overall Rank
Health Care (including life sciences research and development) 1
Manufacturing 2
Aerospace & Transportation Equipment 2.a
Overhead Cranes & Hoists 2.b
Medical Devices 2.c
Fisheries & Seafood Processing 2.d
Construction 3
Trade, Transportation & Logistics 4
Information Technology 5
Tacoma-Pierce County Workforce Development Area - Region 6
Cluster or Industry Overall Rank*
National Security  
Information Technology/Computer Systems Design and Related Services  
Health Care  
Trade/Deep Sea Transportation and Warehousing Logistics  
Construction  
Food Manufacturing  
Aerospace Manufacturing  
Building Products Manufacturing  
*Overall rank was not assigned to clusters by the Tacoma-Pierce County WDA.
Southwest Washington Workforce Development Area * - Region 7
Cluster or Industry Overall Rank
Health Care 1
Manufacturing 2
Wood Products 2.a
Paper Products 2.b
Machinery 2.c
Electronics 2.d
Food Product Manufacturing 2.e
High Tech/Information Technology 3
Electronics 3.a
Telecommunications 3.b
Professional & Technical Services 4
Utilities 5
Construction 6
North Central Workforce Development Area - Region 8
Cluster or Industry Overall Rank
Agriculture 1
Food & Beverage Processing 2
Health Care 3
Chemical, Mineral and Metal Manufacturing 4
Electrical Utilities - Power Generation 5
Telecommunications 6
Gambling & Recreation 7
South Central Workforce Development Area - Region 9
Cluster or Industry Overall Rank
Agriculture & Food Processing 1
Health Care 2
Manufacturing 3
Plastics and Wood Products Manufacturing 3.a
Fabricated and Metal Product Manufacturing 3.b
Clean Technology/Renewable Energy 4
Warehousing/Distribution 5
Support Activities for Transportation 5.a
Truck Transportation 5.b
Professional and Business Services 6
Construction 7
Eastern Washington Partnership Workforce Development Area - Region 10
Cluster or Industry Overall Rank
Agriculture and Food Products/Transportation & Distribution Chain 1
Health Care 2
Renewable Energy 3
Depository Credit Organizations 4
Forest Products 5
Mining 6
Benton-Franklin Workforce Development Area - Region 11
Cluster or Industry Overall Rank
Waste Management and Remediation 1
Health Care Services 2
Physical Science Research and Development 3
Agriculture and Food Processing 4
Advanced Manufacturing (To be specified) 5
Business Support Services 6
Spokane Area Workforce Development Area - Region 12
Cluster or Industry Overall Rank
Health Services 1
Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing, including: 2
  • Plastics and rubber products
 
  • Metal and machinery
 
  • Computers and electronic products
 
Professional and Technical Services 3
Business Support Services 4
Energy, Waste Management, and Remediation 5
Finance and Insurance 6
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