Friday Roundup: Millennials moving, tech schools partnering, Spokane growing, and export terminal’s permit hearing ending

There are always a few items we’ve read during the week that deserve more attention but don’t make it into our regular posts. So we bundle them for the Friday roundup.

Here’s this week’s bundle:

Stateline: Millennials to Small Cities: Ready or Not, Here We Come

As the economy improves and millennials move around the country in search of jobs, some are finding themselves far from the youth culture they learned to expect from city life in other parts of the country. But the tradeoff can be a less burdensome cost of living, a more tightknit community, and a chance to make new towns their own.

A Stateline analysis of census data showed the Columbus [Indiana] metro area at the top of a list of cities that have attracted young, educated people from out of state, yet are still relatively affordable.

There are other areas whose young, educated populations are growing nearly as fast as some of the most famous youth magnets like Silicon Valley; Austin, Texas; and Nashville, Tennessee — but with more affordable housing. They include Midland, Michigan; Bloomington, Illinois; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Bismarck, North Dakota; Morgantown, West Virginia; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Blacksburg, Virginia; and Rochester, Minnesota.

The Lens: Washington technical school to partner with Oregon, British Columbia to fill workforce gaps

There will be an estimated 740,000 job openings in Washington state over the next five years and analysts are projecting a lack of qualified workers to fill the slots according to a report by the Washington Roundtable. One Seattle-based college is looking to prepare for that scenario by partnering with Oregon and British Columbia institutions to help address the anticipated skills gap…

To help address the projected need, Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) has entered into the Cascadia Corridor Collaboration with the Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) and the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). Staff from the three institutions believe their joint efforts can help align workforce needs in high-demand fields and fill skill gaps.

The Spokesman-Review: Local economists: Regional economy poised for growth

If you believe things have been pretty good for business and households in the Inland Northwest recently, you’re right.

And if you think the area’s going to continue to hum along in what is now the nation’s 101st month of economic expansion, you’re likely right there, too.

But world discord or partisan conflict in Washington, D.C., could stem optimism, insert uncertainty and stifle growth – the scenarios most likely to end the positive economic run.

That’s according to two local economists, who looked back at 2017 and ahead to next year during the 20th Annual Economic Forecast breakfast Wednesday at the Spokane Convention Center. John Mitchell of M&H Economic Consultants, and Grant Forsyth, chief economist at Avista Corp., provided an optimistic picture for the roughly 600 in attendance at the yearly event sponsored by Greater Spokane Incorporated and the Journal of Business.

The Lens: Hearings on Millennium Bulk Terminals permits conclude with strong support

Hearings concluded this week on Millennium Bulk Terminals’ (MBT) Shoreline Substantial Development and Conditional Use Permits for its proposed export terminal in Longview. The three days of testimony had community members, representatives from labor, expert witnesses, state lawmakers and other stakeholders arguing the project would bring in additional economic activity and create local family-wage jobs.

During construction, the project is projected to create 2,650 direct, indirect and induced jobs and $435 million in economic activity. The terminal’s operation would provide $2.2 million in state tax revenues, $1.6 million in county tax revenues and 135 jobs annually.