Friday Roundup: Tech’s economic impact, Running Start success, state business climate, Seattle business tax proposed

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:

TechAlliance: Tech’s Impact on Washington: The Economic Effect of Technology on Jobs and Communities

The Tech Alliance wanted to better understand how tech-driven innovation was affecting the state’s workforce, companies, and communities. In partnership with Seattle-based economic impact firm, Community Attributes, the Tech Alliance dug into the data and stories that underlie Washington’s tech-driven economy, and this report is the result. What you’ll see is a diversified economy dependent on the development of new technologies, the adaptation and application of those technologies, and the required shifts in the workforce that keep the state’s industries moving forward. 

Seattle Times: Washington’s Running Start program a national standout, study says

A new study says Washington’s Running Start program is a national leader when it comes to helping pave the way for high-school students to eventually finish college.

In this state, the study found, high-school students in Running Start ended up finishing a college degree or certificate, well above the U.S. average. A majority of those students received a bachelor’s degree.

New Geography (Renn): Local Empowerment Should Be About Local Matters

I’ve generally been someone who wants to see local governments have more power and flexibility to meet local needs. My rationale is simple. States are full of diverse communities that are a bad fit for one size fits all policies…

Today though we are seeing cities abuse their local authority. Rather than using them for bona fide local matters, they are deploying them to politically grandstand and/or affect federal or state policy.

Northwest Public Radio: Study Ways Washington and Oregon Are Great for Business

Washington’s economic climate is the fourth best in the nation. That’s according to a new report by produced by Washington’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.

The annual Washington State Economic Climate Study looks at a bunch of indicators and compares Washington to other states. This year the Evergreen state bumped up a notch from fifth best to fourth best.

New Geography: Case Studies in Autonomous Vehicles, Part I

A recent report by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company notes that although ridesharing services are growing, they still represent only about one percent of the vehicles miles traveled in the United States each year. The development of autonomous vehicles by itself is unlikely to radically change this statistic. Why not? Viewed from the perspective of the consumer-passenger, the fact that autonomous vehicles can pick up passengers all day without a driver does not in itself present a compelling reason for a person to switch from ownership to sharing. Rather, a number of other considerations, including convenience, safety, speed, and overall cost, likely will shape consumer decisions about whether to own or share. So while autonomous vehicles may be a necessary condition for widespread ride sharing, they are not sufficient. In other words, automation alone will not be enough.

Seattle Times: Seattle business tax proposed to house the homeless

Two Seattle City Council members have proposed taxing the city’s highest-grossing businesses to increase funding for the region’s growing homelessness crisis, a measure that, if approved, could generate up to $24 million ayear for long and short-term housing options.

The proposal was met with sharp opposition from business associations but was embraced, at least in part, by mayoral candidates Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon, who will face off in a Nov. 7 election.