In March 2010, the Obama Administration set a goal of doubling America's exports by 2014 - an increase that would create 2 million jobs. In support of this goal, former Governor Gregoire approved a $3 million grant for the State of Washington to develop a program that will stimulate exports to foreign markets. This grant enables the Department of Commerce in partnership with NGO’s, education and the private sector to initiate and implement export programs and training for small to medium enterprises. The Washington Export Resource Center (WERC) forms part of this program and aims to provide timely and relevant information, resources and services to all Washington businesses that are new to export or wishing to expand their exports into new territories.
"In a time when millions of Americans are out of work, boosting our exports is a short-term imperative. Our exports support millions of American jobs. You know this well. In 2008, we exported more than $1 trillion of manufactured goods, supporting more than one in five manufacturing jobs -– and those jobs, by the way, pay about 15 percent more than average. We led the world in service exports, which support 2.8 million jobs. We exported nearly $100 billion in agricultural goods.
Every $1 billion increase in exports supports more than 6,000 additional jobs. So it’s critical in the short term, but it’s also critical for our long-term prosperity. Ninety-five percent of the world’s customers and the world’s fastest-growing markets are outside our borders. We need to compete for those customers because other nations are competing for them." - President Obama
The grant supports the development and implementation of programs run by several institutions in Washington including the City of Bellevue, Port of Clarkston, Highline College, University of Washington, Washington State University and Western Washington University. The programs are designed to stimulate growth and participation in Washington's export industry by providing education and resources to businesses wishing to enter the export market.