Why Seattle

Known as the Emerald City, Seattle is surrounded by mountains, water, and evergreen forests. Today the city is a global technology hub that welcomes talent and investment from around the world. Ten U.S. Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the Seattle region including Amazon, Costco, Microsoft, Starbucks, and Expedia. In addition, Seattle strives to be a model of diversity and inclusion, recognizing that it takes all people, regardless of who you are, where you’re from, or whom you love, to create a diverse and resilient economy.

Skilled Workforce

The Seattle region has a workforce of 2.1 million people.  Fifty-nine percent of residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, making it one of the most well-educated cities in the country.  With both community colleges and global research universities, Seattle has a highly-skilled workforce leading innovation across multiple industries.

Technology Clusters

The information technology sector in Seattle employs over 175,000 people and is growing at an annual rate of 7%.  In particular, Seattle-based companies lead in e-commerce, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, gaming, and virtual reality.  The aerospace sector has 124,600 employees and is growing at a rate of 8%.  Boeing is the largest private employer in the State of Washington.  Other major tech clusters include clean technology (32,600 employees) and global health and life sciences (22,600 employees).

Low Cost of Energy

Washington State gets almost 75% of its energy from hydropower.  This abundant and renewable energy source results in some of the lowest energy costs in the nation.

No State Income Tax

Washington is one of the few states in the U.S. without a personal income tax.

Transportation Connections

SeaTac airport handled 45.7 million passengers in 2016, making it the ninth busiest airport in the United States.  SeaTac serves as a hub for both Delta and Alaska Airlines and has non-stop flights to multiple destinations in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.  The Northwest Seaport Alliance handles the operations of both the Port of Seattle and the Port of Tacoma and in 2015 ranked fifth in the U.S. in terms of cargo volume.  The Port of Seattle is the closest major port in the U.S. to Asia.

Culture of Innovation and Creativity

Washington State is consistently ranked as one of the most innovative states in the U.S.  Seattle is home to a number of world-wide brands, a thriving start-up ecosystem, important philanthropic organizations, and major cultural institutions.  Over 100 languages are spoken in Seattle’s public schools.


Work-Life Balance

Seattle is home to five professional sports teams, a robust music scene, and major arts institutions. Because of the city’s proximity to Puget Sound, the Cascades, and the Olympic Mountain range, outdoor activities are a major part of life in Seattle.  (Seattle has also been ranked as the most well-read city in the U.S.)  With a thriving food and wine culture, Seattle is a great place both to work and play. 

Focus industries

Seattle is a major center for Aerospace, Energy & Environment, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Marine & Harbour and Business Services.

Learn about our Focus industries.