State of Washington: Strengthening the Defense Industry

May 25, 2017

By: Alex Cooke, senior consultant, and Ashton Allison, consultant, TIP Strategies



Since 2006, TIP has been working in communities, regions, and states that are home to military installations and defense contractors. Many of our defense-community projects have been funded by assistance grants from the US Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA). These grants help defense-dependent communities adjust to and plan for closures, reductions, or expansions at military installations or defense contractors. TIP’s work has included strategic analyses and planning focused on economic diversification, talent retention, target industries, and defense industry adjustment. The map above illustrates our engagements throughout the US.

TIP is partnering with management consulting firm Kepner-Tregoe for our current defense industry adjustment project, which builds on the success of three previous OEA-funded pilot projects in Washington State. This project will assist selected defense contractors in developing strategies to find new markets, secure new customers, improve processes, and enhance worker skillsets. The specific services participating companies will receive include an organizational health assessment, a strategy assessment and development assistance, an action plan, and follow-up support. Participants will be selected this month, and assistance will begin immediately, including a two-day in-person executive session. Managed by the Washington Department of Commerce, the goal of this project is to provide a framework for sustaining the health and vitality of the state’s defense-reliant economy amid defense spending uncertainty and variability. A final report will be produced, identifying key findings, recurring themes, and lessons learned. The report will also assess the transferability of these results to other firms in the Washington defense supply chain.