SEATTLE - The folks at Pacific Bio Science Laboratories in Bellevue make medical equipment. They've recently boosted employment here by keeping the process as local as possible. As he toured Gov. Chris Gregoire around the plant floor, CEO David Giuliani says it makes better sense to produce here, where there's the ultimate control.
"By building it here, we have full control, flexibility and the ability to make things happen faster than we would otherwise. No bad tradeoffs," says Giuliani.
Pacific Bio Science is joining other tech companies following a national trend -- they're hiring. According to the Tech America Foundation, in the first six months of this year, 32,000 tech jobs were added nationwide. That compares with 143,000 tech jobs lost during the same period last year.
"We may be coming out of the recession. There's signs companies are growing again," says Susan Sigl, CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association. "Companies are willing to commit capital to human resources again because, in the end, that's what drives all these businesses."
Sigl says the WTIA jobs board has 700 job openings now, compared to just over 400 this time last year. She's not surprised other companies are locating here in order to hire.
"We've got a very strong angel community, we've got a good venture capital community," says Sigl. "We have lots of high level service providers, lots of national law firms, accounting firms, human resource firms that have offices here that provide high level services. All of the key ingredients for getting companies off the ground."
In August, there were 400 hires in software publishing and 100 hires in wireless telecom in Washington state. For Governor Gregoire, it's a sliver of a silver lining. "The only way out of this recession is for us to get Washingtonians back to work. When they work, they can buy and that will give us the revenue to provide essential services for the state."
Sigl says many companies are looking for developers with a college degree and at least four to five years work experience. For those just getting out of college and looking for their first tech job, Sigl recommends getting an internship and taking advantage of numerous networking opportunities offered by companies and associations like hers.