Science & Tech Industry Could Help Get WA Out of Recession

Science & Tech Industry Could Help Get WA Out of Recession »Play Video
RICHLAND - The road to recovery might be opening up sooner than you think.
Washington state was one of the last to enter this recession, now a new report says we might be the first to get out of it.

Take a drive down the north end of Richland and just about every building has some tie to technology. From medical isotopes to a globally recognized technology lab and who can forget the thousands out at Hanford.

We have roots in science and technology and that might be what pulls us out of the recession faster than the rest of the country.

A new study says even though Washington was one of the last to enter the recession, it will be one of the first to get out of it.

"I"m not surprised really. My experience is that we have a stable economy partly because of Hanford and Congress continues to put money out here through the stimulus," said Cameron Hardy of DOE.

The report by Moody's shows Washington, Oregon , Idaho, Colorado and Texas are the first five states slated to get back on track quickly.

These are states where job growth is expected to jump later this year. Stimulus money already made a difference at Hanford.

"We've accelerated a lot of work, hired 500 new workers and saved 300 jobs. So that's made a tremendous impact," said Hardy.

Private and federally-funded companies are also seeing the trickle-down of a scientific workforce. So even when the work at Hanford is through, the industry will survive.

"PNNL comes up with techniques that help us with the clean up but they're also getting funding for things that help improve the electricity grid and get more energy to the nation," said Hardy.

And that's not all. Researchers say because we entered the recession late, we have less of a hole to dig out of. It's no scientific formula, but it is hopeful news.