Western Insights: Regional Employment Expectations

Cartoonish picture of a computer monitor with a diverse group of cartoonish people (with no eyes, nose, or mouth) in a virtual meeting setting. In the upper right corner is a WWU blue ribbon with the Alumni logo.

Friday, October 2, 2020
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.




Check out this video to watch the Western Insights: Regional Employment Expectations.

Our region’s workforce is ever changing. The growth of tech jobs. The emergence of work remote opportunities. The decline of some jobs. In the past few months, we have watched announcements from multiple major employers but what does it mean?

In this edition of Western Insights our panel will discuss where we are with regional employment and where it all might be going given different assumptions. It will be a lively discussion stirred gently with hearsay and imagination.

Back for an encore presentation, the panel will feature Western Economics faculty members Hart Hodges, PhD and Sharon Shewmake, PhD.

The discussion will be moderated by Don Goldberg, Director of Economic Development for the Port of Bellingham.  Don brought an extensive background in real estate and business development to the Port, where he is focused on creating family-wage job opportunities in Whatcom County.

Western Insights is an online panel series created in response to COVID-19 to provide the broader region, Western alumni, friends, and students with access to information on current events drawing from the University’s nationally respected experts. This free series is offered entirely online and is open to everyone.

Click here to watch previous webinars.

Hart Hodges

Dr. Hart Hodges is Co-Director of Western's Center for Economic and Business Research. He received his Ph.D. in Economics in 1994 from the University of Washington. He joined the faculty at Western in the Fall of 2000. His research interests include natural resource and environmental economics, health economics, and applied business economics. Hart is currently managing several research projects and public service efforts with an emphasis on economic development.

Sharon Shewmake

Dr. Sharon Shewmake is both a professor at WWU and Washington State Representative from Whatcom County where she is Vice Chair of the Rural Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources committee, and sits on the Energy and Environment and Transportation committees. Dr. Shewmake received her Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis and her bachelor's degree in Environmental Science and Policy and Economics from Duke University.

Dr. Shewmake also sits on the COVID economic recovery group in the Washington State legislature and her research examines how our transportation and housing decisions impact the environment. She has examined the implication of policies meant to reduce air pollution and congestion such as High Occupancy Vehicle lanes and how consumers respond to environmental labels including labels for agricultural products.

Don Goldberg

Don Goldberg is the Director of Economic Development for the Port of Bellingham. Don has an extensive background in commercial real estate and development, business and economic development, sustainability and executive coaching. The Port of Bellingham is a County-wide Port and is the designated Associated Development Organization, a local arm of the Washington state Department of Commerce, for Whatcom County.  

As the lead development agency for the County, Don’s team actively partners with the private, public, and nonprofit sectors and connects businesses to economic development and workforce resources throughout Whatcom County. Through retention and expansion efforts, the team helps companies stay in the region and facilitates industry growth while striving to bring in new industries and firms that offer higher living wage jobs. The team is currently working hard on multiple programs and projects related to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the administration of small business grants such as Whatcom ReStart.

Contact James McCafferty for this event. Feel free to email at James.McCafferty@wwu.edu if you have any questions or comments.