ONE Kitsap


About this document: This “summary draft” is National Community Development Services’ attempt to capture key strategic, programmatic, and organizational direction provided by stakeholders during our confidential interview process in 2022 and from the “input” sessions we facilitated during January 2023.  Importantly, this initial One Kitsap summary reflects what those stakeholders want from Kitsap County’s lead economic development organization as a regional economic strategy for the community and what they will support with additional financial resources.  

What is One Kitsap?

  • A five-year strategic economic development initiative 
  • Public/Private Partnership
  • Intentional
  • Aligned with Kitsap’s economic development needs and opportunities
  • Key characteristics:
    • Results-oriented 
    • Long-term thinking with near-term and ongoing execution 
    • Accountable to public and private stakeholders
    • Goals rooted in economic vitality, prosperity and sustainability: Jobs, Incomes and GDP
    • Collaborative with relevant agencies, organizations, institutions, and comprehensive plans


Why do we need it and why now?

  • Economic growth that does not jeopardize Kitsap’s beauty, quality of place, and quality of life will require intentionality, leadership, and capacity.
  • KEDA has been evolving and transitioning since the pandemic with new leadership, staff, programs and increased capabilities. As a result, now is the time to invest in KEDA as an entity that will be the “go to, one voice, one place” where stakeholders come together to plan, direct, and execute Kitsap’s economic future.
  • Platform for Kitsap to be more “self-determining” vs. defined by Greater Seattle, the State of Washington, and the Federal Government 
  •  Intense competition for jobs, investment, companies and talent in the Puget Sound region, Pacific Northwest, and U.S.


  •  Led by a re-focused, re-energized KEDA
    • Targeted economic development orientation based on studies, analyses and plans
    •  More private sector influence and direction
    • Focus and resources directed by strategic plan
    • Investor-led and directed
  • Partners & collaborators
    • Private employers 
    • County, municipalities, neighboring counties
    • Tribal Nations
    • Education (Olympic College campuses, university partners, K-12 system/districts, trade schools)
    • Port of Bremerton and Other Industrial Parks 
    • Real estate: Developers, builders, associations
    • Chambers of Commerce
    • Community nonprofits

Additional Notes about One Kitsap:

  • Funded and delivered as a five-year initiative, but also intended to establish capacity for KEDA to deliver solutions, impact, and value for many years in the future. The first few years will focus on building new organizational capacity.
  • Stakeholders, investors, and community leaders will be deployed through ad hoc and committee tasks as needed to supplement KEDA staff capacity and advance the collective agenda effectively. 
  • KEDA staff will be encouraged to pursue appropriate professional development opportunities.
  • Implementation of One Kitsap requires investments in research capabilities and data acquisition & analysis.  Research will include identification of best practices in other communities that can be emulated in Kitsap.

Five-Year Goals & Outcomes:

  • Increase overall industrial and commercial inventory (+350,000 square feet in buildings)
  • Decrease vacancy rate at major employers by 25% from 2022 highs
  • Increase in Kitsap County GDP by 3%


Want to get involved?

Contact KEDA Executive Director Joe Morrison 360.377.9599


2023-2027 Strategic Priorities

New Business Development

 Key Tactics & Objectives

Goals & Metrics / Timing

 1. Assess Kitsap’s potential for new business (industrial, commercial)

  • Comprehensive survey of current land/shorefront uses
  • Inventory (with GIS mapping if investment allows) of sites & buildings
Due 2nd Q 2024

 2. Develop land use plans and sites/buildings strategy

  • Work with public and private partners/developers
  • Work with municipalities and county
  • Include timing/cost estimates of infrastructure needs 
Due 4th Q 2024

 3.  Focused marketing/business attraction efforts

  • Target sectors:
    • ­    Marine/boat building
    • ­    Defense
    • ­    Technology and Light Manufacturing
    • ­    Construction and project management “Right sized” (relative to footprint, wages, # of employees)
  • Outreach: site selectors, DOD contractors, WA dept. of Commerce, others
  • Develop capacity (data, tools, staff/contracted relationships) to respond capably and quickly to RFPs and RFIs
Due 2nd Q 2025
 4.  Seek opportunities that may arise out of the WAV-C program  Ongoing


Business Retention & Expansion

Key Tactics & Objectives

Goals & Metrics / Timing

 1. PTAC (Procurement and Technical Assistance Center)

  • KEDA’s flagship BRE will continue providing technical assistance in government contracting for small businesses. Five year targets: 220 training sessions, 2,200 attendees, help 360 new clients and 120 manufacturers.

 2.    Business visitation program

  • 50 visits/year to high-value businesses with a formal BRE interview designed to identify risk and opportunity; and assistance as appropriate
Due 4th Q 2023

 3.  SWAT Team

  • Elected officials, finance, legan and other expertise to assist companies in danger of closing or leaving Kitsap
 4.  Continue to maintain and disseminate data and information about Kitsap’s economy (existing info from State of WA + any additional data to assist Kitsap companies) Ongoing


Workforce & Talent

 Key Tactics & Objectives

Goals & Metrics / Timing

  1. Develop a program for local employers to access the Navy’s transitioning personnel & spouses


Begin 2023, 
in 2024

  2. Create/maintain inventory of targeted top 10 unfilled jobs: occupations, skills, pay 

  3.  Connect ALL education & training providers to key employers to address gaps:

  • Formalize a nursing/health sciences program to address the current crisis in the Kitsap healthcare sector
  • Explore career pathways programming in K-12 systems, with emphasis on trades and other careers that do not require 4-year college degrees
  • Enlist industry partners for top 10 apprenticeships and internships to be expanded across the County (e.g., businesses active in the schools, students learning at businesses)
  4.  Continue to maintain and disseminate data and information about Kitsap’s economy (existing info from State of WA + any additional data to assist Kitsap companies)


Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Key Tactics & Objectives

Goals & Metrics / Timing

 1.  Define and measure Kitsap’s current entrepreneurial ecosystem



  2. Document assets and impediments for new business creation

  3.  Continue opportunities for Kitsap’s entrepreneurs to grow, network and collaborate

 4. Identify and encourage maritime and IT professionals who commute or work from home for non-Kitsap companies to consider start-ups / spin-off



Key Tactics & Objectives

Goals & Metrics / Timing

  1.  Committee to identify governmental impediments to economic development:  permitting, zoning, regulatory, etc.

Beginning 2024, meet 2x
  2. KEDA will advocate – where appropriate and with significant investor support – for a more business-friendly environment Ongoing
  3. Elevate Kitsap’s profile and influence in the Puget Sound region and Olympia
  4. Champion and facilitate housing and transportation solutions that advance the workforce agenda 


Key Tactics & Objectives

Goals & Metrics / Timing

  1. Identify financial path forward for WAV-C. 

  • New funding is needed before existing grants run out in Fall 2024 
Completed Q3 2024
  2. Onboard 100+ members Ongoing
  3.  Have two demonstration projects underway

Research & Analysis

Key Tactics & Objectives

Goals & Metrics / Timing

 1.  Continue to publish Kitsap Top Employers, Economic Indicators, and Monitor Cost of Living matters in Partnership with Western Washington University  Ongoing
 2.    Launch a comprehensive gap study on the needs of Kitsap and the adequacy of professional services on the peninsula  2025
 3.    Grow capacity at managing and warehousing local economic data (exs: migration/growth study; centralized data on housing and permitting at jurisdictions)  2026


Key Tactics & Objectives

Goals & Metrics / Timing

  1.  Maintain and build upon existing core event schedule (community business briefings, large scale events like economic forecast, fall forum)  Ongoing
  2.   Market Kitsap as business-friendly, innovative, with a strong quality of life and convenience and connectivity to Greater Seattle

Organizational Capacity

Key Tactics & Objectives

Goals & Metrics / Timing

  1. Professional Staff & Staff Development Ongoing
  2.   Facilities, Technology & Administrative Costs
  3.  Investor Relations
  4.  Working Committees & Task Forces