Spokane Journal of Business

Spokane economist named to state Community Economic Revitalization Board

Ocasio Hochheimer to serve three-year term with revitalization entity

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Spokane economist Vange Ocasio Hochheimer has been appointed to the Washington state Department of Commerce Community Economic Revitalization Board. Her three-year volunteer term began Sept. 3.

CERB is the state’s decision-making authority for investing state funds into public infrastructure with the aim of bolstering private business development. 

Ultimately, the board aims to create new jobs and retain existing jobs in Washington state.

Between 2017 and 2019, CERB awarded nearly $20 million to 38 projects. 

Ocasio Hochheimer, an associate professor of economics at Whitworth University’s School of Business, says she was intrigued by the description of the board’s duties and responsibilities.

“They work directly in reviewing proposals for economic development initiatives, and they focus on rural areas and poverty. That is directly related to the research that I do on economic development and poverty,” she says.

Ocasio Hochheimer says she’s looking forward to working on these issues in Washington.

“Typically, my work has been with poor countries, particularly Bangladesh,” she says. “I am currently working on a paper in Kenya that deals with mobile banking.”

She adds, “It will be great for Spokane to have a seat at the table when it comes to these initiatives.”

Ocasio Hochheimer will attend six meetings a year in Olympia. Her first will be Nov. 21. As part of her position, she’ll provide comments and direction to staff on proposed statute changes requested by the governor or the state Department of Commerce.

Hochheimer joined Whitworth’s faculty in 2011. She specializes in applied microeconomics, economic development, financial economics, environmental economics, sustainability, and international trade.

Virginia Thomas
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Reporter Virginia Thomas has worked at the Journal since 2017 and covers the banking and finance industries. As a reporter, she loves learning about Spokane's many growing industries. She enjoys travelling with her husband, snuggling with her cats, and cross stitching.

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