OED Weekly Round-up: March 4-10

Dick’s wants your input on their new location. The economic case for diversity and inclusion. Seattle program gets acclaim. Virtual reality helps with construction.

1. Dick’s Burgers is opening a new restaurant, and they want Seattle’s input on where it should be located. Kiro 7 reports that Dick’s will decide where their seventh location will be via online voting. Voters will choose a location on the Eastside or in South Seattle. Congrats to Dicks on a well-deserved expansion!

2. The more research, the more obvious it is that diversity and inclusion are pivotal to a healthy and growing economy. New data from the City of Seattle and New American Economy stated that immigrants paid $6.5 billion in state and local taxes and held $16.9 billion dollars in spending power in 2014. Moreover, the University of Washington’s student newspaper, The Daily, recently published an article laying out the economic argument for welcoming cities. Bottom Line Blog published facts that corroborated this argument in January. Naturalizing every undocumented immigrant in Washington state would grow the GDP by $31.5 billion over 10 years per the analysis of Robert Lynch and Patrick Oakford of the Center for American Progress. The annual cost of losing and replacing workers who quit their job due to discrimination is $64 billion dollars per year according to the Policy Link and Marguerite Casey Foundation. While diversity and inclusion are bedrock principles of the American dream, they are also good for business.

3. The Capitol Hill Times is reporting that Only in Seattle funds are boosting economic development on Capitol Hill. The article lays out how the funds will be distributed and the improvements that are expected.

4. Virtual reality is an exciting technology that continues to get more immersive and user-friendly. The Daily Journal of Commerce reports that Local engineers from Magnusson Klemencic Associates are aiming to use VR to make buildings less costly and easier to build. This application would allow engineers and builders to “virtually stand inside the building and look around to better understand how the pieces will fit together”. Expect to continue seeing groundbreaking and innovative VR applications in the years to come.