Northeast Washington Trends
Eastern Washington University
Northeast Washington general banner image

Why Northeast Washington Trends?

Our Goal: To Democratize Data

Northeast Washington Trends exists to give the communities in Ferry, Pend Oreille, and Stevens Counties a way to assess how they are doing in key quality-of-life areas, such as education, health, and the environment. The Trends also seeks to improve local, public decision making by providing relevant data in an easily navigable website. The data are offered as neutral information for all parties involved in public policy issues.

More specifically, the goals are:

  • To collect and share a broad spectrum of information to support informed decision making by individual community members, governmental policy makers, non-governmental organizations, businesses, researchers and the press.
  • To benchmark Northeast Washington Trends against Washington State trends or other comparable communities to better understand our strengths and opportunities.
  • To enable analysis of these trends.

Our Approach

One of the challenges of developing the Northeast Washington Trends site is the regional nature of the many communities we serve in three different counties. Many volunteers participated in 7 focus groups to determine the top indicators in each category. In determining which data sets would be used, the following guidelines were followed:

  • Selected by members of the community
  • Valid measurements defined by good science and social science
  • Can be benchmarked to Washington State trends or similar sized communities
  • Available repeatedly over time to allow trend analysis
  • Sourced from credible sites

Our Participants

The focus groups were anchored by leaders from a wide range of community groups covering the public, private, and non-profit sectors. These leaders made up the Steering Committee for Northeast Washington Trends:

  • Julie Abernethy -- Tri-County Economic Development District
  • Joe Bond -- Ferry County Commissioner
  • Alan Botzheim -- Pend Oreille County Sheriff's Office
  • Bob Campbell -- Providence Mt. Carmel Hospital
  • Scott Douglas -- Tri-County Economic Development District
  • John Friederichs -- Ferry County PUD
  • Malcolm Friedman -- Stevens County Commissioner
  • Staci Hanlin -- Tri-County Economic Development District
  • Leslie Jones -- Tri-County Economic Development District
  • Debra Kollock -- WSU Stevens County Extension
  • Mike Lithgow -- Pend Oreille Community Development
  • Steve McCollough -- Curlew School District
  • Bob Meshishnek -- Colville Police Department
  • Brad Miller -- Ferry County Commissioner
  • Tom O'Brien -- Rural Resources
  • Ron O'Halloran -- Ferry County Memorial Hospital
  • Mike Petersen -- The Lands Council
  • Dan Peterson -- Pend Oreille PUD
  • Dan Read -- Cusick School District
  • Donna Jo Smith -- CCS-Institute for Extended Learning
  • Bunny St. Clair -- Northeast Washington Association of Realtors
  • Jim Sweet -- RE/MAX
  • Carol Villers -- Northeast Tri-County Health District
  • Dian Wear -- Pend Oreille County Commissioner
  • Irene Whipple -- Ferry County Planning Department
  • Dale Wilson -- Rural Resources
  • Dave Windom -- Northeast Tri-County Health District
  • Jamie Wyrobek -- Pend Oreille County Economic Development Council

Northeast Washington Trends is Not:

  • A community indicators site with the objective of ranking the most pressing needs within Ferry, Pend Oreille, and Stevens Counties. The objective of Northeast Washington Trends is to collect and publish relevant data for the benefit of the communities. It is up to the citizens to access and apply the information according to their individual value judgment.
  • A community dashboard that gives a ranking to each data series as to its importance and whether the trend is positive or negative.
  • A pre-determined set of data to promote certain views about the three counties.
  • A way to provide strategies to deal with issues identified by the data.

A Process, not a Product

The Northeast Washington Trends is as much a process as a product. Focus groups around each trend category continue to meet to determine opportunities for improvement and community goal setting based on real time data. We encourage you to get involved in your community! Please take advantage of our feedback box to give us your thoughts and help us to continue to improve this site!

About the Site Development Team

The Development Team is a cooperative effort of two groups from Eastern Washington University (EWU): The Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis and the Center for Digital Media Design and Development. The team members in these two programs are responsible for the overall development of the Northeast Washington Trends project.

The Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis (Institute) is a program within EWU's College of Business and Public Administration. The Institute gathered the statistical data and developed the content of this site. They have also created several other similar indicator websites for Spokane County, Walla Walla County, Chelan and Douglas Counties, and Grant County.

The Institute's Director is Dr. Patrick Jones. Scott Richter is the Community Indicators Manager at the Institute. His responsibilities include all of the indicator projects: Grant County, Spokane County, Kootenai County, Chelan and Douglas Counties, Benton and Franklin Counties, Skagit County, and Walla Walla County. Brian Kennedy is the Institute's Data Analyst. Brian is responsible for all of the statistical input on this site, as well as for the Institute's other sites. Coral Wonderly is the Institute's Student Economic Research Intern, and assists with the collection and analysis of the site's data (Sam Wolkenhauer, Ryne Rohla, Jeremy Marinos and James Merchant previously served in this role). Jace Hochwalt and Matt Lower are the Institute's Student Community Indicator Interns, and assists with website maintenance and electronic publishing (E.B. Vodde, Billy Lei, Elizabeth Backstrom, Matt Parsons and Noelle Madera previously served in this role). Anna Hollaran was the previous Community Indicators Manager who contributed to this and the other indicator websites.

The Center for Digital Media Design and Development (Center) is a collaborative extension of EWU's Departments of Computer Science and Engineering & Design. Development projects for campus and off-campus clients give students the opportunity to apply their skills in a real-world experience. Students are coordinated into on-going teams based on their skills, and are guided by a formal scope of work, concept development, style sheet, and structured goals, while under faculty supervision. The Center is directed by Dr. Linda Kieffer (509.359.7093) and Mindy Breen (509.359.7002). Dr. James Braukmann was the previous director who contributed to this and the other indicator websites.

The goal of a university is the graduation of its students; therefore, our team is constantly changing as our students graduate.

Design Team:
Jacob Fitterer is the current student designer. Rachel Allison, Katie Lilly, Katheryn Sande, Beth Karper, Rachel Clabaugh, Heather Bakker, and Kate Yates were our previous designers.

Programming Team:
Kandyce Moore is the current programmer. Tyson Miller, Melissa Mewhinney and Bryan Hilmer were our previous programmers.