December 19, 2016
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Washington Council on International Trade welcomes new president

The Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT) announced last week that Lori Otto Punke will take over as president. The founder and principal of LOP Strategies, she has clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and associations. She has been a senior public affairs advisor at Starbucks, Microsoft and for U.S. Senate leadership.

Punke will lead advocacy efforts to support Washington's international competitiveness through trade.

“I’m honored to join an organization that is dedicated to increasing our state’s competitiveness and growing opportunities for Washington’s workers and employers,” said Punke. “Being born and raised in Washington state, I care deeply about the success of our state, and I know trade is integral to that success. We need more than ever to raise awareness about why trade is such an important part of all our lives and to enact policies that enable us to better compete globally.”

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Sustainability in Action

Aslan Brewing Company: Refreshing Environmental Success

By Washington Business magazine

Taking beer and building to a new, sustainable level, a craft brewer demonstrates how a time-honored cold beverage can take the edge off the climate.

With a commitment to organic ingredients, locally-sourced goods, and low-impact practices, the owners offer the community something new and refreshing, the sustainable way .
Read the full article in Washington Business magazine
Workforce Matters

We must train next generation for the jobs Washington is creating

By Amy Morrison Goings and Gary Oertli

In these politically stressful times, there's one priority everyone can agree on: putting people to work in Washington. People need great jobs just as employers need great talent.

The most recent proof comes in the form of research by the Boston Consulting Group and the Washington Roundtable. The report projects there will be 740,000 job openings in Washington over the next five years. Most of those openings will be filled by people who have postsecondary education or training.

The jobs range from entry-level positions, to "pathway" jobs that then lead to well-paying careers. Many positions require not just a high school diploma and not necessarily a bachelor's degree, but somewhere in between -- such as an associate degree, or a certificate backed by industry need, or an apprenticeship. Others require a bachelor's degree or higher.

That's why it's so important for the Legislature to fund the entire pipeline of education in Washington, from pre-kindergarten through college. At the center of that pipeline is Washington's community and technical college system.
Read the full op-ed in The Puget Sound Business Journal
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