December 19, 2016
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Minimum wage increases in a patchwork on Jan. 1 -- $11 an hour statewide, up to $15 hourly in Seattle

Washington minimum wage employees will receive a 16 percent raise on the first of the year -- with a few exceptions.

The statewide minimum wage will increase to $11 an hour, the first step increase to $13.50 under I-1433, which voters approved last month. The minimum wage will increase to $13.50 by 2020. The initiative's mandated safe and sick leave takes effect in 2018.

Seattle's minimum wage on large employers (more than 500 workers) that do not pay toward medical benefits will reach $15 an hour on Jan. 1. Large employers that do pay toward medical benefits must pay $13.50. Smaller employers have a longer phase-in, but all must pay $15 by 2021.

Because Seattle's ordinance bundles locally owned franchises with these big employers, even small local franchisee business owners with just a handful of employees will have to pay the $15 or $13.50 "large employer" hourly minimum wage.

In SeaTac, hospitality and transportation workers will have a $15.35 minimum wage on the first of the year.

The minimum wage in Tacoma goes up to $11.15 on Jan. 1

The Seattle Times has more on the patchwork of minimum wage increases.

For more on wage and hour laws, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Bob Battles.

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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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