November 13, 2017
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AWB Holiday Kids' Tree lighting ceremony is Dec. 1



There’s still time to donate to AWB’s annual Holiday Kids’ Tree Project. Started in 1989, the project has raised more than $390,000 to distribute to rural fire departments to help their local families have a bright holiday season.

The cash and gifts will be handed out at the Holiday Kids’ Tree lighting on Friday, Dec. 1, in the Capitol Rotunda in Olympia. Gift presentations take place at 5:30 p.m. in the State Reception Room and the tree lighting will take place at 6 p.m. The tree’s theme is “Friends of the Forest” and will feature stuffed ornaments representing animals native to Washington state. All the ornaments are wrapped and sent to children's hospitals after the tree comes down at the end of December.

For more information on the Holiday Kids’ Project or to donate to it, contact Bonnie Millikan at 360.943.1600.



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Rural Jobs Summit


Why Rural Economic Development Is Top of Mind in Washington State and Elsewhere

By Joshua Wright

Rural economic development is a thorny, multi-layered topic with many challenges and few obvious answers. But the summit -- hosted in Moses Lake by the Association of Washington Businesses -- was encouraging, not just because it focused on solutions for small towns and regions but also because so many people attended the event.

Sweeney himself said it speaks well for Washington that 250 decision-makers from every part of the state came together to talk rural jobs and economies.

"We put our focus on where the need is, and the need is the biggest in rural communities," said Brian Bonlender, director of the Washington Department of Commerce.

Read the full essay at EconomicModeling.com
Quality Health Insurance


Association Health Plans offer model for the nation

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Since they were created, Association Health Plans (AHP) have grown in popularity, insuring as many as 400,000 people at their peak. Many of those people were not previously insured. For AWB's plan, approximately 40 percent of employers did not have prior coverage. It's clear that AHPs expand health care access and choices for small employers, their employees and families.

What's more, employers that start with an AHP tend to renew. Historically, as many as 90 percent renew coverage year after year...

Washington's AHPs offer high-quality health insurance plans with consumer protections like guaranteed issue (nobody can be denied coverage) and renewal built in. They are fully insured and comply with all state and federal mandates, including those contained in the Affordable Care Act such as dependent coverage up to age 26, lab and X-ray, preventative care and mental health services.

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Valley Business World
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