November 27, 2017
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It's time to shine! Evening of Excellence awards event takes place Wednesday in Seattle

Last year's inaugural Evening of Excellence was a stylish, memorable event. This year's soiree promises to be equally enjoyable, and there are still a few seats left.

From the red-carpet entrance to the surprise announcements of each winner, the Evening of Excellence is AWB's way to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of Washington's many great employers. The Business Examiner wrote about the awards here.

This year's Evening of Excellence will be held this Wednesday, Nov. 29, at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. All 18 finalists, three for each of the six award categories, will be recognized at the event. Winners, who do not know they won, will be announced in Oscars fashion.

The finalists for this year's awards are:

  • Employer of the Year: Recognizing an employer that has implemented innovative job retention, creation, benefits, and/or compensation plans that fosters a thriving work environment. Finalists: Bellmont Cabinet Company, Rite in the Rain and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories
  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Given to an entrepreneur whose business is less than 5 years old and has made a significant impact in their industry. Finalists: Aslan Brewing, C2S Technologies and Schilling Cider
  •  Achieve Award: Recognizing a business that has excelled in creating, implementing or supporting a high-caliber education and/or workforce development system aligned with closing the employment gap. Finalists: Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC), Greater Spokane Incorporated and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Connect Award: Recognizing a business whose products and/or services have positively impacted the way in which Washington employers and communities are connected to each other and the world. Finalists: Alaffia, Expedia, Inc. and Frontier Communications
  • Leading Environmental Practices Award: Recognizing a business that has put a priority on environmental improvement, education or outreach to their business sector and/or community. Finalists: Earth Friendly Products, Honeywell International Inc. and Nucor Steel Seattle, Inc.
  • Advance Award: Recognizing a business that has had a significant impact in its sector, contributing to the advancement of their community and/or statewide economy. Finalists: A&R Solar, Western Institutional Review Board and WGU Washington (as noted in the Kent Reporter)

And remember that award nominations are open year-round, so it's never too late (or too early) to nominate your company or a business you admire for AWB's awards. The deadline to apply for a 2018 Evening of Excellence award is June 30.

Online registration for the event remains open. For more information, contact Kelli Schueler at 360.943.1600.

Read about the 2016 award winners here.

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Investments Denied

State regulatory agencies are killing our jobs

By John Stuhlmiller, Washington Farm Bureau, and Lee Newgent, Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council

The time has come to have "the talk" about Washington's economy and the role of government.

In a nutshell, it's not working.

For months now, regulatory agencies have been taking action that is basically killing jobs and private investment in our state. This has occurred in communities outside of Seattle and King County, where the economy has been slower to recover and tech jobs are few and far between...

In Longview, the Department of Ecology usurped five years of state regulatory process, denying Millennium Bulk Terminals a water quality permit for a proposed export terminal based on criteria wholly unrelated to water quality...

Another major regulatory hurdle interestingly also involving Ecology: the Hirst fix. This fight over water resources has held up the state's $4.2 billion capital budget for months now, putting construction for residential homes, K-12 schools and mental health facilities on hold -- along with the local jobs those projects create. This is to say nothing of the impact on rural landowners who find themselves with land, and wells, they cannot use.

Absent clarity from the state, this stalemate will likely drift on, leaving rural communities in the lurch...

Read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Necessary to Compete Overseas

America needs a strong Ex-Im Bank

By Meghan Milloy, director of financial services policy at American Action Forum

A fully functional Ex-Im Bank is important to strengthen American competitiveness abroad. There are 27 countries that require support from an export credit agency before they will even consider a bid from an international company.

When Congress allowed Ex-Im's authority to expire in 2015, General Electric announced that it was forced to move 500 jobs to France as a direct result of lost export credit agency support, as 80 percent of its total sales for aviation-related turbines came from those 27 countries over the past three years. Many of the commercial aircraft deals awarded to Airbus, in contrast, benefitted from France's export credit agency...

If U.S. companies do not have a fully functional Ex-Im Bank, barring them from competing for many projects in these major markets, we can expect to see more jobs move overseas.

For an administration with an "America first" agenda, it is imperative that the remaining board nominees be confirmed, and that Ex-Im has a president who will support sufficient levels of export credit to keep jobs and companies in the United States.

Read the full op-ed in The Hill
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