December 4, 2017
AWB
   
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories

Tree-lighting, Santa visit signal start of holiday season in state Capitol



The 29th annual lighting of the state's Holiday Kids' Tree was a festive occasion on Friday night. Music, lights, children visiting with Santa, and, most of all, a spirit of generosity brought an enthusiastic opening to the holiday and Christmas season in Olympia and for all of Washington.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman was on hand to light the tree with the help of seven-year veteran of the Washington National Guard Company Commander and 1st Lieutenant Shawnta M. DiFalco and her two daughters, ages 14 and 16.

AWB’s annual Holiday Kids’ Tree Project has raised more than $400,000 since 1989 to distribute to rural fire departments to help their local families have a bright holiday season. All donations are funded by AWB members and the private sector.

Wyman and AWB President Kris Johnson met with DiFalco and representatives from rural fire departments shortly before the tree lighting to distribute checks and bags of toys. Johnson thanked the fire officials for the ways they serve their communities.

The tree’s theme is “Friends of the Forest” and features stuffed ornaments representing animals native to Washington state, including the state bird, the American Goldfinch. All the ornaments are wrapped and sent to children's hospitals after the tree comes down at the end of December.

All the details of the tree lighting, including a fact sheet on this year’s tree, can be read here.

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



« Back to Main
Apply for 2018 Awards
Improving Career Pathways


Rewarding, good-paying careers await hands-on workers

By AWB President Kris Johnson

As many as 740,000 good-paying jobs in the state's manufacturing sector are open. These are jobs that often require a trade certificate or a two-year degree.

Filling all those hands-on jobs means we must rethink not only how we close the skills gap, but also the "interest gap" for the next generation of builders, welders and makers.

Too often, these good-paying career pathways take a backseat to a four-year degree track. The good news is that both tracks -- the trades and a bachelor's degree -- can be equally successful.

I recently traveled to Switzerland with the governor and a group of business leaders and education experts from across the state to look at the country's successful and robust apprenticeship programs, which are geared toward engaging 16-19-year-olds in meaningful work.

In the Swiss system, young apprentices can easily shift career paths or seek higher education after earning their initial training diploma. It's focused on options and opportunities -- right after graduation and into the future. I heard from several young people who said they were "finished" with the classroom by ninth grade and eager to work with their hands...

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Valley Business World
Bigger Issues at Play


Blaming Amazon for the Seattle area's problems is lazy and wrong-headed

By Washington State Department of Commerce Director Brian Bonlender

Our thriving economy is bringing additional people who buy homes and use our transportation systems, and we have Amazon along with every other growing company to thank for that. But the problem isn't too many jobs, and the solution is definitely not to blame our job-creating engines. Over the course of many years, we've amassed a deficit of about 120,000 homes in the state.

Subtracting Amazon from the housing equation would leave us still experiencing growth and escalating housing prices, just like many other states, yet with tens of thousands fewer high-wage jobs.

Blaming our entire housing affordability crisis on Amazon ultimately leads to a defeatist attitude. It also does a massive disservice to people experiencing homelessness, families struggling to stay in their homes, and businesses trying to source a local workforce...

Read the full op-ed in The Puget Sound Business Journal
Upcoming Events
«

Sep

»
SMTWTFS
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16172122
23242526272829
30123456

«

Oct

»
SMTWTFS
 123
13
14151617181920
2124252627
28293031123