December 11, 2017
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Rulemaking proceeds for paid family leave

Rulemaking meetings will be held tomorrow and next Tuesday, Dec. 19, as the Department of Employment Security (DES) continues putting together the implementation details of Washington's new paid family leave program. At these meetings, the DES will ask stakeholders to help identify the information and content that should be included in the new regulations associated with the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act. The state will begin collecting premiums on Jan. 1, 2019, and will begin paying benefits on Jan. 1, 2020.

The meetings will be held Dec. 12 from 2-5 p.m. in Lacey (agenda), and again on Dec. 19 from 10 a.m. to noon in Olympia (agenda).

For more information on these and other workplace issues, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Bob Battles.

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Bridging the Skills Gap

Look to community colleges for diverse tech-industry talent

By Sheila Edwards Lange, president of Seattle Central College

Seattle's technology industry has a diversity problem. While tech companies have publicly committed to changing their hiring practices, people of color and women are still being left out of what feels more and more like an exclusive club.

Only one in five STEM workers identify as black or Latino, and less than 25 percent of STEM jobs are held by women. With equity front and center at the recent Washington STEM Summit, we must do more than talk. We must work together -- and two-year colleges are a natural partner in the effort to achieve this important goal...

It is not hard to see the tremendous potential of teaming up, where colleges such as ours and tech companies work together to create cutting-edge programs that teach the skills they need, in ways that are accessible to diverse students. Working together, we can train more local workers to fill the growing number of great jobs in the technology sector, thousands of which remain unfilled..

Read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Dams Provide Clean, Green Power

Inslee support for possible dam-breaching 'unfathomable'

By Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch

This issue needs to be decided at the highest level. You can't manage a hydro system this big and this important from the bench. Congress passed the laws that protect endangered species, and it paid for the dams in the first place. It is in the best position to decide whether we take a balanced view, or submit to environmental overkill.

You'd think a governor so concerned with our carbon footprint would be interested in preserving clean power in the Pacific Northwest. There really is no middle ground here, and he ought to know better. What's he saying? Dam breaching is OK if we just take a little from the top?

Read the full news release
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