December 27, 2017
2017 Year in Review

First-ever Manufacturing Week bus tour puts spotlight on importance of sector

AWB put the spotlight on manufacturing in an unprecedented fashion this fall. It started Friday, Sept. 29, when the first of two buses rolled out of Olympia for stops on the Olympic Peninsula. The tour resumed Monday with two buses stopping at nearly 70 manufacturers in every corner of the state, including Manufacturing Day events. On Thursday, the tour paused briefly in Seattle for the annual Manufacturing Summit, which included the presentation of the 2017 Manufacturing Excellence Awards. Then on Friday, AWB joined in the national Manufacturing Day celebration as the bus tour made its final stop in Tumwater at Alaffia, a fair-trade manufacturer of skin care products with a compelling story to tell about alleviating poverty.

“We appreciate your support,” said Dan Roberts, president of Yakima-based Manhasset Specialty Company, one of the stops on the tour. “It’s important for manufacturing to stay strong in this country.”

And, it’s important for Washington state.

Manufacturers help drive Washington’s economy, employing more than 284,000 people in good-paying careers and contributing more than $60 billion in goods annually.

The tour also included several schools that are helping prepare the next generation of manufacturing employees, including Lower Columbia College in Longview, Delta High School in Pasco and Raisbeck Aviation High School in Tukwila.

At each stop, employees signed the buses and added company stickers as a show of support for manufacturing and the jobs they’re proud to do in the sector. Several state lawmakers joined the bus tour as well during the week.

Finally, all along the tour route, employees and employers signed a petition calling on the Legislature to restore the business and occupation tax relief vetoed by the governor last summer.

It’s not too late to sign the petition. Download your copy here and invite your employees to sign it, as well. Signed petitions can be scanned and emailed to Gary Chandler or mailed to AWB, P.O. Box 658, Olympia, WA 98507.

This remarkable week was documented in real-time on social media and video. To see a round-up of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts, check out this Storify collection. Highlights of the tour stops are also available on AWB’s blog, Olympia Business Watch, and video recaps are available for tour stops Oct. 2-6:

The 2018 Manufacturing Week bus tour kicks off on national Manufacturing Day, Friday, Oct. 5.

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2017 in Videos

Grow Here: Alaffia

Grow Here: M3 Biotechnology

Grow Here: McGregor

Legislative Day and Hill Climb

Workforce Summit


Capital Gains Tax Impacts on Small Business

Spring Meeting

Leadership Washington

A Day in the Life of Small Business

Policy Summit

Manufacturing Week

Rural Jobs

Evening of Excellence