January 8, 2018
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories

Audit: Washington could be a doing a much better job on workforce training

Across the state, the refrain from Washington employers is consistent, clear and urgent: businesses can't find the qualified people they need to fill good jobs that are open right now and that will be open in the near future.

A new, 78-page report from the Washington state auditor's office agrees with that assessment, and said the state could do a much better job of training students for jobs that pay well but don't necessarily require a four-year college degree.

"Many mid-level-skill jobs, in industries as diverse as robotics, carpentry and medical technology, pay well and require no more than two years of education from a community or technical college," the report notes. "However, Washington employers report being unable to fill many such jobs."

The audit identified four areas for improvement:

  1. Improve career guidance given to students and provide it in a classroom setting in the 7th or 8th grade.
  2. Strengthen employer engagement to better align Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and courses with high-wage industry-needed job skills.
  3. Update the list of high-demand programs, strengthen the review of local labor demand data and clarify laws to help reduce the skills gap.
  4. Expand the number of CTE dual-credit opportunities to increase the number of pathways from high school to college.

The full report is available here, and the auditor's office also has a short two-page summary. The Seattle Times covered the story as well.

Contact Amy Anderson, director of the AWB Institute, to learn more about the ways that AWB is working to ensure that Washington is helping prepare the workforce that employers need today and into the future.

« Back to Main
Don't Spend Rainy Day Fund

Washington's debt level a cause for concern

By The Editorial Board of The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

... Washington state Treasurer Duane Davidson has urged lawmakers and the governor to keep their hands off the state's rainy-day fund, noting that we are in an economic expansion, which is the time to be saving, not borrowing.

With that, we heartily agree.

Read the full editorial in The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Fiscal Restraint

Our Voice: It's not raining hard enough to dip into state reserves

By The Editorial Board of The Tri-City Herald

The state's rainy-day fund is supposed to grow when times are good so there is money available when times are tough.

A simple enough plan to understand, yet apparently difficult for some lawmakers to follow.

Gov. Jay Inslee's budget includes taking money from the state's emergency reserves to help pay for teacher salaries in the 2018-19 school year, but we think this would be a mistake.

The legislative session begins Monday, and we advise the Legislature to find some other way to meet its obligation to public education without "borrowing" from reserves...

Read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
Upcoming Events