February 5, 2018
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Seattle Metropolitan Chamber hires former Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland as new CEO

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce has selected former Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland as the group’s new CEO. Strickland’s private-sector experience includes management roles at Starbucks Coffee Company, JayRay Communications and the American Cancer Society. Strickland has a master’s degree in business administration and was selected from a group of 50 candidates during a national search.

Her fans say she’s a collaborative problem-solver, and someone who can tackle regional challenges.

“She’s fearless about taking on challenges in a collaborative way—a trait that will be essential as our region works through issues such as education, housing, and transportation, all of which have big implications for our long-term prosperity,” Chamber Board Chair Heather Redman said in an announcement.

King County Executive Dow Constantine, former Gov. Chris Gregoire and Steve Mullin of the Washington Roundtable also praised her appointment.

Strickland said she’s excited and will work with business, government and nonprofit leaders on solutions to help the region stay competitive.

“A strong, vibrant business environment is key to addressing the challenges that we face,” Strickland said. “Businesses of all sizes are an essential part of our community: in addition to the jobs they create and their place in the fabric of our neighborhoods, they drive investments that benefit us all.”

Strickland was part of a dynamic agenda for AWB’s 2015 Policy Summit.

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Manufacturing Bedrock

Work to ensure Boeing builds its next jet in the Puget Sound region

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Glowing praise of the Puget Sound region by Boeing's chief executive is reassuring as the state of Washington seeks to land production of the company's next jetliner.

"Puget Sound is part of Boeing for the future in a very strong way," Dennis Muilenburg said in an interview with Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates.

But the region and state must continue working hard to convince the company that its hometown remains the best place in the world to manufacture its next plane, informally dubbed the 797.

A task force convened by Gov. Jay Inslee last year is making progress and preparing to submit a bid if there's a formal request for site proposals later this year. Regional groups in areas such as Snohomish County and Spokane also are making their case. This is a critical effort to retain and grow an industry that's a cornerstone of the state's economy.

While Muilenburg didn't tip his hand on the 797, which Boeing hasn't yet committed to build, he did drop hints about where Washington can improve its competitiveness.

One is the cost of living and doing business in Seattle, which are "higher than most of our other sites," he said...

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
Hard Work Remains

Competitiveness Redbook highlights Washington's successes, opportunities

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington's economy is the envy of many states across the country. Job growth in our urban areas is booming and cranes pepper the Seattle and Bellevue skylines.

All that points to a robust statewide economy today and into the future. Or, does it?

Each year, the Association of Washington Business (AWB) digs deeper into the state's economy and competitiveness, going beyond the headlines and accolades from outside groups, to determine where Washington can improve and harness opportunities for growth.

AWB's 2018 Competitiveness Redbook, released last month, is a data-driven guide to Washington state's economic health that uses comparisons -- 59 tables in all -- with other states to benchmark performance in key indicators.

One important indicator is job growth. The latest numbers show job growth remains a strength, with nearly 80,000 new jobs added over the past year. Looking deeper, however, that's actually 21,000 fewer jobs than the previous year, dropping our state down one spot to sixth in the nation...

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Valley Business World
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