January 7, 2019
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Nominations now open for outstanding Washington volunteers

Serve Washington is now accepting nominations for the best volunteers throughout Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee’s office reports.

There are 20 categories for people, groups and organizations that serve their communities. Examples include animal welfare, employer programs and the Senior Corps national service program.

Barbara Tilley of Wenatchee has previously received the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award in the Senior Corps category for volunteering with RSVP of North Central Washington.

“I felt most honored, and yet very humbled, to be chosen as one of the honorees,” Tilley said in a news release. “The day at the Governor’s Mansion was wonderful! It was so inspiring to learn about all the voluntary service projects and the leaders. Washington state is indeed so fortunate to have this huge volunteer force in place.”

This year’s winners will be recognized at an April 12 ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia. Nominations are due by 5 p.m. on Feb. 8 and can be submitted at http://servewashington.wa.gov.

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Legislative Day and Hill Climb Preview
Supporting Rural Areas

Let's work together to prioritize rural economic revitalization

By AWB President Kris Johnson

The mission of the Association of Washington Business is to bring people together throughout the state to promote economic prosperity -- from the urban centers to the most rural corners.

We know that parts of Washington have boomed since the end of the recession, but other areas -- particularly the rural communities that exist in each of our state's 39 counties -- have not realized the same economic opportunities.

Our state's overall success depends on not just talking about the many barriers holding back economic growth in rural regions but finding and implementing solutions discussed at the AWB Rural Jobs Summit in the Legislature and at the local level to move every community forward.

Whether urban, rural or somewhere in between, we're all in this together.

Read the full column in the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business
Taxing Employers

Legislature's return to work presents a challenge for business

By Bill Virgin

Laments from the business community about taxes, regulations and the high cost and frustration of doing business around here are typically met with two responses: "It can't be that bad, look at our booming economy," and "If you don't like it, leave" (the latter usually accompanied by a snide remark about Texas or the South).

To those points: The current success of the tech sector, however loosely that's defined, certainly fueled economic growth in the region. But other sectors are struggling for reasons of their own (retailing) or related to the boom (industrial businesses dealing with high costs). Tech's boom has papered over a lot of ills, and if the sector ever has another moment like the dot-com bust, that facade will be gone...

Eventually businesses reach a point at which the cost/benefit analysis tips from staying to going.

It hasn't happened in great numbers and it won't happen at the same time for all businesses. But those tipping points are out there. In 2019, we'll find out see how enthusiastically the Legislature pushes the region closer to them.

Read the full column in The News Tribune
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