November 6, 2017
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Time to vote: ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday

The general election is tomorrow and ballots must be turned in to voting offices or have a postmark of Nov. 7 to be counted. Among the most watched races in this election is the 45th District Senate race, which will decide who controls the Senate and whether Washington retains split government or returns to one-party control of all branches of government.

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Proposed Ex-Im Bank head 'gets rough reception' at confirmation hearing

Former Rep. Scott Garrett faced "increasingly frustrated" senators during a confirmation hearing last week to serve as president of the Export-Import Bank. Garrett, who while in office had said the bank should be shut down, pledged to "carry out the president's vision regarding Ex-Im: a fully functioning bank." Meanwhile, the administration has nominated Kimberly Reed to serve as first vice president and vice chair of the Ex-Im Bank.

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Newly formed AWB Rural Jobs Task Force created; Alex McGregor to serve as chair

After last month's sold-out Rural Jobs Summit, interest in solving the issues facing rural Washington remains high. AWB is pushing forward to address the challenges and opportunities by creating a Rural Jobs Task Force. Alex McGregor, president of The McGregor Co., has agreed to serve as chair. In related news, Opportunity Washington is asking for input with a new Rural Jobs Survey.

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One month away: register now for AWB's fourth-annual D.C. Fly-in

Meet with members of Congress. Tell your story. Be part of the solution. AWB's 2017 D.C. Fly-in Dec. 4-6 offers business leaders and owners a chance to talk directly with members of Congress and other decision-makers in the nation's capital. Registration is now open for the fourth-annual D.C. Fly-in.

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AWB's Evening of Excellence to honor employers at red-carpet awards event Nov. 29

Mark your calendars for the second-annual AWB Evening of Excellence. The black-tie gala at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle highlights achievements of some of the state's top employers. Online registration for the event is now open.

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Manufacturing Week Tour

Manufacturing is huge in Washington. Let's celebrate -- and invest in it

By Kate Lampson and Kris Johnson

Manufacturing has a long history in Washington and it has a great story to tell: In Benton County, careers in manufacturing pay an average annual wage of $55,701, $50,575 in Walla Walla County and almost $41,000 in Franklin County. Not bad for jobs that often require no more than a trade certificate or a two-year degree. It also has a multiplier of three -- for every one job created in manufacturing, another three jobs are created elsewhere.

That's a good return on investment, but the sector faces some headwinds.

As manufacturing comes on a national resurgence, Washington's sector has lost about 48,000 jobs since 2000 -- the vast majority of which are non-aerospace jobs.

Clearly, more can be done to support good-paying manufacturing jobs here and across the state.

Read the full column in The Tri-City Herald
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