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.