March 5, 2018
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Gov. Inslee signs state version of net neutrality into law

Both chambers of the Legislature have passed House Bill 2282, a state net neutrality measure crafted in response to the Federal Communications Commission's recent repeal of federal net neutrality rules. Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill this afternoon.

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Starbucks showcases sustainability, flexibility with stores inside shipping containers

The global coffee giant has created 45 stores in shipping containers so far. Last month, it moved one across a Colorado town to a new location and opened it within just a few weeks. The speedy relocation gives new meaning to the phrase "coffee to go."

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Lamb Weston creating new jobs at new facility

Seven months after opening the expansion of its processing facility in Richland, Lamb Weston can now process 300 million pounds of potato products each year at the plant.

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Vancouver Energy ends bid to build nation's biggest oil-train terminal along Columbia River

Vancouver Energy will not appeal the governor's recent rejection of its permit application to build the nation's largest oil train terminal. The project would have generated $2 billion in economic impact.

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Can Swiss apprenticeship model help Washington boost high school graduation rates?

Business leader Maud Daudon, who's leading a strategic workforce plan, took a look at workforce development, including the Swiss apprenticeship model, with The Seattle Times.

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April 18 conference to focus on emerging technology and liability

The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform will explore emerging technologies and liability issues at an April 18 conference in Seattle. Topics include autonomous vehicles, drones and more.

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Passages: Former Starbucks CEO and philanthropist Orin C. Smith dies at 75

Iconic business leader Orin C. Smith, who never forgot his small-town Washington roots, died last Thursday at 75. The kid from Chehalis achieved great success in the business world and gave back to his community generously.

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Call for nominations: Help bring more great business leaders to AWB's board of directors

It's time to step up and help AWB remain a leader and voice for solutions in Olympia. Nominations are now being accepted for seats on the AWB Board of Directors. Businesses of all sizes and business leaders of all ages are invited to apply. Nominations are due to Bonnie Millikan by March 23.

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A Lifetime of Learning

Workforce development begins young, continues over lifetime

By AWB President Kris Johnson

We all want our kids to grow up in a state with good-paying job prospects and the training to match them.

Today, there is a laser focus by our association's membership and other groups about the need to fill the workforce pipeline with skilled, job-ready workers. There simply aren't enough workers to fill the high-tech, high-wage jobs available in our state and nation.

We're working to address that problem by advocating for robust career and technical programming in our middle and high schools, training and certificate programs for high-demand jobs at our state's community and technical colleges.

We'll be talking about those very issues at the second-annual AWB Workforce Summit on March 21 in Bellevue.

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Business World
Dealing with Debt

State needs to begin paying down its bond debt

By The Everett Herald Editorial Board

Duane Davidson, now in his second year of office, hasn't been one to pursue many policy issues with lawmakers, unlike his predecessor who outlined an ambitious tax reform proposal that earned little interest. But Davidson has taken a stand to defend against raids of the "rainy day" fund and asked lawmakers to consider using some of the additional revenue to pay down the state's bond debt, add to its "rainy day" reserves or pay more toward its unfunded pension obligations. Their choice.

"I think that money would be better spent paying down any debt, pick your debt," Davidson said.

And there's significant debt to pay down.

The state's Debt Affordability Study for 2018, released by Davidson's office, reports that the state's debt portfolio has over the course of the last 20 years grown from $6.8 billion to more than $19 billion and totals $21 billion when financing contracts are included....

Read the full editorial in The Herald
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