Press Release

Friday, May 29

AWB Welcomes Flexibility for Manufacturing

The Association of Washington Business welcomed the news today from Gov. Jay Inslee that more manufacturers could be able to reopen soon under the state’s revised Safe Start plan.

“As the state’s manufacturing association, we have urged the governor to allow all Washington manufacturers to restart operations with appropriate health and safety guidelines in place,” said AWB President Kris Johnson. “We’re pleased that counties will have more flexibility and more manufacturers will have the ability to resume operations soon, even if they’re located in places that have not been approved for Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start reopening plan. The health and safety of employees is paramount, and we believe the manufacturing guidelines issued by the governor’s office earlier this month, with input from AWB, will allow employees to safely return to work regardless of where they are located.”

The updated guidance comes a few days after AWB launched a new website ( to help Washington businesses safely welcome back employees and customers. The website includes an online portal to connect employers with personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturers, plus a toolkit for small businesses to help prepare for reopening.

“As more businesses restart operations, we know the need for PPE like face masks, gloves and hand sanitizer is going to grow,” Johnson added. “The Rebound and Recovery website not only helps employers get the personal protective equipment they need to restart, but it also supports Washington manufacturers that are making PPE.”

Manufacturing is a critical part of Washington’s export-driven economy. In 2018, manufacturers in Washington accounted for 11.2% of the total output in the state and employed 8.45% of the workforce, according to data compiled by the National Association of Manufacturers from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau.

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