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Fast Facts

Monday, May 12

Spring Meeting begins tomorrow — come join us in Spokane

Spring Meeting begins tomorrow — come join us in Spokane

It’s not too late to join the state’s business and political leaders in Spokane for AWB’s annual Spring Meeting, which begins tomorrow at the historic Davenport Hotel. The two-day event kicks off at 11 a.m. with a meet-and-greet reception, including AWB’s leadership and government affairs teams. At 11:45 a.m. we hear from Tom Malone, president and CEO of MicroGREEN Polymers, who will talk about his fast-growing high-tech cup company. Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at 1:30 p.m., followed by a panel discussion with top legislative leaders. At 5:30 p.m. you can mingle with candidates and lawmakers, then at 6:30 p.m. attendees will hear from former Gov. Gary Locke, the recipient of this year’s C. David Gordon Award.

Wednesday opens with the AWB Board Meeting and remarks from Doug Krapas, environmental manager for Inland Empire Paper Co., who will speak about his company’s innovative water treatment projects. We’ll also hear from Jay Clemens, president and CEO of Associated Oregon Industries. Attendees will also receive the AWB Institute’s newest industry report, 2014 Electric Energy Generation in Washington State. Walk-ins are welcome, or you can learn more and register here. If you can’t make it to the meeting follow it on Twitter by searching #awbspring14. We’ll see you in Spokane!

BMW and SGL to triple production at Moses Lake carbon fiber plant
BMW and SGL Group will invest another $200 million to triple production at their carbon fiber plant in Moses Lake, making this four-year-old carbon fiber plant the largest in the world. This new expansion, combined with one already underway, will increase the company’s headcount in Moses Lake to 200, up from the current 80. The plant produces 3,000 tons of carbon fiber each year, all of which goes to the electric BMW I series. The expanded plant will produce enough carbon fiber to use in other model series in years ahead. Company officials broke ground last week and emphasized the importance of Washington’s clean, abundant and inexpensive hydroelectric power as key to their decision to locate and expand in Washington.

Kris Johnson brings message of manufacturing growth, leadership development to Yakima
AWB President Kris Johnson told 250 Yakima-area business leaders last week that the state’s economy needs new skilled workers and a fresh generation of leadership. Speaking to New Vision, an economic development group, Johnson said baby boomers are retiring and that work is needed to identify and mentor the “next generation of business professionals.” He also said that the manufacturing sector holds great promise for young workers, but that few understand its potential. “It’s about creating a positive campaign,” Johnson said. “We should talk aspirationally about manufacturing jobs.”

Leadership Washington deadline extended
The application deadline has been extended to June 15 for Leadership Washington, the AWB Institute’s new statewide leadership development program. Over nine months, young leaders will travel the state for a series of training and networking events focusing on the different industry sectors and political landscapes of Washington. Graduates from the program will be strong, articulate, informed leaders who will help Washington move forward in a globally competitive economy. Contact Amy Johnson for information.

It’s Small Business Week! Celebrate your local entrepreneurs
America’s 28 million small businesses are the backbone of the nation’s economy. Starting today, the U.S. Small Business Administration is holding National Small Business Week to highlight the many contributions of small businesses to American prosperity. Microsoft and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are helping put on events around the country. You can take part by tweeting from a small business in your community with the hashtag #SBW2014.


Education and Workforce Training Committee to meet May 22
AWB’s Education and Workforce Training Committee will meet from 12-2 p.m. May 22 at the Microsoft campus. Lunch will be served so please RSVP to Connie Grande by emailing her at or calling 360.943.1600. The meeting agenda will be sent to committee members later this week.


Rep. Overstreet stepping down; Luanne Van Werven, vice-chair of state GOP, announces run
Rep. Jason Overstreet
, R-Lynden, announced last week that he will not run for a third term in the state House. Overstreet said he wanted to spend more time with his growing family. Luanne Van Werven, the vice-chair of the state GOP and the former chair of the Whatcom County Republicans, will run for Overstreet’s position.

Rep. Drew MacEwen announces run for re-election

On Tuesday, state Rep. Drew MacEwen, R-Union, announced his run for a second term in office. In 2012 the rural Mason County Republican won a seat formerly held by a Democrat, The Olympian reports. No Democrat has yet announced a run for the seat.


L&I praises CompWise participant Henningsen Cold Storage in Richland for safety program

Henningsen Cold Storage in Richard is one of only six companies in Washington to earn an award from the Department of Labor & Industries’ “Safety Through Achieving Recognition Together” program, or START. Henningsen earned the award for an exemplary safety record that shows commitment to health and safety and work. Henningsen, which has won similar START awards in other states, also gets help for its safety program from AWB’s CompWise retrospective rating program.

Seattle Times: Troubled megaprojects add to political gridlock

The multi-billion-dollar troubles encountered by Bertha and the Highway 520 floating bridge project are making prospects for a statewide transportation package increasingly difficult, The Seattle Times wrote last week. AWB Government Affairs Director Mike Ennis told the Times that ongoing coverage of the Bertha delays and pontoon problems on the 520 bridge means voters will demand reforms before agreeing to higher taxes. “They need some assurances that any sort of tax increase is going to be used appropriately and efficiently and you are not going to have these mistakes going forward,” Ennis said.

Ted Sturdevant, top Inslee advisor, leaving governor’s office

A key deputy for governors Jay Inslee, Chris Gregoire and Gary Locke will step down at the end of June in search of “a different pace and a different work-life balance.” Ted Sturdevant is legislative affairs and policy director for Inslee. He served as director of the Department of Ecology under Gregoire. In both administrations he was heavily involved in the development of fish consumption standards and water quality rules, The News Tribune reports. Sturdevant spoke earlier this year at AWB’s Lobby Lunch — video is available here.

Saint Martin’s University receives Economic Impact Award

The Olympia Lacey Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau awarded its annual Economic Impact Award to Saint Martin’s University in a ceremony last Monday attended by 200 people. The university in Lacey has students from Japan, China, South Korea and 15 from Brazil, SMU President Roy Heynderickx said in accepting the award. Families of those students visit for graduation and stay in the area, bring tourism dollars with them, he said. After the ceremony, Heynderickx traveled to Brazil for two weeks to build closer ties and further develop international recruitment programs.


Help inform the debate by sharing your manufacturing story during our statewide listening tour
The AWB Institute is holding seven listening sessions around the state over the next two months. We want to hear from manufacturers as we write a follow-up to our 2012 report, Challenges & Opportunities for Manufacturers in Washington state. If you’d like to share your story about running a manufacturing business in Washington — including what could be done to ensure the industry’s continued growth and presence in our state — contact Amy Johnson to learn about a listening session near you.

Review the tricky language and clauses that can get even the best HR pro into legal trouble

Legal boilerplate — the fine print — can be a minefield of hidden traps. What do terms like “integration,” “severability,” “choice of law” and “indemnification” mean, and which ones make sense for you to include in your documents? What should you do about non-compete agreements for your company or potential employees? Find out the answers to these questions and more during a pair of seminars Wednesday, June 11 with Davis Wright Tremaine employment law attorney Greg Hendershott. Join Hendershott for the session “Don’t Get Burned by Boilerplate Contracts” or “How to Manage Non-Compete Agreements” — or sign up for both. For more information or with questions, contact Karlee Keith at 800.521.9325, or register online today.

Save the date: AWB’s 2014 Human Resources Forum, July 10 in Seattle

Explore the latest HR trends, generational differences and employment law issues at AWB’s 2014 Human Resources Forum on July 10 in Seattle. The forum, “Strategies for Securing Your Competitive Advantage,” will include a networking breakfast and sessions on creating a top rated company by leveraging your human resources expertise and experience. Examine emerging technology for recruitment and maintaining your top talent, explore the impact of generational differences to the workplace and review employment law nuances that can keep your company out of the legal quagmire. The forum will run from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in the Seattle Center. Learn more and register here.


“If I can do an hour I would be very happy. I just want to know what my limit is.” ~ Former Gov. Gary Locke, referring to his 51-minute “planking” personal record. Locke is among those receiving awards this week at AWB’s Spring Meeting.

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