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Press Release

Monday, January 11

AWB Statement on Proposed Minimum Wage Initiative

OLYMPIA -- The Association of Washington Business, Washington state’s largest business association representing small, medium and large employers, issued the following statement today from AWB President Kris Johnson regarding the proposed minimum wage initiative:

"Our desire is for a strong, growing economy in which everyone has the opportunity to find a good-paying career and advance in their chosen profession. We believe the Legislature is better positioned to address this important issue by working with small businesses to ensure they aren’t disproportionately harmed by a minimum wage increase that could make it harder for them to grow and hire more workers.

"In the coming weeks and months, we will carefully study the proposed initiative and we look forward to working with lawmakers and other interested parties to discuss ways to help wages grow in all sectors of the economy, including entry-level positions. One of the best ways to do this is to focus on education, both K-12 and higher education. We need to ensure that all students have access to high-quality, affordable education that gives them the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century workforce.

"We recognize that people are struggling and we share the desire to see a growing, robust economy in which everyone has the opportunity to advance. Rather than impose another mandate on small employers, we believe a better approach is to focus on education and to look for ways to help employers expand."

About the Association of Washington Business
Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes nearly 8,000 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit

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