April 17, 2017
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Tacoma students help build airplanes in new apprenticeship program

Nearly a dozen juniors and seniors from Tacoma high schools are getting hands-on experiencing by helping build airplanes as part of the state’s first youth apprenticeship program in aerospace manufacturing.

Last week, the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) launched an apprenticeship program with several manufacturers in Pierce County. The purpose of the program is to attract workers while they are young, filling the workforce pipeline as baby boomers retire at a record pace.

"This program is also a lot about exposure and getting an opportunity for kids who maybe don't fit that four-year college mold," said committee spokesman Aaron Ferrell.

Students work between 10 and 20 hours per week, according to a KNKX radio report, and are paid for their time. They can also earn college credits. When the apprenticeship is complete, the students will have clocked-in for 2,000 hours —equivalent to nearly three college quarters.

The program also teaches students how to run the machines that make selected parts that will be used by Boeing and Airbus.

AJAC plans to launch a similar program in Yakima. Their website lists the minimum qualifications to become eligible as well as apprenticeship openings.

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Hirst Ruling

Fix court decision: Property without water is worthless

By Rep. John Koster, R-Arlington, and Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber, R-Republic

If you own undeveloped rural property or you are an urban property owner with access to water, a Washington State Supreme Court ruling is going to cost you money -- lots of it -- unless the Legislature acts before the session adjourns April 23.

Last October, the high court ruled Whatcom County's comprehensive plan failed to protect water resources under the Growth Management Act. Known as the Hirst decision, it means landowners with undeveloped properties may never be able to dig a well on their property unless they can prove not a single drop of water would be removed from instream flows. An instream flow is a water right for a river or a stream that protects and preserves instream resources like fish habitat. Without available water, banks won't issue loans on these properties and counties will not issue building permits. Without water, there is no development, so these lands become worthless, or significantly lose their market value.

A couple in Arlington recently expressed their concerns to us. They want to sell property so they can buy a home and downsize in retirement. They have been good stewards of this land and consider it their life investment. Unless they can have a well drilled, their property value will be greatly reduced, jeopardizing their finances and future. Who wants property that is useless without water? This is happening all across Washington...

Read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
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