February 26, 2018
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Task Force recommends more apprenticeships, career education, partnerships with labor and industry to prepare workforce

It’s a tall order to fill: Washington employers will need to fill more than 740,000 jobs in advanced manufacturing, healthcare and the maritime sector, among others, a recent study shows.

The Career Connect Washington Task Force is already working to create a strategy to prepare young people for those jobs and connect them to rewarding careers. State and business leaders gave Washington Gov. Jay Inslee an update at a recent visit to South Puget Sound Community College.

Recommendations include supporting the expansion of registered apprenticeships; greater access to industry credentials; resources for career exploration classes for middle school students; more career learning opportunities in middle and high schools; increasing mentorships through partnerships with labor, industry and others; and creating a long-term strategic plan.

Officials heard from Shawn Farrow, who was placed in a web development apprenticeship by the nonprofit Apprenti.

“They gave me the training and placed me in a place that got me ahead in the game,” Farrow said. He added that he wants people to know that “you don’t need to be a genius or the smartest person in your class to be able to have a nice, successful, sustainable career.”

Microsoft President Brad Smith also spoke at the event.

“As our economy changes, we need to dramatically expand registered apprenticeship, internship and community college opportunities for Washington state’s young people,” said Smith, who co-chairs the task force. “This will require much closer collaboration between educators, employers and organized labor than we’ve had in the past.”

AWB Institute will cover apprenticeships, innovative workforce development, work-based learning models and more at its Workforce Summit March 21 in Bellevue.

For more information on workforce development, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Amy Anderson at 360.943.1600.

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Capital Gains Tax
All Manufacturers Need Relief

Manufacturing jobs key to all of our communities

By AWB President Kris Johnson

The health of Washington state's manufacturing sector is a bellwether for the strength of our overall economy, and a key driver of economic opportunity for families in every city and small town across the state.

The sector is vital to the state. Manufacturing jobs support families with livable wages and benefits and they grow the local economy and tax base to ensure funding for critical services.

Along with all that positive news, is the reality is the sector needs some support.

Since 2000, Washington has lost more than 50,000 manufacturing jobs, the majority of which are not in the aerospace sector.

The good news is lawmakers are currently considering bills that would reinstate the uniform B&O tax relief. It's a move our members support as one way to jumpstart job creation in every part of the state...

Read the full guest column in The Olympian
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