February 18, 2019
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Report highlights economic contributions of Washington's five petroleum refineries

Washington's five petroleum refineries not only supply the fuel used to power our vehicles, they also provide a powerful economic boost to Washington's economy.

A new report by the Washington Research Council quantifies the impact of the petroleum refinery industry in the state. In 2017, Washington's five major petroleum refiners directly provided 2,171 full-time jobs, paying an annual average wage of $129,132. In addition, the refiners employed, at high wages, 2,658 contract workers on an average day, doing maintenance, capital repair and capital replacement.

The refiners indirectly created additional Washington state jobs in industries from which they purchased goods and services, including transportation, construction, utilities and business services. Spending of the income earned in these direct and indirect jobs created even more jobs.

The sum of all these effects was 25,366 jobs and $1.9 billion in personal income for Washington state in 2017. State and local governments received $231.6 million in taxes directly from the refiners and $74.4 million from the follow-on activities of other taxpayers.

Also, industries that distributed refined petroleum products paid $503 million in wages to 16,078 workers in 2017. Excise taxes collected by the state from these industries totaled $97.3 million in 2017.

That all comes on top of economic headwinds pushing against the industry in Washington. Because of this state's unique tax structure, a Washington refinery’s state and local tax burden in 2017 was almost three times higher than the state and local tax burden of a comparable refinery located in California.

Click here to read the report.

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Career-Connected Learning Works

How do you get there from here? Career Connect Washington

By Avista CEO Scott Morris and IBEW Local 77 Assistant Business Manager Mike Brown

It's sometimes hard to remember how hard the "What do you want to be when you grow up?" question is. The follow-up question is even harder: "How are you going to get there?"

We know that young people don't always have the answers, but they are curious and eager to explore their options. They want to learn about different careers and what mix of experience and classroom learning is needed to do those jobs. They are excited about their next steps, but also cautious about challenges like educational debt...

"Career-connected learning" is a broad term for programs that help students explore, prepare and start their careers. It helps kids get out of the classroom and try on different jobs and different industries, so when it's time to make big life decisions, they are better prepared to step up...

Career Connect Washington is a coalition of employers, unions, educators, state agencies and others who are trying to ensure that all students in the state have the chance to do career-connected learning.

Read the full guest column in The Spokesman-Review
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