April 8, 2019
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'Rural Community Vitality' listening tour coming to Toppenish, Aberdeen, Colville and Quincy

Recognizing that education, workforce training and other key issues are a real challenge in rural Washington, employers and community members will have a chance to weigh in during a series of listening sessions across the state over the coming weeks.

The "Rural Community Vitality Forums" will be held in Toppenish (April 23), Aberdeen (April 25), Colville (May 14), and Quincy (May 16) to ask the local community what’s working, and what’s not.

This rural “listening tour” is being held by the state’s Workforce Board, which helps convene and oversee the state’s workforce system. AWB has held a separate series of rural jobs summits over the past two years, and encourages participation in this set of events as well.

"I encourage anyone interested to participate," said AWB Government Affairs Director Mike Ennis, who coordinates AWB's rural jobs advocacy. "This is a good opportunity for employers to discuss the workforce challenges and opportunities found in the rural areas."

An economist from the Workforce Board will provide a snapshot of the local economy. Then a federal facilitator from the U.S. Department of Labor will help capture attendee comments and frame next steps. Once the comments are compiled, participants will have a chance to provide input before a report is provided to state and federal policymakers.

"This is your chance to be heard, and make a difference where you live," the Workforce Board said in announcing the events. "Tell us your story, give us your perspective, and help shape solutions. This will be a facilitated but free-flowing discussion, so come prepared to participate."

To ensure a firm headcount, attendees are asked to pre-register for any of the free forums here. The site also has details on the locations and time for each event.

AWB has been working on rural issues for years. To learn more about AWB's Rural Jobs effort, contact Mike Ennis.



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Practical Education


Expand career-connected learning across Washington state

By Maud Daudon

If you're a Washington business owner or manager wondering where to find skilled workers, you're not alone. And if you're a Washington parent or high school student, wondering how to get from school to a great job, you're not alone either.

You may also be the solution to each other's problem.

Last summer, the Career Connect Washington initiative convened groups of parents to discuss education and career preparation in Washington state. As part of a 10-year effort, we are learning how to better help students connect to both jobs and advanced education so they will be well positioned to step into the state's job market. Business, labor and education organizations are all stepping up; we need the Legislature to act as well...

Read the full guest column in The Seattle Times
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By The Washington Research Council

Although the March revenue forecast increased estimated state revenues for the 2017-19 and 2019-21 biennia, the House Appropriations Committee Chair proposed a new capital gains tax along with his 2019-21 operating budget. The Senate is also considering a capital gains tax, although in this case the proceeds would be used to reduce other taxes rather than to increase the operating budget.

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Read the full report from the Washington Research Council
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