April 22, 2019
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Microsoft and Chelan PUD join forces on clean power, rural broadband

Two new agreements between Microsoft and the Chelan County Public Utility District will lead to more clean energy for Microsoft and more broadband for rural Washingtonians.

Microsoft has entered into a five-year agreement to purchase about 50 megawatts of hydroelectricity from the Chelan PUD, The Seattle Times reports.

“This will meet Microsoft’s requirement for clean energy,” the Times reported.

Microsoft will also work with the county to offer more broadband service in rural areas. About 75 percent of Chelan County residents have access to broadband, a spokesman told the newspaper, and officials are working to increase that to at least 85 percent.

“We’re proud to be powering our Puget Sound operations in a way that reduces carbon emissions, supports the clean-energy sector and supports connectivity,” said Shelley McKinley, a Microsoft general manager, in a statement.

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Celebrating Employers

Kennewick company stars in statewide campaign

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington employers are entrepreneurs who build their companies for more than the product they make and the services they provide; they build them to fulfill their values of community, compassion and conscience.

That's the message behind Grow Here, the multi-media employer image ad campaign from the Association of Washington Business.

In its third year, Grow Here's goal is two-fold: to highlight the "why" that motivates Washington companies and share the employee experience within those businesses. And, to remind people that Washington state's competitiveness -- its ability to attract and retain employers -- is critical to an economy that works for all residents.

Read the full guest column in the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business
Road to Prosperity

Sparking Inspiration for Future Success -- Career Connect Washington Initiative Creates STEM Career Pathways

By Susan Mullaney, president of Kaiser Permanente Washington and Washington STEM board member

Our communities depend on STEM-related fields. Ensuring a consistent pipeline of students interested in pursuing STEM jobs is critical. We believe that early exposure to STEM is impactful for school-aged children. At a time when our state needs more than 94,000 health care professionals over the next three years, we need more students to pursue health care related careers. We need a sustainable plan to inspire and excite young people. And, we must ensure an equitable pathway into these high-demand, high-impact jobs.

Currently, thousands of Washington students are on track to graduate high school unprepared for these jobs and are often unaware STEM jobs even exist. In the next five years, an estimated 225,465 jobs that earn a family-sustaining wage will require credentials that many of our Washingtonian students are not on track to earn...

Nothing is more meaningful than careers born of out of a youthful spark of inspiration. When we engage more students from our diverse communities and share the deep impact of science and medical jobs, we support their future and ensure sustainability within the communities we serve.

Read the full commentary at the Washington STEM website
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