April 29, 2019
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Electric car manufacturer announces major project for Spokane area

Mullen Technologies and the West Plains Public Development Authority of Spokane have signed an agreement that aims to produce high-end electric sportscars and hundreds of jobs for Eastern Washington, The Spokesman-Review reports.

The agreement calls for the development authority to build and lease 1.3 million square feet for a factory and research area that would produce the Qiantu K50, an electric car that costs $150,000. The authority would issue revenue bonds to finance the project, which would be paid back through a lease agreement with Mullen Technologies, the newspaper reports.

The company is also interested in research and development for lightweight lithium batteries. Improving battery technology is a major goal for many electric vehicle proponents, since it would allow cars to travel further on a single charge.

“We are looking forward to working with the West Plains PDA to bring strong wage-earning jobs to the Spokane region,” David Michery, CEO of Mullen Technologies, said in a statement. “(The) PDA and Mullen are working very closely as we introduce the Qiantu K50 all electric sports car to the U.S. market, along with emerging battery cell technology.”

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Teaching for Tomorrow

STEM skills vital to rural students, too

By Kevin Chase, superintendent of ESD 105

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. In south-central Washington, 14,455 high-paying jobs will need a credential in the next five years.

I see the chasm between education attainment and how that translates to employment and jobs. We have to make changes in our education system that allow our families and kids to visualize their path forward and to have local employers be able to recruit and train their workforce in novel ways. Career Connect Washington, a statewide initiative, is bringing together business, labor, government and education leaders so that young people have the education and skills needed to connect with high-demand, family-wage careers across Washington and in the Valley...

Even though we are an agriculture-based region we are not immune from changing workforce demands, as agriculture becomes more and more automated. Our students are ready and willing to step up to the challenge of 21st century work demands. It is up to us to prepare them...

Read the full op-ed in The Yakima Herald-Republic
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