May 6, 2019
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Spring edition of Washington Business magazine highlights growth and employer excellence

The spring edition of Washington Business is available to read online and has been mailed to all members.

The cover story of the spring edition features a look at AWB's multi-year employer image campaign, Grow Here, from the latest companies to be profiled to some of the earliest businesses that show off the kinds of quality employers that call Washington home.

This edition also includes a new feature in Washington Business called "How I Did It" -- an interview with a successful CEO about the twists, turns and tips that led them to their current success. This new feature kicks off by interviewing Jean Thompson, CEO of the flourishing Seattle Chocolate Co.

Other highlights of the spring edition:

  • AWB Board Chair Tim Schauer's column," Washington Employers are Stronger When We Work Together for the Common Good";
  • "Riding on Rails," a look at how modern freight rail is a key, green part of our region's transportation network;
  • "Our Best Investment," by AWB Government Affairs Director Amy Anderson, on the state's ongoing investments in early childhood education;
  • "Breaking the Cycle," about how education inside prisons is changing lives for the better -- and helping employers find well-trained workers;

AWB members will be receiving their print edition of Washington Business magazine in the mail over the coming days. The spring edition will be bundled with a copy of AWB's latest annual report (which is available to read online.)

Contact Jason Hagey, vice president, communications, to learn more about being featured in Washington Business or to advertise.

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Last-Minute Legislating

Spin Control: Doing the budget the way it's always done doesn't make it the best way

By Jim Camden

Legislators are apt to defend their budget process as "this is the way it's always done." If that was a good reason, one might think we would still be hanging horse thieves, placing miscreants in the stocks and throwing debtors into prison for not paying bills, or doing any number of imperfect things we've stopped doing.

In truth, the "always done" defense is only applied by people who do it that way because it suits them.

It suits legislative leaders to hold on to the budget until the very end of the session to have some leverage over hard-to-handle lawmakers. It suits budget writers from each chamber to sequester themselves somewhere away from the madding crowd of colleagues and lobbyists to avoid being pestered for everyone's favorite six-, seven-, or eight-figure project. And then there's always that familiar refrain that negotiators can't speak freely if discussions are in the open, because they might be criticized for suggesting something that doesn't sit well with the folks back home, even if it does break a logjam that leads to the deal.

This process keeps the people and businesses who will pay for all the programs and salaries out of the loop for most of the key decision points...

Read the full column in The Spokesman-Review
Talent and Capital

The Seattle-area economy punches above its weight -- and that's a huge strength

By Jon Talton, The Seattle Times

Newcomers -- and there are many -- might think that the Puget Sound region's economy is so hot because of two Big Tech headquarters, along with the "legacy" power of Boeing.

It's understandable. Amazon and Microsoft are two of the five giants that make up America's technology royalty (Apple, Facebook and Google are in the Bay Area). We're on the cutting edge of software, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and so much more.

Boeing's operations, especially commercial airliners, anchor one of the world's top aerospace clusters (the other being Airbus in Toulouse, France). The company is not only the nation's largest manufacturing exporter, but also, especially with its defense divisions, a strategic asset.

Together, the three employ about 166,000 here in well-paid, high-skilled jobs. Boeing is Washington's largest private employer, with a workforce of 69,830 as of February.

It's hard to think of another similar-sized metropolitan area in the United States with anything close.

But this is only a start in explaining why Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue enjoys one of the strongest economies in the nation. How strong? Per capita gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, was nearly $81,000 in 2017. That compares with $61,000 in San Diego and $63,000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Larger Phoenix lagged in at $45,000...

Read the full column in The Seattle Times
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