June 10, 2019
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Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories to build new 80,000-square-foot event center in Pullman

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories has outgrown its event center, and has announced plans to build a new one that will cover 80,000 square feet and can hold up to 1,400 people.

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports that the new building will be almost four times the size of the current events center, which was built in 2006. The current event center holds about 500 people.

“We are excited about this project and what it means for our company and community,” Stephanie Schweitzer, vice president of marketing and communications, said in a news release. “We’ve outgrown the current space and this center will allow us to better accommodate a number of our company’s larger annual events, host new events, and provide another venue option for our community.”

The event center is used for corporate meetings as well as community events like the Pullman Nonprofit Showcase, the annual Pullman Chamber of Commerce Cabaret and the Whitman County Humane Society Fur Ball and Yappy Hour, the newspaper reports.

SEL has expanded its campus steadily since 2015, with two new research and development buildings, an assembly center and a family center. Construction on the new event center is scheduled for late 2019 and is expected to finish in 2021.

SEL invents, designs and builds digital products and systems to protect power grids around the world, with customers in 164 countries.

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Housing Forum
Manufacturing Solutions

A way forward on immigration

By Edmund O. Schweitzer III and Jay Timmons

Manufacturers are in the business of building solutions. When we see a need to be filled or a problem to be solved, manufacturers go to work innovating and making the products that improve our daily lives. But we don't stop there. When we see our nation facing a challenge, we don't just call on our legislators to fix it; we also provide solutions.

That's exactly what manufacturers have done to help fix our nation's broken immigration system. Earlier this year, the National Association of Manufacturers released "A Way Forward," a plan for comprehensive immigration reform that bolsters border security while strengthening the economy and providing certainty for those immigrants who are anxious about their future...

Legislation soon up for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives and similar bills recently introduced in the U.S. Senate would provide a solution for these two populations, and manufacturers are calling on Congress to act swiftly. While this is not a comprehensive solution, these bills are a way to move our nation one step closer to a more functional immigration system, and for that reason, they should command strong, bipartisan support. It is simply the right thing to do...

Read the full op-ed in The Spokesman-Review
Unsustainable Budget Growth

State budget growth puts Washington in tight spot during next downturn

By AWB President Kris Johnson

State government will spend more than $52.8 billion over the next two years. This is an increase of about 18.3 percent over the previous two-year budget and one of the biggest increases in the last 25 years.

It's true there are many competing demands for resources, but lawmakers had $5.6 billion more to work with, before raising taxes. Rather than look for cost savings, they chose to raise more than $1 billion in new taxes.

It's a safe bet that most Washington families and small businesses did not increase their spending by 18.3 percent this year. This pace of expansion is unsustainable. When the tax collections drop, that usually means painful budget cuts and more tax increases.

Lawmakers made progress on important issues this year, but it came at a high cost. As they work through the interim and prepare for the next budget, our hope is that lawmakers will tap the brakes and slow the growth in state spending.

Washington has enjoyed years of strong economic growth, but we need to be prepared for the next downturn.

Read the full op-ed in The Wenatchee World
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