September 16, 2019
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories

It's time! AWB's Policy Summit kicks off this week in Cle Elum

The 2019 Policy Summit brings together employers and policy experts this week at the Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum. The event will feature expert panels engaging in statewide policy discussions on taxes, international trade, energy policy and more. Attendees will build connections with fellow business leaders from across the state and learn about the current outlook on issues that impact employers and communities.

On Tuesday, former Gov. Gary Locke will help kick off the event. The agenda also includes Washington State Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown leading a discussion on trade policy, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal addressing state education policy.

Wednesday brings Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. Gardner is one of a select number of economists who provide housing market forecasts to Reuters for their Home Price Forecast Survey and also participates in Zillow’s Home Price Expectation Survey. Panel discussions include The State of Energy, Infrastructure Investments for Future Airport Growth, and Washington’s Tax Structure.

GoldieBlox founder and CEO Debbie Sterling will then deliver the lunch keynote address. Sterling is a leader in the movement toward getting girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and math. Her company, GoldieBlox, is an award-winning children's multimedia company disrupting the pink aisle in toy stores globally. The afternoon’s breakout sessions will dive into the state’s overtime rule, childcare, youth in the workplace and carbon reduction.

Wednesday’s dinner keynote address features a joint appearance from two former White House chiefs of staff: Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff (2017), Republican National Committee Chairman (2011-2017); and Denis McDonough, White House chief of staff (2013-2017).

A complete agenda is available on the Policy Summit website.

For information on ticket availability, contact Jacob Sodeman at or 360-943-1600.

« Back to Main
Renew Ex-Im Now

Help Washington growers, manufacturers get their products to the world

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington is the most trade-driven station in the nation per-capita, with more than 40% of our jobs connected in some way to trade. Manufactured goods make up 82% of our state's exports and Washington is the third-largest exporter of food and agriculture products in the country.

That's why it's critically important that Congress and the presidential administration renew the charter for the Export-Import Bank, which is set to expire at the end of September.

The Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that provides export credit to oversees purchasers of U.S. goods and services. It contributes to the economy by supporting American jobs, and it doesn't cost taxpayers anything. Since 2000, the Ex-Im Bank has provided nearly $15 billion to the U.S. Treasury...

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Valley Business World
Ideas for Career-Connected Learning

How Vocational Education Got a 21st Century Reboot

With schools across 10 states, the P-TECH program prepares its students for good jobs that corporations pay well for.

The P-TECH idea was invented in 2010, when then-IBM CEO Sam Palmisano was chatting up his friend Joel Klein, then New York City's schools chancellor. During a rain delay at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Palmisano told Klein that the tech industry was having trouble finding young people with the skills it needed. Klein proposed opening a six-year school with the City University of New York and curriculum input from IBM. Students could work IBM internships and, if they passed a company certification test, would be first in line for job interviews at IBM. Palmisano agreed. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the plan in September 2010 and gave the partners a year to open the school.

When Klein and Palmisano shook on the deal, vocational education was just beginning to emerge from the academic backwater where it had languished for decades. Conceived a century ago so high school students could learn a trade if they weren't going to college, vocational education had developed a reputation as a dumping ground for students who weren't doing well in regular academics. Harvard's influential Pathways to Prosperity report, released in 2011, warned that nearly two-thirds of new jobs of the 2010s would require more than a high school education -- yet only 40 percent of Americans had obtained a bachelor's degree or associate's degree by their mid-20s.

By contrast, the report noted, 40 to 70 percent of high school kids in many European countries spent three years in career programs that combined classroom and workplace experience, where they earned diplomas or certificates strongly valued in the labor market...

Read the full report in Politico