September 23, 2019
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Clark County is now home to Washington's newest Center of Excellence

A new state-supported job training and workforce education center has opened in Clark County, The Columbian reports.

The Center of Excellence for Semiconductors and Electronic Manufacturing intends to serve as a liaison between local schools and industry, the newspaper reports. This both provides career opportunities for students and helps employers maintain a skilled workforce.

There are 11 other Centers of Excellence in Washington, each "built around an industry that plays a major role in the local economy, such as a clean energy center at Centralia College and a marine manufacturing and technology center at Skagit Valley College,” the newspaper reports.

In Clark County the focus is semiconductors and electronics manufacturing. Silicon wafer manufacturer SEH America is located there.

The Southwest Washington High Technology Council “is pleased to now have a single point of contact that we can reach out to,” said Ben Bagherpour, vice president of site services and government affairs at SEH America. “The associate director will be our point person to understand high-tech manufacturing companies’ workforce and education needs and to work with the K-12 and higher education systems to develop and align programs to meet these needs.”

SEH America has been active in the effort to create a more skilled workforce to support the economy.

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Arguments Against a State Income Tax

An income tax is not in our best interest

By Washington Treasurer Duane Davidson

Today, we are at a point where Washington legislators need to reexamine their financial practices and consider the consequences of their actions that have led some to consider establishing a state income tax.

The historically unpopular notion of introducing an income tax is not exactly new to Washington, yet it has seen growing interest from income tax supporters in big city government and from certain state lawmakers who would pass income tax legislation if given the opportunity.

As Washington State Treasurer, four-term Benton County Treasurer, and licensed CPA for over 25 years, I have cultivated an automatic sense of duty to advocate for fiscal responsibility. When I see such disregard for taxpayers, my obligation is to stand up for what is right on their behalf.

Many of the legislature's self-induced financial woes have readily available remedies that do not involve raising taxes or adding an income tax, making it apparent to me that as a state we have some serious financial issues within our legislative practices we need to start addressing...

Taxing income would weaken Washington's thriving economy and reduce our capacity to compete for business. We need to agree on improving our habits and reigning in state debt before considering the addition of new taxes. An income tax is not in our best interest.

Read the full guest column in The Tri-City Herald