October 7, 2019
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AWB brings manufacturing message to Western Washington, heads east tomorrow

The 2019 Manufacturing Week bus tour launched Wednesday morning in Vancouver at SEH America, the first of dozens of stops across the state. AWB’s third-annual bus tour to highlight the importance of Washington’s manufacturing sector has already raised the profile for a sector that produces nearly 12 percent of the state’s total economic output and employs almost 288,000 people. The tour has drawn significant media attention and strengthened connections between AWB leaders and manufacturing members as the tour travelled from Southwest Washington north to the Puget Sound and Seattle areas. It resumed this morning in Ferndale.

"We’re proud to represent such extraordinary employers, from thousands of family businesses — many of them starting in a garage or basement — to some of the world’s biggest companies," AWB President Kris Johnson said in a news release announcing the tour. "We look forward to hearing their stories along the way and learning how we can help them advocate for smart policies that help manufacturers grow."

Last week’s tour stops included SEH America, a business that makes silicon wafers and employs about 1,000 people. The company also leads innovative workforce training programs in local high schools and colleges. At G. Loomis in Woodland, company officials showed off some high-quality fishing rods. Other stops included Walmart in Woodland, where the retail giant stocks and sells Washington-made products like Vitafusion gummies.

The tour also featured Churchill Glove Co. of Centralia, which was founded in 1895 and makes high-quality gloves for customers in the U.S. and around the world.

Employee Terri Larkin said the company’s owners are wonderful. “This is a dream job. I really enjoy it,” she said.

Other Oct. 2 stops included Lacey MakerSpace, Greer Steel in Lakewood, and Feed Commodities of Tacoma. Johnson and AWB Vice President of Government Affairs Gary Chandler spent Tuesday evening meeting with local manufacturing CEOs, to listen and learn about the challenges facing Washington employers. Check out the Day 1 wrap-up video here.

Thursday’s stops covered Orion Industries, Skills, Inc., the Seattle-Tacoma Box Company, Out of the Box Manufacturing and Sea-Tac International Airport in the South Puget Sound region. The Day 2 wrap-up is here.

The tour continued through Seattle on Friday, with stops at Boeing, Pioneer Human Services, Cascade Designs and Seattle Makers. The Day 3 wrap-up is here.

The tour has received positive coverage in every media market. Check out the following highlights:

The tour picked up this morning in Ferndale with stops at Alcoa Intalco Works and Phillips 66 before heading south to Sedro Woolley where it stopped at Broadcast Tools, a company that makes equipment for the broadcast radio industry. Other stops included Everett Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Training and Education Center(AMTEC) and Fluid Motion in Monroe.

This year’s tour is expected to include several dozen employers and cover more than 1,400 miles.

Follow AWB’s 2019 Manufacturing Tour in real time on AWB’s Olympia Business Watch blog, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, and Vimeo channel.

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