December 2, 2019
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This week: Join Gov. Inslee and a 10-year-old 'change maker' at AWB's Holiday Kids' Tree lighting

For more than three decades, AWB, its members, and other generous people from around the state have brought the spirit of Christmas and the holidays to the state Capitol through the Holiday Kids’ Tree Project.

This week's festivities begin on Tuesday, when a tree donated by Weyerhaeuser and harvested from the Skookumchuck Wind Farm site in the Vail Tree Farm will arrive at the Capitol campus.

This year's tree decoration theme is "Timeless Toys." The tree will feature old-fashioned toys, vintage Golden Books, and classic board games, among other items.

Then, on Friday, Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. at the Capitol rotunda in Olympia, join us for the Holiday Kids' Tree Lighting Ceremony. Gov. Jay Inslee will be in attendance, and we will present checks to fire departments for the Holiday Kids’ Tree Project. The tree-lighting ceremony is free and open to the public.

This year's tree-lighter is a 10-year-old fifth-grader from western Lewis County. Jayden Nelson has spent the last two years tirelessly fundraising for Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. Her project began after she read a book on "change makers" in school. She donated her birthday money that year to Mary Bridge, and she now has raised nearly $5,000 for the children's hospital.

The Holiday Kids' Tree Project includes grants and gifts for rural fire districts to donate to needy families in their communities across the state. AWB members and individual donors have given $420,000 over the last 31 years through these annual gifts. This year, 19 rural fire districts will receive $500 to $1,000 each, plus a large bag of toys, to give away to families in need.

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Holiday Inspiration
Good Building

Cross-laminated timber can help the Northwest lead on the Green New Deal

By Seattle City Councilmember Abel Pacheco and his director of communications, Conor Bronsdon

We live in a region of pioneers and conservationists in a land built on the back of the timber industry. The idea of sustainable working forests fits not just our historical industrial strengths, it fits our regional ethos. In the Pacific Northwest, we want to live green. It's time for Seattle to take the lead on mass timber. With cross-laminated timber (CLT) and other mass timber products we can move to solve our housing crisis, develop needed density, and address climate change -- all while staying true to our regional culture and history.

By using CLT in the development of much-needed housing we will actively remove and store carbon from the atmosphere -- every cubic meter of timber growth captures one ton of carbon from the atmosphere. Construction would simultaneously emit less carbon.

Encouraging CLT usage could also jump-start stalled rural economies that have languished since the logging industry slowed down. Construction startup Katerra opened the nation's largest capacity CLT manufacturing facility in Spokane and Vaagen Brothers Lumber, which has been in Washington for four generations, is expanding CLT production operations in Colville. With the state making code changes fall that allow for the use of mass timber in buildings as tall as 18 stories, the region is primed to use CLT to address our affordable housing crisis.

Read the full op-ed in The Puget Sound Business Journal
A more resilient workforce

Prepare students for technical careers

By The Seattle Times editorial board

Once, all it took to secure a satisfying and well-paying job was a high school diploma and a good work ethic. But that story has largely changed.

That's why Washington's public schools must offer robust, high-quality Career and Technical Education programs to help prepare the state's vocationally minded students for career success.

A college education should be within reach of all students with the aptitude and interest to pursue a four-year degree, but not everyone wants to follow that path. At the same time, there is a high and consistent workforce demand for skilled tradespeople, without whom Washington's economy would shudder to a halt.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times.