December 16, 2019
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AWB joins White House summit on child care, paid leave and working families

Barely a week after AWB's 2019 D.C. Fly-in, AWB Government Affairs Director Amy Anderson was back in the nation's capital last week for another set of high-level meetings -- including one at the White House.

Anderson was joined by AWB Board Member Nicole Sohn (executive director of Journey Discovery Center in Spokane) and state Rep. Kristine Reeves, D-Federal Way, for meetings on early childhood education and the need for accessible, affordable, high-quality child care.

The meetings included the White House Child Care & Paid Leave Forum, opened by presidential advisor Ivanka Trump and concluding with remarks by the president.

AWB is part of a broad coalition in Washington working toward increasing access to high-quality, affordable child care. It's an issue that's important to employees, employers, families and communities.

In September, AWB helped release a report showing the lack of child care is costing Washington employers on more than $2 billion per year in employee turnover or missed work. The total cost to the state economy tops more than $6.5 billion per year.

Anderson will be in Moses Lake and Spokane this week as part of an ongoing series of in-state listening sessions. Contact her to learn more.

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Spreading Christmas Joy
Holiday Kids Tree

Sharing the Spirit of the Season Across Our State

By AWB President Kris Johnson

As the state's business and manufacturing association, AWB is proud to lead a number of statewide efforts. Perhaps the most heartwarming is our job each December to coordinate the decorations and lighting of the state's holiday tree. Those decorations are always bundled up after the new year and donated to a local children's hospital.

Washington employers have donated a total of $438,000 to the Holiday Kids' Tree project over the last three decades. Just before the annual tree-lighting ceremony, we give bags of toys and checks to representatives from rural fire districts who distribute the food and toys to families in need. This year we were able to spread holiday cheer to families across the state, from Camano Island to Chelan and Walla Walla.

And speaking of trees, your state Capitol this year was filled with the greenery of a 34-foot noble fir, donated by Weyerhaeuser from its Vail Tree Farm near Rainier.

The tree was harvested from a small area that is being cleared to make room for a series of wind turbines at the new Skookumchuck Wind Farm. This 38-turbine project, a partnership between Puget Sound Energy, Weyerhaeuser, TransAlta and RES, will generate 137 megawatts of power -- enough to power 48,000 homes. That will be a gift for generations to come...

Read the full guest column in The (Centralia) Chronicle