January 13, 2020
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Don't miss your chance to connect with lawmakers at Legislative Day & Hill Climb on Jan. 28

AWB members are invited to join us Jan. 28 and take part in "Capitol Conversations" in Olympia. The AWB Legislative Day & Hill Climb allows you to take business issues and concerns directly to our elected officials. Network with policymakers and business leaders as you help keep business priorities top-of-mind. Your participation helps AWB tell the story of how the current legislative agenda impacts private-sector employers across Washington. In addition to the Hill Climb, the event includes policy updates at the AWB offices.

Haven't done something like this before? That's not a problem! AWB staff will prepare you for your meetings with legislators, with all the available resources you might need, including helping direct you to the right locations and equipping you with talking points among other resources in your Hill Climb packet.

If your business is a member of AWB, Washington's Chamber of Commerce, register today in order to inform state legislative agendas that address critical issues to the competitiveness of our state economy. Non-members can register for the reception, but the hill climb and legislative update are members-only exclusive-access opportunities.

AWB's hotel room block has sold out, but other accommodations are available at nearby B&Bs, including Marie Bed & Breakfast and Swanton Inn & Spa. Hotels in Tumwater and Lacey also have availability. If you are still in need of accommodation, contact our events team at jacobs@awb.org, and we will do our best to help you find a room.

Join the conversation today by taking part in the 2020 AWB Legislative Day & Hill Climb!

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Effective Workforce Education

Path to apprenticeships now starts at high school

By Nate Nehring, a Snohomish County Council member

A four-year university education can be valuable for some, but many could benefit from greater access to pathways into the trades. While many college graduates now work minimum wage jobs and are burdened with student debt, high-paying trades jobs with competitive benefits sit empty.

In Snohomish County, we are working proactively to increase access to family-wage careers. Over the last two years, we have built a coalition of representatives from labor, industry and education. Community leaders from these sectors have come together to talk about how we can work together to provide meaningful solutions to the problem of a workforce shortage. What began as a group of stakeholders around a table has resulted in the creation of the Regional Apprenticeship Pathways (RAP) Program, which is being hailed as a potential statewide model for workforce development.

As a result of in-depth discussions between sectors and site tours of existing workforce development programs, the concept of a pre-apprenticeship program within the high school setting was organically produced. There currently exists several state-certified apprenticeship programs for a variety of skilled trades, from carpenters to electricians to laborers. What has been lacking is a pipeline of students with the basic skills and confidence to pursue these apprenticeship programs. The average apprentice is in his or her late 20s before beginning a program, representing an entire lost decade of post-high school productivity. As a group, our goal has been to bridge that 10-year gap...

Read the full guest column in The (Everett) Herald