June 29, 2020
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Call for entries: Washington Excellence Awards and Manufacturing Excellence Awards

We believe that Washington is a globally competitive state built on a solid foundation of innovation, a world-class workforce, and a quality of place second to none. In support of this mission, we invite you to participate in our annual awards program so we can highlight your excellence in business.

Previously known as our Evening of Excellence awards, the Washington Excellence Awards and the Manufacturing Excellence Awards celebrate businesses that demonstrate best practices in a variety of categories. All it takes is five minutes to nominate a business for these awards and help AWB tell the many stories of Washington employers making a positive difference in their communities and our world.

Featured Washington Excellence Award categories this week:

  • Washington Achieve Award: Recognizing a Washington state business that has excelled in creating, implementing or supporting a high-caliber education and/or workforce development system aligned with closing the employment gap. The 2019 Achieve Award went to the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) for its role in supporting the highly-skilled workforce needed to power Washington’s strong manufacturing sector. AJAC was founded in 2008 to help close the skills gap in aerospace and advanced manufacturing by providing registered apprenticeship training to people pursuing high-demand occupations like machinists, industrial maintenance mechanics and tool and die makers.
  • Leading Environmental Practices Award: Recognizing a Washington state business that has put a priority on environmental improvement, education or outreach to their business sector and/or community. The 2019 Leading Environmental Practices Award went to Avista Corporation, headquartered in Spokane, for its investments in renewable energy through expanding its wind generating capacity, piloting a battery system to store renewable energy, and its partnership with Washington State University on a major smart grid demonstration project. Avista is the regional, investor-owned utility serving four northwestern states including parts of Eastern Washington.
  • Washington Advance Award: Recognizing a Washington state business that has had a significant impact in its sector, contributing to the advancement of its community and/or statewide economy. The 2019 Advance Award went to Emerson Salon, located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, for its role in business coaching and professional development to commercial tenants, and its support of local community organizations. The salon spearheaded the organization of thousands of cosmetologists and small business owners in opposition to several bills that were harmful to their industry in the 2019 legislative session.

Watch the 2019 awards gala highlight video here.

Click here to read about all the Washington Excellence Award and Manufacturing Excellence Award categories, including new categories for 2020. Employers are encouraged to enter self-nominations. There are even some categories open to non-members because we believe that, as the state’s chamber of commerce and manufacturing association, we represent all businesses in our state and want to recognize and promote the kind of excellence in business that creates prosperity for all.

So even if your favorite business is not an AWB member, you can still nominate them for a number of these prestigious, statewide awards.

Entries and nominations are all submitted online. Nominated companies are then invited to submit supporting documentation and all entries are peer-reviewed by member companies with expertise in the related award categories.

Manufacturing Excellence Award winner announcements will be released during the Manufacturing Week Bus Tour. Washington Excellence Award winners will be announced during our annual Evening of Excellence gala. Details on both events will be announced later in the fall.

Don’t wait! Get your entry or nomination in before Friday, July 31.

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Fixing child-care shortage and Washington's economic recovery go hand in hand

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

As Washington gets back to business, many job-seeking parents of young children face a frustrating double bind. Even if they do find employment that will help them provide for their family, the short supply of quality, affordable child care makes it impossible for them to take the job.

Nearly half -- 47% -- of unemployed parents cited lack of child care as a barrier to re-employment in a May survey, according to a state Child Care Collaborative Task Force child-care industry assessment. Since March, more than 1,100 licensed child-care providers have at least temporarily closed, exacerbating a shortage flagged by state lawmakers long before COVID-19...

Even before this spring's upheaval, nearly half of Washington parents reported difficulty finding and keeping affordable child care. Twenty-seven percent reported leaving a job, school or training because of a lack of consistent, affordable care, according to a Department of Commerce report.

This is not just a problem for working families; it is a drain on the state's economy. Commerce estimates that employee turnover and missed work due to child-care issues create an annual $2.08 billion drag on the state economy. That number triples when figuring in opportunity costs.

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Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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Big Tech isn't the only loser in Trump's visa freeze

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The move sparked an avalanche of criticism from technology companies. They said the measures will hurt their ability to recruit talent and have deeper negative ramifications for the economy.

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Read the full column in The Seattle Times