June 29, 2020
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
AWB Events & Resources

AWB invites you to "Connect with Congress" on August 11

The Association of Washington Business is hosting it’s 2020 Federal Affairs Summit on Tuesday, August 11, as a virtual event. AWB members, business leaders, and policy-makers whose business is impacted by federal policy can connect with their congressional delegation to engage in discussions and inform our federal representatives how their proposed legislation may impact Washington companies and workers.

We are pleased to have Kelly Fukai, manager of public and external affairs at Spokane International Airport, as our event moderator this year.

Did you know AWB advocates on behalf of Washington businesses at both the state and federal level? Federal policies have an outsized impact here in Washington, where international trade is a cornerstone of the economy. This is why AWB is convening a conversation on federal policy.

We have invited the full slate of our state’s congressional delegation to participate in 30-minute time slots that include remarks and the opportunity for them to engage with our members in Q&A. Additional expert speakers, including some of our international trade partners, will discuss trade topics including the USMCA and the current state of the U.S. amid the coronavirus response and recovery.

We invite you to join the conversation online and come together with us to shape federal policy to better contribute to a safe, healthy and prosperous community for all.

Register online now!

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Now More Than Ever, Health Insurance Matters
Invest in Early Childhood Education

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.

Addressing Washington's child-care shortage will not be easy, especially during the tough economic times ahead. But quality, affordable child care is a linchpin to the state's economic recovery. More must be done to ensure this essential sector does not fail.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
Foreign Workers Support Our Economy

Big Tech isn't the only loser in Trump's visa freeze

By Tae Kim

On Monday, Trump signed an executive order that freezes access to a number of work visas through year-end, including the H-1B visa for highly-skilled foreigners, which is primarily given to workers in the technology industry. The issuance of new green cards will also stay halted until the end of the year. The administration said the order would free up jobs for unemployed Americans, adding it would block about 500,000 people from entering the country this year.

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.

An Amazon.com Inc. spokesperson called the order "shortsighted," adding it prevents "high skilled professionals from entering the country and contributing to America's economic recovery, [putting] American's global competitiveness at risk."

A Facebook Inc. representative said Trump is using the pandemic as justification for "limiting" immigration, which will make "our country's recovery even more difficult."

And Microsoft Corp. President Brad Smith said on social media, "Now is not the time to cut our nation off from the world's talent or create uncertainty and anxiety."

Read the full column in The Seattle Times