July 27, 2020
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AWB wins two platinum awards for creative public outreach

AWB received two platinum awards last week from the Hermes Creative Awards 14th-annual Creative Competition.

One award recognized the PR campaign put together for last fall’s Manufacturing Week bus tour. The award recognized AWB's success in the goal of raising public awareness about the critical role of Washington's manufacturing economy. Among the results of the campaign were this photo book (with video) and a social media roundup, as well as 22 news stories across the state. AWB staff made 175 phone calls over 12 days to successfully garner that media attention. Elected officials also took notice: 14 local, nine state and four federal office holders attended tour events.

The second award recognized AWB’s response to the coronavirus crisis. This response included new webinars, video and newsletter communications, and work to facilitate communications between the business community and government response to the pandemic -- taking advantage of AWB's unique role as the state's chamber of commerce and manufacturing association. Among the wide range of work that earned the top award:

  • The Employer Resources webinar series, which covered contact tracing, reopening safely, and direct communications with the governor, members of Congress and key state and federal officials.
  • The COVID-19 Resources for Employers web page, which features everything from grant opportunities to the latest public health guidance. This web page drove a significant increase in website traffic this spring.
  • A new way for businesses to buy personal protective equipment(PPE) through www.reboundandrecovery.org. This website connects Washington manufacturers -- many of whom have shifted their operations to make PPE -- with small and medium-sized businesses so they can safely reopen. Notably, this website also offers a business tool kit with free signs, communication templates and more to help businesses reopen.
  • The Stay Safe Washington campaign, which offers free resources including downloadable posters, videos, social media content and more for employers to use.
  • The Member Care Campaign, which involved all AWB staff taking the time to contact each of the association's more than 7,000 members to ask how we could help.

"This award reflects on all departments, membership, operations, events, government affairs and communications," said AWB President Kris Johnson. "This is a difficult time for everyone, and I’m proud of the way our staff has stepped up to serve employers."

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Stay Safe Washington
Prepare for Post-Pandemic Life

When the mills close, what's next?

By Mac Alexander Macdonald

What do communities do when their chief sources of income evaporate?

"Re-galvanize and reinvent," says Marc Abshire, executive director of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce. But what can we do as citizens to contribute to making this a place where industry wants to locate? What will people in the future want to purchase or acquire, and then how do we attract those companies, while nurturing the businesses we currently have? Complacency is not an option, and neither is hope alone.

For a company to partner with an area, it needs a ready and ample workforce. Are people being trained for the skills needed? Will enough housing be available? Will company executives and workers feel comfortable having their medical needs met? Will all employees feel comfortable having their kids educated in the local schools?

Robert Duvall's second famous line in the movie "Apocalypse Now" was, "Someday this war is going to end." Someday this pandemic will be over, so we need to prepare now. Communities like mine need to lay aside rivalries and attract passengers to their future train. It has been well quoted: When the time for action arrives, the time for preparation has passed.

Read the full guest column in The Seattle Times