July 27, 2020
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Washington employers promote mask-wearing to protect public health, economy

Wearing a mask in public is more important than ever as coronavirus cases continue to climb.

AWB and a broad coalition of employer advocates have launched a unified campaign urging Washingtonians to wear a face covering while in public. "Stay Safe Washington" calls on people to wear masks, wash their hands and practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 so that businesses and the economy can stay open.

The idea is simple: urging the public to wear face masks to save lives and protect jobs.

The campaign includes downloadable material that employers can share on their websites and via social media, including 30- and 60-second videos, posters, radio spots and social media assets.

"In spite of financial setbacks due to the economic shutdown, struggling businesses in your community have invested heavily in protective measures to meet government guidelines — so they can reopen," the campaign notes. "But this is a team effort. As COVID-19 cases trend upward, we need your help. Please, always remember to wear a mask when you’re in a public place so our businesses can serve you. Recent studies indicate you are 65% less likely to be infected if you wear a mask.

"We’ve come too far to turn back. Please do your part and wear a mask to preserve lives, protect jobs, and help our economy get back on its feet."

Please share the Stay Safe Washington site with your employees, customers and friends.

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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