August 25, 2014
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Top Stories

Sen. Cantwell visits L'Ecole No. 41 as deadline to renew Ex-Im Bank approaches

The federal charter for the Export-Import Bank ends a month from now. Renewing the bank is crucial for export-related businesses such as L'Ecole No. 41 -- and for the U.S. Treasury, which received more than $1 billion from the bank last year.
Read more »

New 777X composite wing factory attracting businesses to Washington

More than 30 companies want to come to Washington or expand existing operations here thanks to Boeing's new 777X composite wing factory being built in Everett.
Read more »

Workforce development takes center stage as employers can't find skilled workers

The Puget Sound Business Journal recently took a look at the growing problem businesses face finding skilled workers with a special report on workforce development. AWB President Kris Johnson contributed a guest column to the newspaper's special report. Read more »

Study finds proposed Port of Vancouver oil transfer terminal could generate $2 billion for economy

A report issued Friday by a Boston consulting firm says a proposed oil transfer terminal at the Port of Vancouver could generate up to $2 billion in revenue over an assumed 15-year facility life, a figure significantly higher than earlier estimates by Tesoro and Savage, the two companies looking to build it. Read more »

2014 Competitiveness Greenbook now available online as well as print

Did you know that Washington is responsible for just 0.21 percent of the world's carbon emissions? Or that Washington ranks second in the nation for renewable energy generation? Keep these and other useful facts close at hand with the newly released online and mobile version of the 2014 Competitiveness Greenbook.
Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

Register now for second half of AWB candidate interviews

AWB began its election season interviews with candidates last week. The schedule resumes Sept. 3 with stops in Vancouver, Spokane, Olympia, Federal Way, Everett and Bellevue. Sign up now to meet the candidates and determine which ones would help improve the state's business climate. Read more »

Time change: Health Care Committee to meet Tuesday

Due to scheduling conflicts, the AWB Health Care Committee's meeting Tuesday has been moved to the afternoon. Members are urged to attend this meeting with the project director for the state's Health Care Price Transparency Project. Read more »

AWB water, air and land committees to meet this week

The AWB Water Quality Committee will meet Tuesday. The Air Quality Committee will meet Wednesday, with several members of the Department of Ecology on hand to answer questions. The Land Use Committee meets on Thursday. All meetings are at 10 a.m. Mark your calendars and contact Brandon Houskeeper or Mike Ennis at 800.521.9325 to learn more.

Take part in AWB's regional meetings Sept. 3-11

Meet with AWB leaders and share your story of how Washington's business climate is working -- or how it needs to improve. Help influence AWB's 2015 legislative priorities by visiting a regional meeting near you. They begin Sept. 3 in Vancouver and conclude Sept. 11 in Bellevue.
Read more »

Other News

WRC: McCleary not the only cloud on state's budgetary horizon

In a new policy brief, the Washington Research Council says the Legislature faces major budgetary challenges in 2015, even before it begins tackling the multi-billion dollar McCleary education funding obligation. And if voters approve the class-size reduction initiative I-1351, the bleak outlook will substantially worsen. Read more »

Oregon denies permit to Columbia River export terminal as cities in B.C. and California say yes

The need for fair, timely review of proposed export terminals in Bellingham and Longview became more apparent last week after actions at other West Coast ports. Regulators in Vancouver, B.C., and Long Beach, California approved permits for bulk export terminals to ship coal and other American products overseas. Meanwhile, in Oregon, a key permit was denied for a similar facility along the Columbia River. Read more »

Employment Security Department will lay off 149 workers

As Washington's unemployment rate continues to drop, the state agency that works with the unemployed is also reducing its workforce.
Read more »

AWB closed on Monday; Fast Facts to be sent out Tuesday

AWB's Olympia office will be closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday. Fast Facts will be sent out Tuesday, Sept. 2.

AWB Events & Resources

Final details falling into place for Policy Summit

Statewide business leaders, top policy makers and internationally known speakers are all lining up to join AWB's 25th anniversary Policy Summit. Join us for a milestone celebration of 25 years helping Washington's people and businesses thrive. Read more »

Join U.S. Chamber and Boeing at seminar to help strengthen cyber supply chain

The global supply chain depends on cyber security, but seemingly continual news about hackers and stolen passwords can make the problem seem insurmountable. Don't despair -- prepare! Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Boeing for a Sept. 23 seminar on how to strengthen the digital underpinnings of our global economy
Read more »

Registrations now open for Oct. 28 Manufacturing Summit

Registration has opened for the 2014 AWB Manufacturing Summit. This Oct. 28 event in Kent will highlight the innovation and growth of Washington's manufacturers.
Read more »

They Said It

Ice Water Bath

"Thanks, Jay." ~ AWB President Kris Johnson, after a bucket of ice water was dumped on his head as part of the ALS ice bucket challenge. Johnson was challenged by Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, to join the social media phenomenon. Johnson, Timmons, Bill Gates, Russell Wilson and thousands of other people were doused in ice water to raise money and awareness for ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease. Watch the video of Johnson's ice bucket challenge here, and donate to ALS research here.




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A WISE RULING

Court got it right with pension decisions

By Richard Davis, Washington Research Council

Pension policy can be insidious. Seemingly small benefit changes turn costly over time. That's why it makes no sense for lawmakers to tamper with established plans. But when they do, they should give themselves a clear out.

That's what state legislators did with two pension enhancements adopted when the economy was more robust. Recognizing that the good times may not always roll, they included language reserving the right to amend or repeal the enhancements. When they exercised that right, public employee unions took them to court. While lower courts held for the unions, the state Supreme Court last week upheld the Legislature's actions, saving the state billions of dollars in pension costs.

Click to read the full column from The News Tribune
AWB IS HIRING

Help AWB find a great director of events and sponsorships


The Association of Washington Business seeks a dynamic, results oriented leader to coordinate meetings, events and sponsorships. The optimum candidate possesses a proven track record of increasing success in attendance, revenue and sponsorships.

This position is responsible for all components of member programming, facilities and sponsorship revenue for AWB's events, seminars, and initiatives while enhancing members' policy goals.

Click for the full job description at AWB.org
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