August 13, 2018
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Top Stories

It's time! Connect with Congress tomorrow at AWB's Federal Affairs Summit

There's still time to connect with Congress by attending AWB's Federal Affairs Summit tomorrow in Tacoma. Talk in person with U.S. Reps. Suzan DelBene, Denny Heck, Derek Kilmer, Rick Larsen, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Adam Smith. Hear the latest via exclusive video messages from U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. And join timely talks on trade, the U.S. Supreme Court and more. Tickets are available at the door at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center.

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Top-two primary election was business as usual, with a few surprises

Last Tuesday's primary election results are setting up ballot battles for November. Several incumbents didn't make the top two spots to head to face off this fall. Challengers, especially on the Democratic side, say they feel the wind at their backs going into the general election.

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As trade tensions grow, Washington farmers and exporters are urging a step back

American tariffs over steel, aluminum and other international products are prompting retaliatory tariffs that target American products. Washington, one of the most trade-driven states in the country, is particularly exposed to the impacts as trade tensions increase.

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EPA reconsiders Washington's water quality rules, as requested by AWB and other employer groups

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is following up on a request by AWB and other employer advocates and will take another look at water quality standards it approved two years ago.

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Federal Issues

Four U.S. senators sponsor bill to speed up permitting for Millennium Bulk Terminals project

Republican U.S. senators from Montana, Wyoming, West Virginia and Oklahoma sponsored a bill that would narrow the scope of the Clean Water Act as a way to speed up permitting for the Millennium Bulk Terminals project in Longview.

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Other News

Carbon fee initiative officially makes statewide November ballot

Initiative 1631 was formally approved to appear on the November general election ballot. If passed, the initiative would be the nation's first direct fee, or charge, on carbon emissions. It's promising to be a major fight, with money flowing in from national groups. AWB opposes the initiative, which would increase fuel and energy costs for Washingtonians and create a major new bureaucracy, with no proof the new fee would have impact on Washington's carbon emissions.

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Veterans graduate tech training to land new jobs at Amazon

Amazon has welcomed five new graduates of a program that trains veterans with technology skills. A new apprenticeship program is already having a positive impact on Washington's workforce.

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Citing high labor costs, Seattle restaurant to experiment with automated kiosks

The first Shake Shack restaurant in Seattle will have more automated kiosks than cashiers when it opens next month. The devices will let customers make their own orders and pay.

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Everett Community College adds a new shift for aviation maintenance program

Everett Community College has landed a $440,000 grant which will allow the college to expand its Aviation Maintenance Technician program. The school will offer evening classes this fall.

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New leader of Greater Seattle Partners is ready to listen, learn

Brian McGowan, the new CEO of Greater Seattle Partners, said he's ready to listen a lot and is ready to learn about the Puget Sound region as he works to build a new regional economic development organization. Getting the region to work together will be his biggest challenge, he said.

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NASA announces nine astronauts for SpaceX, Boeing test flights

Nine astronauts have been selected by NASA to ride the first commercial space capsules into space next year. SpaceX and Boeing aim to launch test flights of their capsules later this year or in early 2019.

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Employment Security Department offering webinar on new Paid Family and Medical Leave program

Learn about Washington's new Paid Family and Medical Leave program with a free webinar on Aug. 17, offered by the Washington state Employment Security Department.

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Don C. Brunell Scholarship accepting applications for business-minded students

Applications are open for the Don C. Brunell Scholarship. This annual scholarship helps advance the studies of future business leaders. Applications are available online, and are due by Aug. 31.

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AWB Events & Resources

Register today for AWB's 2018 Policy Summit

Reserve your space now for AWB's Policy Summit at the Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum Sept. 18-20. This special event, located at a beautiful resort in the Cascades, offers excellent panels, guest speakers and networking opportunities for AWB's employer community.

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Get ready for Manufacturing Day and AWB's Manufacturing Week tour in October

Mark your calendars for Washington's biggest celebration of manufacturing. As part of national Manufacturing Day celebrations, AWB will again tour the state in a custom-wrapped bus this October. AWB's Manufacturing Week will celebrate and promote the vital role manufacturing plays in supporting Washington's communities and economy.

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Rural Jobs Summit to be held this fall in Longview

AWB's ongoing focus on statewide economic development, which started with two summits last year, will continue with the 2018 Rural Jobs Summit Nov. 8-9 at Lower Columbia College in Longview. Reserve your spot here.

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Best of the Blog

Manufacturing, transportation leaders to address trade at Federal Affairs Summit

Leaders of a successful manufacturing company and a transportation firm will speak and share their experiences at AWB's Federal Affairs Summit in Tacoma next Tuesday. Read the full blog post here.

Tweet of the Week

#GrowHere 2018

They Said It

Race to Space

"Sort of grown-up capture the flag." ~ Former NASA space shuttle commander Chris Ferguson, who now flies as a civilian astronaut for Boeing, describing the race between private aerospace firms, all competing to develop commercially successful civilian space flight programs.

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Our D.C. namesake must govern, lead to protect agricultural interests in state

By The Columbian Editorial Board

When the president announced plans to increase tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from China, Mexico and other countries, experts warned that retaliatory tariffs from trading partners would target American workers. Trade wars -- like all wars -- result in collateral damage, and that damage is being felt by Washington growers. Locally produced crops such as apples, wheat, cherries and hay have been included on tariff hit lists from trading partners.

Last year at this time, according to the Washington Grain Commission, the Northwest had exported wheat worth $51 million to China. Now? "We haven't sold anything this year," Scott Yates of the grain commission told the Tri-City Herald....

Meanwhile, congressional members also have failed to address the labor shortage that is hampering farmers. Agriculture relies heavily upon seasonal workers, who often are undocumented; with a crackdown on border controls and with deportations increasing under the Obama administration and further increasing in the Trump era, farmers are having difficulty finding workers to pick their crops. While it is essential that immigration laws be enforced, there also is a need to adjust regulations allowing for seasonal workers, lest crops go unpicked...

Read the full editorial in The Columbian
We Can Make Great Things

How to inspire our next generation of manufacturing leaders

By Jill Jusko, Senior Editor, IndustryWeek

You can look to the past and the future for inspiration, or you can throw open your factory doors today.

Manufacturing Day is Oct. 5. As of July 30, some 532 events had been scheduled, according to, with many more surely to come. That said, 532 is a fraction of the manufacturing facilities across North America, and many of you are looking for workers now, or soon.

This is your opportunity to show potential employees what you've got. This is your opportunity to fire the imagination of the next generation of manufacturers. This opportunity is not a conference, or a historical site; it is a real-life demonstration of manufacturing today.

It's two months until Manufacturing Day. It's not too late to get involved.

Read the full column in IndustryWeek
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