September 4, 2018
Fast Facts
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Top Stories Federal Issues Other News AWB Events & Resources Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

Two weeks away: Education leaders, CEOs and others to share timely insights at AWB's Policy Summit

AWB's annual Policy Summit at Suncadia Resort is shaping up to be an event full of insights. Hear from the leaders of the state's four-year research universities, community and technical college leaders and some of the state's leading CEOs. Take part in panel discussions on taxes, housing, growth management and more. The event rounds out with networking and, of course, a dynamic keynote speaker.

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Congressional committee to meet in Pasco to discuss benefits of Columbia and Snake river dams

Members of Congress will travel to Eastern Washington to see firsthand the economic benefits provided by the system of hydroelectric dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-4, requested the hearing, saying that the dams support more than 100,000 jobs and supply nearly 40 percent of the region's energy needs. The hearings come as the Tri-Cities RiverFest this weekend will show support for the Snake River Dams. AWB President Kris Johnson will take part in both the congressional hearing and RiverFest.  Read more »

Washington examining regulations, watercraft traffic, dams to reach balanced solution on orca whale population

There is renewed focus on the orca whales that frequent Puget Sound -- from addressing boat noise to ensuring ample food supplies. With a variety of proposals to help the orcas survive, AWB is part of the discussion, with a focus on what works for both the whales and the people of the state.

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School delayed in several districts as teachers walk out over contract disputes

The Legislature's McCleary legislation provided billions of dollars in new K-12 funding -- sparking contentious contract negotiations across the state. Teachers in several districts are striking, while other districts negotiated double-digit pay increases with just days left before the first day of school.

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AWB's 2018 Legislative Review, including vote record, is in the mail and online

AWB's annual Legislative Review is hot off the press and is in the mail to members and lawmakers. It's also available online. The 49-page review offers both a wide overview and a detailed look at the good, bad and missed opportunities of the 2018 session. It also includes the much-anticipated lawmaker voting record.

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Summer edition of Washington Business magazine looks at our state's distinct regional economies

The latest edition of AWB's quarterly magazine features a cover story on the very different economic regions of the state, in "Anatomy of an Economy." Other stories focus on workforce, trade, high-tech startups and progress in addressing traffic issues. The print edition is in the mail to AWB members, and the entire edition is available online.

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Federal Issues

From China to NAFTA, 'trade actions are heating up quickly'

September will see an acceleration of the presidential administration's policy of upending trade as the world knows it, CBS news reports. On tap: $200 billion in new tariffs on Chinese goods to high-stakes negotiations over revising -- or ending -- the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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Other News

The Seattle boom crosses the Cascades, bringing new jobs and new concerns

Seattle's economic expansion is spilling over into Central Washington communities like Wenatchee, Cle Elum and Chelan. The boom brings new jobs and people to the region, as well as higher housing prices and more traffic.

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Microsoft announces new parental leave requirement for vendors that provide contract workers

Microsoft has issued a new requirement for companies that provide contract workers: Offer new parents 12 weeks of paid leave. Read more »

Nestle and Starbucks close $7.15 billion deal to sell Starbucks products

Starbucks and Nestle have closed a deal that grants Nestle the rights to market Starbucks products around the world. The deal is valued at $7.15 billion, The Puget Sound Business Journal reports.

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Washington's community and technical colleges develop new coursework to support future workforce

Washington's community and technical colleges are working with private industry to create new degrees and certificates to support a changing workforce. One college alone has created 22 new degrees and certificates in the past three years.

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OSPI survey shows counseling and mental health services are the top public education priority

More than 30,000 Washingtonians responded to a survey about K-12 education priorities. Counseling and mental health services were No. 1, followed by financial incentives for educators and class size reductions.

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U.S. Department of Labor to Host Listening Sessions About Proposed Overtime Rule

Federal officials will host a listening session in Seattle on Tuesday, Sept. 11 to gather public input on possible changes to the so-called "overtime rule," which exempts certain white-collar employees from overtime pay.

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Employers invited to Workforce Snohomish's 2018 Multi-Cultural Job Fair in Everett

Businesses, particularly manufacturers, are invited to the fourth-annual Snohomish County Multi-Cultural Job Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 10 in Everett. The deadline for businesses to register is Sept. 14.

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AWB Events & Resources

ProPoint to offer class on compliance with posting of benefit notices Sept. 14 in Lynnwood, SeaTac

Join ProPoint for an informative talk on how employers can be assured of compliance with requirements for posting notices on benefits. The Sept. 14 class will offer one hour of continuing education credits and will be offered in Lynnwood and Seattle.

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Get ready for Manufacturing Day and AWB's Manufacturing Week bus tour Oct. 4-12

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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Celebrate Washington's extraordinary employers at AWB's Evening of Excellence Nov. 28

AWB will roll out the red carpet again this year for its third-annual Evening of Excellence awards gala at Benaroya Hall in Seattle on Nov. 28. It's AWB's chance to celebrate innovation, environmental stewardship and the overall community spirit of Washington's diverse employer community.

Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Motorcycle Manufacturing Tour

They Said It

Orca Solutions

"We want to protect and enhance the Puget Sound, but let's do it in a way that we are not disrupting the commerce of our state." ~ AWB Vice President, Government Affairs, Gary Chandler, in a story about orca whales.

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HealthChoice Works
Trade Tensions Take a Toll

Cherry-Picking Trade Losers

By The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board

China is waging a food fight in response to President Trump's trade protectionism, raising tariffs on American cherries and other fruit. Growers in the Pacific Northwest have taken a particular hit, losing up to $86 million on sweet cherries this summer, the Northwest Horticultural Council estimated last week.

A growing Chinese upper-middle class has developed a taste for sweet cherries, and the Pacific Northwest grows more than any other U.S. region. In 2017 China bought about three million boxes, or 12% of the region's total crop, surpassing Canada as the top export destination.

In April China retaliated against Mr. Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs by raising the tariff on cherries to 25% from 10%. American cherries are a luxury item, and affluent Chinese kept buying despite the price hike. But after the U.S. imposed a 25% tariff on an additional $50 billion of Chinese imports, Beijing raised the cherry tariff again -- to 50% on July 6. That was too much even for China's nouveau riche...

"With farming in general, there's a lot of stress because of things you can't control, like weather," said Chris McCarthy, CEO of Auvil Fruit Company of Orondo, Washington. "This is something that's very controllable by our government. Growers like Auvil aren't going to be the beneficiaries of a trade war. But we're paying a tremendous price."

That message extends beyond the roughly 2,500 cherry growers in the Pacific Northwest. When the government picks industries to protect, it creates losers too.

Read the full editorial in The Wall Street Journal
Let the Public Know

Teacher-contract process needs transparent bargaining

By The Seattle Time Editorial Board

More transparency is needed in public contract bargaining, especially as the state of Washington implements historic and costly reforms of its education system.

This is underscored by stalled teacher-contract negotiations in Seattle and some other districts statewide. Lacking information of what's happening in secret negotiations, the public is left with rhetoric that adds to confusion about McCleary education reforms enacted this year.

Since 1971, the people of Washington have demanded that public agencies conduct business openly so they remain informed and in control of their government. That should apply to contract bargaining, which involves critical fiscal decisions...

The public, which is paying more state taxes to fund this K-12 overhaul, must be able to see how and whether it's working. Visibility is needed into whether reforms are being supported or undermined during bargaining...

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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