September 10, 2018
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Top Stories

Sold out: Wait list is open for spaces at next week's three-day Policy Summit

Policy Summit has sold out and online registration has closed. To be placed on a waitlist for this three-day event, contact AWB's Kelli Schueler. This year's Policy Summit will include a lunch keynote from popular TED Talk speaker Jennifer Golbeck on "The Human Side of Cyber-Security." The event will also include conversations with the presidents of the state's four-year research universities, community and technical college leaders and some of the state's leading CEOs, along with panel discussions on taxes, housing, growth management and more.

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Columbia-Snake river dams take center stage in the Tri-Cities

AWB President Kris Johnson testified at a U.S House Committee on Natural Resources hearing today in Pasco where he spoke to the energy and economic transformation the Columbia and Snake river dam system continues to support in the state and the region. Johnson's testimony followed his speech at RiverFest, a community festival on the shores of the Columbia River over the weekend. The family-friendly event served to celebrate the economic and quality of life benefits of hydroelectric dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

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Washington's economy strong, but risks remain

The latest report from the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council shows a state economy that is outperforming the nation, but that is exposed to new tariffs as global trade tensions increase. Overall state tax receipts have come in $75 million above the June forecast.

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Several teacher strikes continue as local educator unions push for double-digit pay raises

When the Legislature increased state education funding but adjusted local school levy limits, it set up complex negotiations in school districts across the state. Teachers in a number of districts went on strike, with educators in four districts still walking the picket lines.

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Special report: Costly and uncertain regulatory burden harms competitiveness for Washington manufacturers

In a new report, the Washington Research Council looks at the costs of regulations, especially those that are duplicative or overly broad. Washington has laws that require analysis and review of regulations, but efforts haven't always delivered on the goal of streamlining, according to the State Auditor's Office. As AWB prepares for a statewide bus tour highlighting the importance of manufacturing, the WRC has some recommendations to improve the state's standing in this important competitiveness issue.

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Federal Issues

Manufacturers call for trilateral agreement as NAFTA negotiations continue

United States and Canadian manufacturers are jointly calling for a three-way agreement as the U.S. negotiates changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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Other News

U.S. added 201,000 jobs in August, with pay increasing to match

The August jobs report showed strong job growth, a continued low unemployment rate and the highest hourly wage growth in almost a decade.

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Debates set for U.S. Senate and 8th District House races

Three public debates have been scheduled for key congressional races. The candidates for U.S. Senate will debate Oct. 6 at Pacific Lutheran University and Oct. 30 at Gonzaga University. The candidates for a key open House race in the 8th Congressional District will meet Oct. 17 at Central Washington University.

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L&I explains differences in Paid Sick Leave and new Paid Family and Medical Leave programs

They may appear to be the same program, but employers need to know the difference between the voter-approved Initiative 1433 Paid Sick Leave requirements and the new statewide Paid Family and Medical Leave program passed by the Legislature in 2017. That was the message sent in the state Department of Labor and Industries' email newsletter last week.

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SEH creates new apprenticeship program

SEH America is addressing the workforce shortage by creating a new apprenticeship program that creates a new career path for young people in Southwestern Washington.

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Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson gets image on Wheaties box and Alaska Airlines jet

As the professional football season starts up, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is enjoying a boost as a corporate sponsor. The Super Bowl champion quarterback has his image on a custom Alaska Airlines jet and on the iconic cover of the Wheaties box.

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NAM and Walmart host Manufacturing Day events

Walmart and The Manufacturing Institute will join forces in support of this year's Manufacturing Day events across the nation. AWB will kick off its own cross-state Manufacturing Tour in conjunction with Manufacturing Day.

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AWB Events & Resources

THIS WEEK: ProPoint class on compliance with posting of benefit notices 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 Sea-Tac.

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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.

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Best of the Blog

Workforce challenge front and center at AWB Policy Summit

We can't find workers. They won't show up on time. They can't pass a drug test. We don't get enough applicants. Nobody wants to work the trades anymore. Too often, those are the comments we hear from Washington employers, even as the nation gained 201,000 new jobs in August. AWB has assembled Washington's leading workforce experts to address the state's labor challenges at the AWB Policy Summit. The panel, "Tomorrow's Skilled Workforce," is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18. Read the full blog post here.

Tweet of the Week

Russell Takes Flight

They Said It

A Difficult Transition

"Please thank an educator, local superintendent, and a school board member when you see them. They are grappling firsthand with the complex challenge of trying to localize sweeping legislative policy changes." ~ Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal, in a statement about how changes to education funding at the state level created an unprecedented set of bargaining sessions and some labor strife during the runup to this year's opening day of school.

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Hydro Powers Our Green State

Region's dams generate clean energy, support healthy rivers

By AWB President Kris Johnson

There are few things -- if any -- we hold dearer in the Pacific Northwest than a clean, healthy environment. Our state has taken great care to protect the air, water and land through the generations, which is evident in our state's extremely low carbon footprint and the pristine landscape we all appreciate.

The Pacific Northwest region's clean-energy portfolio, most notably hydropower generated through the Columbia-Snake river dam system, is a critical part of ensuring Washington is a low carbon emissions leader in the nation and the world.

The Columbia-Snake river dam system laid the foundation of our strong state economy. Low-cost hydropower is a key competitive advantage for our region. It drives industry, the creation of family wage jobs and powers the booming high-tech sector that is filling the central Puget Sound's urban centers...

Read the full column in The Daily Sun News (scroll down below cartoon)
A Fair Deal

King County's Safeco Field deal should stand

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Investing a relatively minute share of county revenues to help maintain a first-class public facility like Safeco Field is perfectly reasonable...

Direct benefits of the Mariners' presence include 700 jobs, $35 million in wages and $71 million in economic activity. More than 1.5 million ballpark visitors a year come from outside the county, which by itself justifies using lodging taxes earmarked for tourism on the facility.

If the goal is to create opportunity and support those struggling to get by, the council should be encouraging, not demonizing, private ventures like the Mariners that offer to make long-term, job-creating investments in the community.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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