November 19, 2018
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Top Stories

Celebrate Washington employers at next week's third-annual AWB Evening of Excellence awards

The finalists have been announced for AWB's third-annual Evening of Excellence awards. This is AWB's chance to celebrate innovation, environmental stewardship and the overall community spirit of Washington's diverse employer community -- and enjoy a red-carpet evening at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. The winners will be revealed at the awards gala Nov. 28.

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Manufacturing Excellence Award winners to be honored at Evening of Excellence soiree

The state's top manufacturers will be among the employers to receive awards during next week's Evening of Excellence in downtown Seattle. Tickets are still available to AWB's third-annual awards gala.

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Three close legislative races appear headed for recounts

As of the most recent ballot counts on Friday, Democrats stand to gain a total of three Senate seats and seven House seats. Those totals are pending recounts in three tight races, including the 26th District state Senate seat. That race has seen the lead switch between Republican Marty McClendon and Democrat Emily Randall, who as of Friday had a 90-vote lead, or 0.12 percentage points.

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Amazon announces split decision for HQ2, choosing Virginia and Queens neighborhood of New York

After a 14-month nationwide search, Amazon announced last week it will locate its "HQ2" in two East Coast locations. Amazon will split its second headquarters between Queens, N.Y., and Arlington, Va. It will also open a new Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville, Tenn.

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Holiday Kids' Tree to celebrate 30 years of cheer and helping needy families

The 2018 Holiday Kids' Tree lighting in Olympia will mark the 30th anniversary of this event, which AWB hosts. Gov. Jay Inslee and First Lady Trudi Inslee will help light the tree Dec. 7, and, as usual, a special guest from the North Pole will greet children after the tree-lighting ceremony.

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Other News

Washington's jobless rate hits record low

The state's unemployment rate has hit the lowest level since record-keeping began in 1976. The 4.3 percent jobless rate comes as the state added 12,400 jobs in October.

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Report: Trade disputes have cut Washington state's exports by up to 28 percent

Farmers and other exporters in Washington state saw their foreign sales drop by 20 to 28 percent between April and September, compared with the same time period a year ago.

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Orca task force releases first set of recommendations

After six months of work, a task force created to help Puget Sound killer whales has released its first round of recommendations. The group called for a partial ban on whale-watching, increased funding for salmon hatcheries, and study of breaching dams on the Snake River.

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Tidewater Transportation crew hailed as heroes after rescuing overturned boaters

The crew of a Tidewater Transportation tug have been honored for saving the lives of a couple who had been clinging to the side of their overturned boat for hours on Sept. 11. The crew of the ship Ryan Point were moving grain from Pasco to Longview at the time. A few weeks later, AWB toured that ship as part of the 2018 Manufacturing Week tour.

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Inslee names James A. Weaver new director of WaTech

Pennsylvania's top state technology officer is coming to Washington to lead the state's WaTech department. James Weaver has also served in the Pennsylvania National Guard for 33 years.

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L&I seeks feedback on employee overtime rule changes at November listening sessions

The state Department of Labor and Industries will hold three more listening sessions Nov. 27-29 to receive feedback from employers and others on the impact of the agency's proposed employee overtime rule changes.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Employment Law Committee to meet Nov. 27

The AWB Employment Law Committee will meet on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 10 a.m.-noon, at AWB to discuss several issues ahead of the 2019 legislative session. The agenda includes topics such as paid leave, overtime, independent contractors, non-competes, restrictive scheduling and workers' compensation. Contact Bob Battles, AWB government affairs director for workforce issues, at 360.943.1600 to learn more. Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Honoring Excellence



They Said It

Cross-State Rivalry

"I've said it for the last month, this will be one epic Apple Cup."

~ Brock Huard, college football analyst for ESPN and a former UW and NFL quarterback.




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Celebrating Excellence
Training for the Future


Career and technical education is win-win for students, job creators


By Chris Reykdal, Washington's Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Ray Conner, retired Boeing vice chairman and president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes

As a wave of Washington's manufacturing workforce prepares for retirement, there are not enough students in the pipeline to fill those good-paying industry jobs.

For years, American manufacturers have expressed concern about a gap between the talent they need and the workers they can find. According to a 2015 report from Deloitte, 3.5 million American manufacturing jobs need to be filled by 2025, but two million of them are expected to go unfilled because of a lack of skilled workers. This challenge is becoming particularly acute as a wave of Washington's manufacturing workforce prepares for retirement.

We believe 21st century career and technical education (CTE) programs are an important part of the solution...

Read the full guest column in The Seattle Times
Growing Manufacturing Jobs


Tyson announces $36M expansion during statewide manufacturing tour


By Laura Kostad

As an Association of Washington Business bus rolled into the parking lot of Tyson Fresh Meats bright and early on a recent morning in Wallula, many of the cattle slaughterhouse and beef processing plant's 1,400 workers were arriving for work.

Even more people will be joining them at their job site next year when a $36 million addition is completed at their Walla Walla County plant at 13983 Dodd Road, just east of Burbank. The project will add 32,000 square feet to the ground floor and 16,000 square feet to the upper level and require the hiring of 45 or more workers to staff a new production line.

The growing Tyson plant was one stop on AWB's seven-day 1,500-mile cross-state tour of 45 Washington manufacturers to generate support for the industry.

"Manufacturing is vital to Washington's economy and provides a proven pathway to the middle class," said AWB President Kris Johnson...

Read the full column in The Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business
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