September 16, 2019
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Federal Issues Other News AWB Events & Resources Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

It's time! AWB's Policy Summit kicks off this week in Cle Elum

The state's premiere policy event runs tomorrow through Thursday at the beautiful Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum. Attendees are in for an exceptional lineup of speakers, networking opportunities and activities featuring expert panels, former Gov. Gary Locke, insights from Windermere's chief economist, lunch keynote speaker GoldieBlox Founder and CEO Debbie Sterling, and two former White House chiefs of staff. For information on ticket availability, contact our events team at or 360-943-1600. Read more »

Employers push Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank by Sept. 30

Leading American employers are urging Congress to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank, which helps U.S. companies compete in the world economy, before its authorization expires at the end of the month. The bank provides loans and loan guarantees to help foreign customers buy American products.

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Broken Lock at Bonneville Dam has major impact on Northwest commerce

A broken lock at the Bonneville Dam has stopped millions of tons of cargo from moving along the Columbia River. This means most of Washington's immense wheat crop and other crucial American exports are simply not getting to market while federal officials scramble to fix this major transportation route.

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Pam Senske honored by Spokesman-Review as a 'Woman of the Year'

The second-generation owner-CEO of Pearson Packaging Systems, Pam Senske, is among The Spokesman-Review's "Women of the Year." Senske, who still serves as chair of the board at Pearson, was lauded for her insightful business leadership and extensive community involvement.

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New bus, new tour as AWB prepares to celebrate 'Made in Washington'

The manufacturing industry in Washington is a big deal. AWB is going on the road again this fall to highlight some of our state's high-tech innovators, heavy hitters, and up-and-comers in manufacturing. Read on to discover why we are passionate about our third-annual Manufacturing Week, and why manufacturing is so important to our state's economy.

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Federal Issues

Trade war eases slightly as president delays tariffs

President Trump delayed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods last week as a goodwill gesture. China responded by lifting tariffs on American pork and soybean exports. Still, major differences remain between the world's two largest economies.

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Other News

House Finance Committee chair says capital gains tax still a priority

Members of the Legislature were back in Olympia last week for committee days. During the meeting of the House Finance Committee, the chair told the room that members of her caucus are again working on a capital gains tax. It's a return of a proposal for a volatile tax that would hit many small business owners.

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Amazon Rising: Washington startup now Seattle's 2nd-largest private employer

Amazon continues to rise as an economic powerhouse, with more than 53,500 Seattle-region employees and a $9 billion local payroll. The company seeks to hire another 10,000 workers in the Seattle area by 2020, and now supports nearly 15 percent of all jobs in the region.

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Kalama methanol plant gets approval for key shoreline permits

Cowlitz County officials have reviewed shoreline permits for a $2 billion methanol plant and agreed that the project can move forward, The Daily News of Longview reports. State officials will now review the permits.

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Seattle housing cools, while surrounding counties heat up

Seattle's expensive housing market cooled off in August, as the median price for a single-family home held steady at $760,000 compared to the year before. But that's still too high for many, which helps fuel strong prices in nearby Thurston, Kitsap and Pierce counties.

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UW, Gonzaga launch major expansion of health sciences work in Spokane

The University of Washington and Gonzaga University are moving several medical and health programs into a new $60 million facility in Spokane. The new health sciences building will be built by McKinstry, a design and construction company based in Seattle.

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Renewable natural gas facility to be dedicated Wednesday in Klickitat County

A renewable natural gas facility will be dedicated by the Klickitat Public Utility District this Wednesday near Roosevelt. The public is welcome to tour the plant, which produces natural gas by cleaning biogas generated as landfill waste decays.

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Harbor Wholesale Foods announces major expansion

Harbor Wholesale Foods has bought a significant portion of Food Service of America's (FSA) Seattle business, the company announced recently. The longtime AWB member company also bought FSA's warehouse in Kent, and will take over serving hundreds more independent restaurant operators in the state.

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AWB offers more ways to help you take care of your health

AWB's new WellCard Health program offers savings on prescription drugs, MRI imaging, doctor visits, vitamins, diabetic care services and more.

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AWB Events & Resources

Join us at the beautiful Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum for policy discussions and networking

Policy Summit is happening this week, and a few tickets are still available! Make connections and engage in high-level, statewide policy discussions. Learn about the current outlook on issues that impact your business and the communities where we live and work. Join us in Cle Elum! #AWBsummit19

Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Federal Involvement

They Said It

Advice from a Legend

"Every day you need to go about your business with the same passion. That is the greatest gift you can give to your performance and to the fans who come to enjoy this special game." ~ Ichiro Suzuki, giving a speech in English to Mariners fans before a home game, thanking them for their nearly two decades of support.

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Renew Ex-Im Now

Help Washington growers, manufacturers get their products to the world

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington is the most trade-driven station in the nation per-capita, with more than 40% of our jobs connected in some way to trade. Manufactured goods make up 82% of our state's exports and Washington is the third-largest exporter of food and agriculture products in the country.

That's why it's critically important that Congress and the presidential administration renew the charter for the Export-Import Bank, which is set to expire at the end of September.

The Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that provides export credit to oversees purchasers of U.S. goods and services. It contributes to the economy by supporting American jobs, and it doesn't cost taxpayers anything. Since 2000, the Ex-Im Bank has provided nearly $15 billion to the U.S. Treasury...

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Valley Business World
Ideas for Career-Connected Learning

How Vocational Education Got a 21st Century Reboot

With schools across 10 states, the P-TECH program prepares its students for good jobs that corporations pay well for.

The P-TECH idea was invented in 2010, when then-IBM CEO Sam Palmisano was chatting up his friend Joel Klein, then New York City's schools chancellor. During a rain delay at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Palmisano told Klein that the tech industry was having trouble finding young people with the skills it needed. Klein proposed opening a six-year school with the City University of New York and curriculum input from IBM. Students could work IBM internships and, if they passed a company certification test, would be first in line for job interviews at IBM. Palmisano agreed. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the plan in September 2010 and gave the partners a year to open the school.

When Klein and Palmisano shook on the deal, vocational education was just beginning to emerge from the academic backwater where it had languished for decades. Conceived a century ago so high school students could learn a trade if they weren't going to college, vocational education had developed a reputation as a dumping ground for students who weren't doing well in regular academics. Harvard's influential Pathways to Prosperity report, released in 2011, warned that nearly two-thirds of new jobs of the 2010s would require more than a high school education -- yet only 40 percent of Americans had obtained a bachelor's degree or associate's degree by their mid-20s.

By contrast, the report noted, 40 to 70 percent of high school kids in many European countries spent three years in career programs that combined classroom and workplace experience, where they earned diplomas or certificates strongly valued in the labor market...

Read the full report in Politico