September 16, 2019
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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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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