October 14, 2019
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Top Stories

AWB delivers manufacturing message across Washington and beyond

The message that manufacturing matters was delivered loud and clear last week as AWB completed the most successful Manufacturing Week bus tour yet. AWB's colorfully-wrapped bus crossed Washington from the Port Orchard to the Palouse region over seven days and nearly 2,500 miles. Along the way, AWB connected with the employers that create the great products and family wage jobs that support the state economy.

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Manufacturing Week bus tour resonates with Washington news media

News media helped spread the message that manufacturing is a vital part of Washington's economy by giving AWB's bus tour unprecedented coverage. Employers, employees and their products were featured in every major media market across the state through radio, television and newspaper stories.

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AWB recognizes Manufacturing Excellence by awarding four employers with awards during bus tour

Kitsap Bank received AWB's 2019 Manufacturing Excellence Award for Innovation on Friday, the fourth and final employer honored over the past two weeks. AWB President Kris Johnson presented the award to bank leaders in Port Orchard. The company was recognized for its work to maintain a competitive advantage through innovation, while remaining responsive to market demands.

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Department of Ecology delays decision on Kalama methanol plant

The Washington Department of Ecology says it needs more information on a proposed methanol plant in Kalama before deciding on a key permit. The department says the permit application from the Port of Kalama and the builder is incomplete.

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Spokane measure would ban local income tax

Spokane voters will have a chance to ban a local income tax on Nov. 2. Supporters say the measure, if approved, would be the first to outlaw local income taxes as part of a city charter in Washington. Pro-business groups are also hopeful it will attract companies to invest in the area.

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Mark your calendars for Evening of Excellence on Nov. 20

Please save the date to join us on Wednesday, Nov. 20 as we celebrate our members and the good work they do every day to make Washington a great place to live and work. Tickets are available now!

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Federal Issues

Kilmer introduces measure to help college students by expanding Pell Grant program

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., has joined U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., to introduce the Pell Plus Act of 2019. This program would give low-income students an extra boost in their third and fourth year of college by providing Pell Grant bonuses.

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Federal policy makers to host childcare workshop in Seattle Nov. 4

Officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are hosting a roundtable discussion on improving access to high-quality childcare on Nov. 4 in Seattle. The workshop will identify challenges unique to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, discuss solutions and strategies, and take away recommendations from parents, providers and business leaders.

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Other News

North Whidbey farmer Ron Muzzall emerges as top pick to replace Bailey

Republican party officials from the 10th Legislative District have chosen farmer Ron Muzzall as the top pick to replace former State Sen. Barbara Bailey, who resigned last month, The Whidbey News-Times reports. Two other candidates are also under consideration, however. County commissioners from three counties are scheduled to pick Bailey's replacement on Oct. 18.

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Four firms hired to gather opinions on Lower Snake River dams

Four consulting firms have been hired to collect opinions on removing the four Lower Snake River Dams and their impacts, Pullman Radio News reports. The work is funded by a $750,000 appropriation from the Washington Legislature.

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Celebrate Your Local Chamber of Commerce this Wednesday

Oct. 16 is National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day.

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Global Entrepreneurship Month offers dozens of workshops, events around Washington

The Washington State Department of Commerce is highlighting workshops, events and collaborations as part of Global Entrepreneurship Month, from marketing and financial management classes to webinars about government contracting.

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AWB Events & Resources

Year-End Tax & Investment Planning for Business Owners and Executives Workshops in Kirkland and Benton City

On Nov. 14 in Kirkland and Nov. 15 in Benton City, Kristofer Gray, CFP, will deliver workshops covering year-end tax and investment planning for employers. Gray will describe how to develop a thoughtful process to address the main issues surrounding year-end tax and investment planning.

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Holiday Kids' Tree Project now accepts donations online

The holidays are approaching and AWB is getting ready for this year's Holiday Kids' Tree Project. AWB members have donated more than $420,000 since 1989 to help rural families in need.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Rural Jobs Task Force meets Nov. 12 in the Tri-Cities

AWB's Rural Jobs Task Force will meet Tuesday, Nov. 12 in the Tri-Cities. The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, 7130 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick, WA, 99336. For more information please contact Mike Ennis at MikeE@awb.org.



Best of the Blog

From a snowstorm in Spokane, south through the Palouse

The range of what Washington can grow, produce, refine and create was on display during the sixth day of AWB's Manufacturing Week bus tour, as the group swung south from Spokane to Pullman, Clarkston and Pomeroy.

From the ultra-precise equipment created by Wagstaff in Spokane Valley to cutting-edge research on how to do more with Washington's natural resources at WSU - and then on to boat-building and grain storage - it was a reminder that Washington's manufacturing sector is diverse.

Read the full blog post here.



Tweet of the Week

A strong future for Washington manufacturing



They Said It

A Proud Manufacturer

"I absolutely love it. I take a lot of pride in what I do. We're the last stop on the line and the last people to see it before the customer sees it. Anything that could be wrong, I mean anything, it's our job to spot it and make sure it's addressed before it's shipped out. We're like the last line of defense. People save their entire life to purchase one of these boats, and I get to make it look 'wow.'" Jackie Johnson, a boat finisher at Renaissance Marine Group in Clarkston.




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From a snowstorm to the Snake River
Manufacturing is alive and well

It's time to celebrate the amazing things Washington makes

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington makes some really cool things.

We're famous for many of them -- airplanes, apples, software, wheat and more. The state's iconic manufacturers established the foundation that our recent economic expansion is built upon.

But there are many medium and small manufacturers that fewer people know about. The fishing rod manufacturer in Woodland. The music stand manufacturer in Yakima. The boat builder in Colville. And the manufacturing company in Richland that makes surgical tools to help heal patients around the world.

Read the full op ed in the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.
Engineering Success

An Interview with Debbie Sterling, GoldieBlox CEO

By Christine Varela, partner, DH

Last week, I attended the Association of Washington Business's (AWB) annual Policy Summit. AWB, Washington's largest and oldest statewide business association, brings together members from businesses across Washington every year to help them gain insights on trade policy, small business leadership, entrepreneurship and engage in high-level, statewide policy discussion.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to host an interview with Debbie Sterling, successful businesswoman, entrepreneur and founder and CEO of GoldieBlox.

Read the full blog post here.