January 13, 2020
Fast Facts
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New report: Washington should have built 225,600 more homes in past 15 years

With housing affordability an issue across the state, a new report details just how much Washington's housing supply has failed to keep up with demand. Washington is ranks eighth in America for underproduction of homes, according to the national report. As lawmakers on both sides look at the issue, AWB is planning a second statewide Housing Forum this summer to bring together thought leaders and legislators to find solutions.

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Heritage Distilling joins new community college education center in Tumwater

Heritage Distilling has partnered with South Puget Sound Community College and Ninkasi Brewing on a new brewing and distilling education center. The center is scheduled to open this spring in Tumwater.

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Washington ranked No. 8 for business by Forbes magazine

Forbes magazine recently gave Washington the 8th-"Best State for Business" ranking for 2019. Washington scored high in economic climate and growth categories, but much lower in regulations and quality of life .

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Effective Workforce Education

Path to apprenticeships now starts at high school

By Nate Nehring, a Snohomish County Council member

A four-year university education can be valuable for some, but many could benefit from greater access to pathways into the trades. While many college graduates now work minimum wage jobs and are burdened with student debt, high-paying trades jobs with competitive benefits sit empty.

In Snohomish County, we are working proactively to increase access to family-wage careers. Over the last two years, we have built a coalition of representatives from labor, industry and education. Community leaders from these sectors have come together to talk about how we can work together to provide meaningful solutions to the problem of a workforce shortage. What began as a group of stakeholders around a table has resulted in the creation of the Regional Apprenticeship Pathways (RAP) Program, which is being hailed as a potential statewide model for workforce development.

As a result of in-depth discussions between sectors and site tours of existing workforce development programs, the concept of a pre-apprenticeship program within the high school setting was organically produced. There currently exists several state-certified apprenticeship programs for a variety of skilled trades, from carpenters to electricians to laborers. What has been lacking is a pipeline of students with the basic skills and confidence to pursue these apprenticeship programs. The average apprentice is in his or her late 20s before beginning a program, representing an entire lost decade of post-high school productivity. As a group, our goal has been to bridge that 10-year gap...

Read the full guest column in The (Everett) Herald