May 26, 2020
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Top Stories

Get tools you need to reopen safely at new AWB web portal


Businesses have a key new resource as they reopen: the new AWB Rebound and Recovery website. The site debuted today and has two main areas. The PPE Connect directory is an online portal to help employers buy key personal protective equipment. The Business Tool Kit has resources to guide businesses to safely welcome back employees and customers.

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Join us for Spring Meeting next week and enjoy a coffee on Joe

The 2020 AWB Spring Meeting will be delivered virtually on June 3. Spring Meeting will cover many relevant issues for employers across the state, including updates on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Content will also help employers stay up to date on the state policy issues that impact their company and employees. Plus, attendees will get a coupon code redeemable for a free coffee at their favorite local coffee stand through the Joe Coffee App, to start your day off right! Full agenda details and registration for the virtual event are available online.

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L&I: Businesses ignoring pandemic closure orders can be cited and fined under new emergency rules starting today

Emergency rules that took effect today mean that Washington businesses which open or operate in direct violation of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order may be cited and fined for unsafe workplace conditions.

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Washington farmers can apply today for new coronavirus relief program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will distribute up to $19 billion nationwide to help the country's farmers and ranchers who have been impacted by the coronavirus economic downturn. Applications are open now. Visit www.farmers.gov and connect with your local Farm Service Agency office.

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Combined, a variety of relief programs can help employers and families weather the pandemic

Relief for unemployed workers and employers impacted by the coronavirus is available from several different sources. Over time, these resources can add up to provide at least some assistance.

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Now on Wednesdays: tomorrow's webinar covers industry-specific resources for restaurants and hospitality

The COVID-19 Employer Resources Webinar Series is moving to Wednesdays from 9-10 a.m., starting this week. As certain industries move into Phase 2 of the governor's Safe Start Washington plan, we will be bringing you more industry-specific resources to help you get back to business. This week: resources for restaurants and the hospitality industry. Check our webinar landing page for who's on the agenda to connect you with the latest information, direct from trusted sources.

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Federal Issues

Microsoft calls on Congress to fund broadband connectivity

Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, is urging Congress to immediately pass legislation to improve rural broadband connectivity as part of the next coronavirus relief package. Action is crucial so millions of Americans can access education, medical and employment services during the pandemic.

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Other News

Child care industry in 'crisis' with shortages and consequences for employers

The child care field was facing workforce challenges and high operating costs before the coronavirus. Now the industry is in a serious crisis. People returning to work might find that they are seeking child care from facilities that have closed.

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Nearly one quarter of American workers have lost their jobs

At least 38.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment over the past nine weeks of the pandemic. That's 23.4% of the workforce. In Washington, the jobless rate is 15.4%. One silver lining: a majority of states report a decline in continuing claims as people begin going back to work.

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Free lifetime Manufacturers Marketplace membership being offered

What would normally cost $2,500 a year will be offered for free to Washington employers who sign up with the Manufacturers Marketplace by June 30.

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month; AWB's HealthChoice coverage offers an EAP to help employees

Mental Health Awareness Month is a good time to remember that millions of our employees are afflicted with mental illnesses. AWB's HealthChoice coverage includes a free employee assistance program, giving your employees someone to talk with 24 hours a day.

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Applications open for Don C. Brunell Scholarship for Future Leaders

Applications are now being accepted for the Don C. Brunell Scholarship for the 2020-21 school year. The scholarship of up to $1,000 is available for college, vocational, certificate or graduate programs. Applicants must be the child or grandchild of an AWB member or employee. The deadline is June 30.

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AWB Events & Resources

HR & Employment Law Webinar on June 10: Non-competes, confidentiality and intellectual property

Learn the latest developments in laws about non-competes, confidentiality agreements, non-solicitations and intellectual property protection during AWB's next HR & Employment Law webinar on June 10. There will be more relevant topics in the following July webinar on L&I compliance and accident prevention/investigation. Register online for this and other timely webinars!

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Nomination deadline extended through July for Washington Excellence Awards

Among the annual highlights of the year for AWB is the chance to recognize and celebrate Washington employers. Our annual awards program allows us to showcase all that Washington employers have to offer. The nomination deadline for the Washington Excellence Awards has been extended to Friday, July 31. Take time now to nominate a business you know online!

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Tweet of the Week

Leadership to Safely Reopen the Economy



They Said It

Growing Crisis in Child Care

"When families need and want to go back into the workforce, it is a great concern that they will not be able to access child care." ~ Nicole Sohn, co-owner of Journey Discovery Center in Spokane, about the local, state and national child care crisis.




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Invest in Aerospace


Feds must increase and clarify aerospace support

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

The aerospace supply chain is in a precarious situation.

More federal support, and clarity about existing relief programs, is needed to sustain this critical sector of the economy and its highly skilled workforce.

The need is acute in Washington state, home to more than 1,400 aerospace-related companies that in recent years employed 136,000 people.

Substantial layoffs and furloughs have occurred in an industry that was already running lean. Yet this supply chain and workforce are crucial to national security and America's industrial recovery.

One way to help is by adjusting the criteria for which companies may use a $17 billion loan fund, created in the March CARES Act, to help businesses critical to national security...

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times