June 29, 2020
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The next Wednesday webinar is July 8, covering child care and early childhood learning

The COVID-19 Employer Resources Webinar Series will take a week off before the July Fourth long weekend. We will be back July 8 with the latest expert insights on all aspects of the coronavirus response and recovery, to help you get back to business. Join the free webinar for a very important topic for our state's workforce: child care and early childhood learning. Register online now!

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AWB announces new webinar series focused on business management resources

AWB is pleased to announce a new webinar series coming this August for new and small business owners and managers. If you're just starting out or you need a refresher on what's new, the AWB Business Tool Kit webinar series provides a foundation for business management. Register for the whole five-webinar series and save $25 through August 12. Secure your spot now!

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AWB invites you to "Connect with Congress" on August 11

Secure your spot to engage with our federal representatives on Tuesday, Aug. 11. We are pleased to offer Federal Affairs Summit this year all online and we are excited to have Kelly Fukai join us as our event moderator. Join the conversation from the safe distance of your home or office. Register now.

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Now More Than Ever, Health Insurance Matters
Invest in Early Childhood Education

Fixing child-care shortage and Washington's economic recovery go hand in hand

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

As Washington gets back to business, many job-seeking parents of young children face a frustrating double bind. Even if they do find employment that will help them provide for their family, the short supply of quality, affordable child care makes it impossible for them to take the job.

Nearly half -- 47% -- of unemployed parents cited lack of child care as a barrier to re-employment in a May survey, according to a state Child Care Collaborative Task Force child-care industry assessment. Since March, more than 1,100 licensed child-care providers have at least temporarily closed, exacerbating a shortage flagged by state lawmakers long before COVID-19...

Even before this spring's upheaval, nearly half of Washington parents reported difficulty finding and keeping affordable child care. Twenty-seven percent reported leaving a job, school or training because of a lack of consistent, affordable care, according to a Department of Commerce report.

This is not just a problem for working families; it is a drain on the state's economy. Commerce estimates that employee turnover and missed work due to child-care issues create an annual $2.08 billion drag on the state economy. That number triples when figuring in opportunity costs.

Addressing Washington's child-care shortage will not be easy, especially during the tough economic times ahead. But quality, affordable child care is a linchpin to the state's economic recovery. More must be done to ensure this essential sector does not fail.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
Foreign Workers Support Our Economy

Big Tech isn't the only loser in Trump's visa freeze

By Tae Kim

On Monday, Trump signed an executive order that freezes access to a number of work visas through year-end, including the H-1B visa for highly-skilled foreigners, which is primarily given to workers in the technology industry. The issuance of new green cards will also stay halted until the end of the year. The administration said the order would free up jobs for unemployed Americans, adding it would block about 500,000 people from entering the country this year.

The move sparked an avalanche of criticism from technology companies. They said the measures will hurt their ability to recruit talent and have deeper negative ramifications for the economy.

An Amazon.com Inc. spokesperson called the order "shortsighted," adding it prevents "high skilled professionals from entering the country and contributing to America's economic recovery, [putting] American's global competitiveness at risk."

A Facebook Inc. representative said Trump is using the pandemic as justification for "limiting" immigration, which will make "our country's recovery even more difficult."

And Microsoft Corp. President Brad Smith said on social media, "Now is not the time to cut our nation off from the world's talent or create uncertainty and anxiety."

Read the full column in The Seattle Times