July 20, 2020
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Top Stories

AWB and business groups launch 'Stay Safe, Stay Open. Wear a Mask.' campaign

"We've worked hard to slow COVID-19. Let's put on a mask so our economy can remain open." That's the message in a new employer-led campaign unveiled last week. AWB and 10 other business groups are telling the story of what businesses are doing to keep people safe, and what all of us can do to keep businesses open.

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Gov. Inslee extends pause on reopening, sets 10-person limit on social gatherings, bans live entertainment

Citing a rising coronavirus case count, Gov. Jay Inslee last week announced further restrictions statewide. He said live entertainment would be prohibited, and in-person gatherings limited to no more than 10 people. He also extended a pause on further reopening until July 28.

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Housing Forum webinar series runs this fall, voice of employers critical

AWB invites you to join us for a monthly webinar series starting August 25, to address the issue of housing availability and affordability across Washington. The economic competitiveness of our state depends on being able to deliver a high quality-of-living for all Washington workers, and the voice of Washington employers is critical to the discussion. Register now!

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New speakers confirmed for AWB's virtual Federal Affairs Summit Aug. 11

Register now to engage with your federal representatives on Tuesday, Aug. 11. We are pleased to offer the Federal Affairs Summit this year all online and we are excited to have Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Congressman Dan Newhouse as recently confirmed speakers. Join the conversation from the safe distance of your home or office.

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Two weeks left to enter: Washington Excellence Awards and Manufacturing Excellence Awards

The Washington Excellence Awards program is your chance to showcase your Washington business. With three new categories for 2020, there are even more opportunities for your company to get recognition, and self-nominations are encouraged. The deadline to enter is July 31. Submit your entry or nominate a business now! This week, we are featuring three of our 13 award categories: Employer of the Year, Green Manufacturing Award and Operational Excellence Award.

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Federal Issues

Foreign university students get reprieve as administration rescinds 'in-person' class rule

The Trump administration has walked back a rule requiring foreign students to take at least one in-person class this fall, even amid the pandemic. Universities in Washington and across the nation had opposed the rule, and our state's attorney general had sued to overturn it.

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Details emerge on Sen. McConnell's draft for a coronavirus relief bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly plans to release his phase four coronavirus relief legislation this week. The $1 trillion bill will reportedly include funding for education, widespread liability protection, a payroll tax cut and more.

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Congress, Treasury suggest more federal aid for small businesses

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested on Friday the possibility of forgiving Paycheck Protection Program loans under $150,000, and some members of Congress discussed more federal aid to small firms.

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Other News

Amazon opening health care clinics for its employees

Amazon announced last week that it will be opening health care centers for its employees near its fulfillment centers and other operations. The first of its Neighborhood Health Centers will be in Dallas-Fort Worth, where 20,000 employees work.

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Alaska Airlines offers 'EasyBiz' deal to AWB members

AWB members who join EasyBiz, Alaska Airlines' business travel portal and loyalty program, will earn additional benefits on flights, including a 15% discount and bonus mileage plan miles.

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Labor & Industries urges employers to celebrate safety with 'Safe + Sound Week'

Employers have been working hard to keep employees and customers safe from COVID-19. A new safety week from the Department of Labor & Industries encourages businesses to celebrate those safety successes and try something new. Safe + Sound Week will be Aug. 10-16.

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AWB Events & Resources

Find help reopening safely with the AWB Rebound and Recovery website

Employers in towns large and small can find ideas, insights and equipment to reopen safely with AWB's Rebound and Recovery website. The site's PPE Connect directory and Business Tool Kit are helping employers equip their employees to safely operate. A new resources page has a variety of useful, constantly updated links.

Read more »

Best of the Blog

Prominent Washington employers adapt to fight COVID-19 (w/video)

Industry-leading Washington employers are doing their part to fight the spread of the coronavirus, including restructuring workspaces, restricting access to manufacturing floors, contact tracing and allowing eligible employees the opportunity to work remotely for the long haul. Officials from Boeing and Pearson Packaging Systems shared their strategies to support both public health and the economy during AWB's Employer Resources Series webinar Wednesday. Read the full blog post here.



Tweet of the Week

Mask Up



They Said It

Leaving Seattle

"We think we probably are done in Seattle for our lifetime, given the political climate there." ~ real estate developer Bob Wallace, of Bellevue-based Wallace Properties, speaking last week. Wallace said he has developed around 1,000 apartment units in Seattle but will develop no more after the city passed a new payroll tax on high-paying jobs. "There are people who never would have darkened the door on the Eastside who are looking seriously at moving their office and retail and even their residences to the Eastside," Wallace said.




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Stay Safe Washington
Child Care is Essential


It's past time to start talking about child care solutions

By Cheryl Oldham and Mark K. Shriver

New opinion polling suggests that American voters are keenly aware of the essential role child care plays for both families and business. In a new national survey from Save the Children Action Network and Child Care Aware of America, American voters overwhelmingly (87 percent) support providing support through the crisis so that current child care providers are able to make payroll and pay other expenses such as rent and utilities.

In a rare moment of unity, this support crosses partisan lines with 82 percent of Republicans and 94 percent of Democrats in favor. This bipartisan support is all the more remarkable when you consider that only 27 percent of voters reported that they would be personally impacted in some way if child care providers were unable to reopen. Voters recognize that it is in everyone's interest for this industry to survive this crisis.

Yes, the child care industry needs our support. Child care is a two-generation workforce issue, essential to support the workforce of today and vital to develop our workforce of tomorrow. We need targeted and timely assistance to child care programs so that every other industry can return to work.

Mark K. Shriver is president of the Save the Children Action Network. Cheryl Oldham is senior vice president of the Center for Education and Workforce at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and vice president of Education Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Read the full op-ed in The Hill