March 28, 2016
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Tri-City Regional Chamber gives first-ever honorary 'Key to the Region' to AWB President Kris Johnson

AWB President Kris Johnson received the first-ever honorary "Key to the Region" award from the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce last week for being "a catalyst to success." Johnson led the Tri-Cities chamber when it regionalized 10 years ago, and was among the hundreds of attendees at a 10-year celebration in Kennewick. Read more »

SEL to add 850 jobs as part of major expansion in Pullman

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories is adding 200,000 square feet of research and development and production space at its Pullman campus, and will be adding 850 jobs there over the next few years. The $23 million construction project will house engineers, software developers, technicians and more for an additional $50 million in annual payroll.
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Analysis: 'Why Obamacare's tax credits failed small businesses'

Six years after the Affordable Care Act was enacted, very few companies are taking advantage of tax breaks designed to make health insurance more affordable. What happened? Basically, the tax credits were too complicated to figure out and too small to make it worthwhile, The Business Journals report. Read more »

Port of Seattle looks at land redevelopment to keep industry, living wages in Seattle

The Port of Seattle is looking at ways to harness its industrial property for economic benefit, including a focus on shipbuilding and repair on property in the Interbay region just north of downtown Seattle. The goal: ensure blue-collar living-wage jobs in a gentrifying city.
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WSU hires new president: Kirk Schulz, president of Kansas State University

Kirk Schultz, president of Kansas State University since 2009, has been hired to lead Washington State University. Schultz will officially take over WSU in June, a year after the death of former WSU President Elson Floyd. Read more »

Passages: Former state Rep. John McKibbin

John McKibbin, a longtime Vancouver-area public servant, real estate developer and civic activist, died last week in an airplane crash. Described as one of Clark County's leading citizens, McKibbin was active in the Greater Vancouver Area Chamber of Commerce and Identity Clark County.
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Call for nominations: Help bring more great business leaders to AWB's board of directors

AWB is accepting nominations for leaders to join our Board of Directors. Nominations are due by this Friday, April 1, with elections held at the June 15 Spring Meeting in Spokane. Read more »

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Public Charter Schools Are Working

Gov. Inslee should sign charter school bill, let students achieve their dreams

By Rep. Eric Pettigrew, D-Seattle

As a state, we cannot let go of our ability to lift hardworking people out of poverty. We must do everything within our power to ensure public education remains a powerful ladder to success for every child in Washington. We cannot allow the leaders and innovators of future generations to slip through the cracks simply because we were too stuck in our ways to create the change we know they needed.

ESSSB 6194, a bill to keep Washington's public charter schools open for the long-term and an option for all communities across the state, now sits on Inslee's desk awaiting his signature. The bill, which passed both houses of the Legislature with bipartisan support, provides excellent educational opportunities for hundreds of students today, and potentially thousands of students in the future. ...

I have heard some of my fellow legislators who oppose ESSSB 6194 say we either need to fix every problem in public education for every student in Washington or do nothing at all. I urge the governor to reject such false choices.

I urge the governor to sign the charter-school bill, which would keep these students on the path to achieving their dreams and build upon Washington's foundation of innovation and accountability in public education.

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Washington Employers Are Leading the Way

Something old and something new: How Seattle's viaduct is being recycled in the tunnel

By Richard D. Oxley,

Parts of Seattle's viaduct may be torn down, but in a way, those parts won't truly be gone.

Nucor, the state's largest metal recycler, takes scrap steel from portions of the torn down Alaskan Way Viaduct through downtown Seattle and forges it into new product.

The recycling effort is currently featured in a commercial produced by the Association of Washington Business...

Click here to read the full story at
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