April 11, 2016
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Top Stories

'Strong advocacy' earns AWB the Ex-Im Bank Chairman's Award

Officials from the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank presented AWB with the bank's Chairman's Award last Friday in recognition of the association's effort to reauthorize its charter. AWB Government Affairs Director Amy Anderson accepted the award during the bank's annual Conference Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C.
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New on the blog: Trans-Pacific Partnership one key to Washington's economic and job growth

Washington is the most trade-dependent state in the country, and federal trade policies are key to the state's continued economic health and future job growth. In a new blog post, AWB looks at one important part of moving our nation's trade policy forward: the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
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Election 2016: More changes in Olympia as retirements announced for Sens. Parlette and McAuliffe, Lands Commissioner Goldmark

As election season ramps up, familiar faces are announcing retirement and new names are emerging for the primary and general election ballots. Here's a roundup of the latest announcements. Read more »

AWB accepting nominations for state's most innovative employers

AWB is expanding its tradition of recognizing employer excellence with a new focus for its 2016 awards. Nominations are now being accepted for the Manufacturing Excellence Award and other recognitions for employers who are helping Washington achieve, connect, innovate and protect the environment. Read more »

Charter school foes announce lawsuit against new bipartisan law

The Washington Education Assocation will join other opponents of public charter schools for a new legal challenge, the group announced last week. The state's largest teacher's union said it will fight this year's bipartisan law that keeps existing public charter schools open by adjusting a voter-approved 2012 initiative to meet the concerns of a 2015 state Supreme Court decision.
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Key Hearings/Meetings

Tax & Fiscal Policy Council to meet April 26

The AWB Tax & Fiscal Policy Council will meet from 9:30 a.m.-noon on Tuesday, April 26, at AWB. The agenda will include a session recap and a discussion of interim Citizen Commission on Tax Preferences activities. Contact Government Affairs Director Eric Lohnes for more on the agenda, or Connie Grande for call-in information.

Other News

Gov. Inslee picks longtime aerospace executive John Thornquist to lead Office of Aerospace

John Thornquist, who has 28 years of business experience as a co-founder and CEO of engineering and carbon fiber companies, will head the state's Office of Aerospace. Gov. Jay Inslee announced last week that Thornquist will lead the state's efforts to develop Washington's $70 billion-plus aerospace sector. Read more »

Leaders of Virginia Mason, Providence listed among nation's most influential health leaders

For the 11th year, Virginia Mason CEO Dr. Gary Kaplan has been named one of the "50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders" by Modern Healthcare magazine. Providence Health & Services CEO Dr. Rod Hochman also made the list, jumping almost 20 slots to number 14 due to his pursuit of mergers and partnerships. Read more »

New on the blog: Flame retardant ban celebration should have happened in 2012

There have been lots of celebratory tweets and emails from groups pushing for a ban on toxic flame retardants, but on the AWB blog, the question was asked: what took so long to come to agreement on a solution that matches what was proposed since 2012? Read more »

Sabah Randhawa named as new Western Washington University president

For the third time in a year, a major Washington public univeristy has a new leader. Sabah Randhawa, the provost at Oregon State University, was named last week as the new president of Western Washington University. Read more »

Energy Northwest takes first place in Safety Awards of Excellence competition

The American Public Power Association has recognized Energy Northwest for outstanding safety practices, giving it the first place award for 2015. Energy Northwest's score was more than 10 times better than the second-place finisher in its category. Read more »

AWB's communications team earns platinum, gold awards for magazine, videos

From videos and Washington Business magazine to the Olympia Business Watch blog, AWB's communications outreach efforts are among the best in the nation. That's according to awards announced last week in the Hermes Creative Awards competition, which honors media and video communications from around the world. Read more »

Ex-Im Bank hampered by Senate's hold on board of director nominees

Last year's congressional re-authorization of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank was good news for manufacturers and exporters -- especially in trade-dependent Washington state -- but the bank is hamstrung by the decision by a few U.S. senators not to vote on nominees for the Ex-Im Bank's board of directors. Read more »

Sen. Ericksen blasts taxpayer-funded billboards that suggest farms are polluting waterways

Grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have been paying for an advertising campaign that blames Washington farmers for water pollution. Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, is criticizing the ads and their message that further regulations are needed on farmers.
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Global 'trust barometer' shows businesses in a unique position of strength

The annual Edelman Trust Barometer shows that people around the world see employers and innovative business leaders as trustworthy. The survey drills down into how businesses can use their influence -- and improve it. Read more »

Tax Freedom Day is April 24

Americans will pay $3.3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.6 trillion in state and local taxes this year. That's 31 percent of the nation's income. If we were paying those taxes first, that means we've been working for the government since Jan. 1, and will be for another two weeks.
Read more »

Holland America Line takes delivery of its first Pinnacle-class ship, the MS Koningsdam

Holland America Line entered a new era last week when it took delivery of the MS Koningsdam, the first Pinnacle-class ship in its fleet. After its premiere voyages in the Mediterranean and a formal naming ceremomy in the Netherlands, the 99,500-ton vessel will head to Florida in the fall for a season exploring the Caribbean.
Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

Last chance to register: Employee Handbook, Insurance and Benefits webinar this Wednesday

Employee handbooks, insurance and benefits are crucial for the success of your business. Hear the latest on these important employment law topics on April 13th during the second in AWB's six-part Employment Law Webinar series. Register now to get your business in top HR shape for 2016 and qualify for continuing education credits.
Read more »

ADA Reasonable Accommodations -- Best Practices for Employers to Avoid Liability

Learn how to navigate the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act during a May 5 seminar in Seattle with Selena Smith, an employment law attorney and partner with David Grimm Payne & Marra. Register online today! Read more »

Don't lose out on a seat at the table for the 2016 AWB Spring Meeting

Hear directly from top statewide candidates and hear the latest insights on the national campaign from two popular CNN news commentators, plus much more at the AWB Spring Meeting in Spokane. The husband-and-wife team of John Avlon, a staunch political independent, and Margaret Hoover, a proud Republican, will take a wide-ranging look at the 2016 election. Register today for what is sure to be a sold-out event!
Read more »

Registrations open for 'Fundamentals of Succession and Estate Planning for Business Owners' in Spokane and Olympia

AWB and Integrity Financial Corporation are offering a pair of seminars in June and July, on both sides of the state, to help business owners with succession and estate planning. Kristofer Gray and Paul Hajek of IFC will lead the seminars, presenting options and offering insights on how to thoughtfully develop a plan to help your business and family thrive throughout the generations. Read more »

AWB Institute

Employers sought to host internships for community college STEM students

The AWB Institute is looking for employers to provide internships for community college students through Washington MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement). This is a great way to support the workforce of the future -- and connect with valuable potential future employees whose 21st century skills are in demand.
Read more »

Nominate young employer-leaders to grow through AWB's Leadership Washington program

The AWB Institute is accepting nominations for the third class of Leadership Washington. This group of young business leaders will meet for the first time at the AWB Policy Summit Sept. 13-15. Download an application or learn more at the all-new AWB Institute website. Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Support for Manufacturing



They Said It

Trade Matters


"We are one vote away from cementing U.S. leadership in the world, or ceding it." -- U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman on the importance of voting to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.




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Let's Seek Solutions Together

It's time to move forward on charter schools

By Robin Lake, director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education and an affiliate faculty member at the University of Washington Bothell

Charter schools aren't some magic solution. But they are proving themselves a valued component of 21st-century public schooling by demonstrating what's possible when schools are freed from certain rules and regulations in exchange for being held accountable for student outcomes. Far from a distraction, charter schools are here to stay. Far from damaging public education, when ably implemented, charter schools enrich and strengthen the fabric of public education.

It is time to move on and focus on students, not battle lines...
Click here to read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Workers Needed for Good Jobs

A job in the trades can bring financial, personal success

By Mike Sotelo, co-founder of the Combined Ethnic Chamber

A four-year apprenticeship program can equal or exceed the earning potential of a postsecondary degree. An apprentice electrician earns $19 an hour, which can be achieved the first year out of high school. By the time an electrician completes a five-year apprenticeship program, he or she could be making close to $100,000 a year.

Unfortunately, every time trade employers need workers, they scratch their heads and do whatever they can to attract and retain employees to fit their business models. Contractors are hiring anyone who can fog a mirror because there aren't enough bodies...

Shop classes are disappearing because schools are losing funding. The deeper challenge is we need to start instilling pride into the traditional trades. Even when I was young, I used to say, "I am just a construction worker." I almost apologized for it. We have to start recognizing that our society would grind to a halt without skilled carpenters, laborers, chefs and hotel managers...
Click here to read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
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