April 11, 2016
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'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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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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