April 11, 2016
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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.
Read more »

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 »


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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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