April 18, 2016
Fast Facts
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Washington's public charter school system gets back to work

The Washington State Charter School Commission is getting back up to speed. The board, which was reauthorized in this year's bipartisan charter school legislation, held a virtual meeting last week to set requirements and deadlines for approving charter school contracts for next year.
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Election update: More candidates announce campaigns for statewide and legislative races

The campaign season continues to heat up as new candidates announced races for the Senate, House and statewide elected positions.
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Worker deaths in Washington drop to near-historic low in 2015

Workplace deaths are declining in Washington, and last year saw one of the lowest worker fatality rates on record. While there is more work to be done, especially around issues of falls, it's a sign that cooperation between employers and employees can deliver a safer workplace for all.
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Four AWB members listed as Corporate Champions for Philanthropy

The Puget Sound Business Journal has released its list of Corporate Champions for Philanthropy, and four of the winners are AWB members. Congratulations to The Boeing Co., Expedia, Brown Bear Car Wash and MCM for "embodying the definition of top corporate citizens.
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Amazon offering a building to house more than 200 homeless

Amazon.com is offering the use of a building it owns as a temporary refuge for homeless families. The building, a former Travelodge hotel and college dormitory that Amazon acquired as part of its new corporate campus, will house more than 200 people for a year. It's part of the business community's response to Mayor Ed Murray's recent declaration of a housing emergency in Seattle. Read more »

Federal amendment introduced to prevent hefty taxes on craft beer, wine and beverages

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray joined other lawmakers last week in introducing an amendment that would cut the tax burden on small craft breweries.
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Washington Women in Trades to host career fair on May 6 in Seattle

Learn about the many opportunities for women in construction, trades and apprenticeships at the 37th annual Women in Trades Career Fair on May 6 at the Fisher Pavilion at the Seattle Center. Vigor Industrial is helping present this free event. Read more »

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Support Redevelopment to Create Jobs

Remove the barriers to prosperity

By Lee Newgent, Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council AFL-CIO; Larry Brown, Aerospace Machinists Union District Lodge 751; and Vince O'Halloran, Sailors' Union of the Pacific

Communities across our state are being rocked by the loss of jobs from closures of viable industry and manufacturing -- such as the Alcoa plant in Wenatchee. At the same time, we are facing extreme resistance to use or repurpose sites that have been closed, symptomatic of a growing and devastating "deindustrialization" sentiment. Examples include opposition to the proposal to use a former Alcoa plant for the Millennium Bulk Terminals project in Longview, and the proposal in Tacoma -- now on hold -- to convert a former aluminum smelter into a methanol refinery.

It's no secret that our regulatory process is broken. It has become so protracted and unpredictable that we are sending potential investors the unmistakable message that Washington is an inhospitable place to launch new industrial, energy and transportation facilities.

Each of these issues can and must be addressed immediately by state leaders.

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Wenatchee World
Sensible Savings

Even uncommon voices can find common ground on energy efficiency

By Ross Eisenberg of the National Association of Manufacturers and Kit Kennedy of the Natural Resources Defense Council

Washington, D.C., has earned a reputation in recent years as a city plagued by hyper-partisan gridlock. Yet our two organizations -- which often disagree -- have found common ground on energy efficiency. It's instructive to look at why both the National Association of Manufacturers and the Natural Resources Defense Council both support it.

It's simple, really: by building better buildings, making more innovative products, and using creative manufacturing processes, we can accomplish multiple goals -- reducing wasted resources, improving our electricity system, preventing more toxic pollution, reducing climate change, and fueling economic growth. Many new, innovative energy efficiency products and technologies are made right here by American manufacturers, creating jobs and economic growth across the nation.

Candidates aren't banging their fists on the lectern about energy efficiency. There are no big-budget commercials or fiery debates on TV. But that's not because the issue isn't important. Buildings consume approximately 40 percent of all the energy used in the United States. Improving energy efficiency of our buildings, and of the appliances and equipment inside them, is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to improve the environment, save money, combat global climate change, and stoke our economy...

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Hill
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