October 31, 2016
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Election update: Eight days to go; ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 8

It's time to decide. From the state Supreme Court and governor's office to local legislators and a host of ballot measures, every vote counts in this election. The polls indicate tight margins in many important races. Watch AWB's video voter guide for a quick primer on the statewide and judicial candidates who have shown their commitment to improving Washington's place as a globally competitive state and AWB's position on three statewide initiatives. Read more »

Manufacturing Summit focused on trade, how it impacts economy and jobs today and in the future

The 2016 AWB Institute's Manufacturing Summit last Wednesday showcased the critical role of trade in Washington state's economy and featured luncheon keynote speaker U.S. Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg. The day ended with the presentation of five Manufacturing Excellence Awards in four categories: Green Manufacturer, Innovation in Manufacturing, Operational Excellence and Manufacturer of the Year.
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Manufacturing Excellence Awards highlight innovation, environmental excellence

A highlight of the 2016 Manufacturing Summit was presentation of the annual Manufacturing Excellence Awards. Five employers from across the state were honored for work that shows the diversity and quality of the "Made in Washington" spirit.
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Health insurance rates headed for double-digit increases as plan enrollment begins tomorrow

Health insurance premiums are going up -- way up. The U.S. Health and Human Services department last week announced insurance premium increases will average 25 percent in state-run exchanges. In Washington state, the average premium hike is 13.6 percent for 2017, but some rates could increase as much as 24 percent for those looking for coverage in the state health insurance exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder. Enrollment in the plan begins tomorrow, Nov. 1
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I-732 update: carbon tax would hurt low- and fixed-income families, employers and state budget

Initiative 732 is a hefty new tax on energy that makes no new investments in carbon reduction. But, it does make gasoline, natural gas and electricity more expensive for families. It also makes Washington manufacturers and employers less competitive. The measure would also take $800 million out of the state budget at a time when lawmakers are focused on fully funding K-12 education, and could push major employers to move out of state or shut their doors. Read more »

First-ever AWB Institute Education Summit set for Nov. 16 in Spokane

Have you signed up yet for AWB's Education Summit? This new event brings together employers, educators, innovative thinkers, and Washington's new superintendent of public instruction (both candidates have confirmed they will attend if victorious). One major focus of the summit will be how our education system can help ensure that Washington's students are well-prepared to graduate with the skills needed to be part of the workforce. Read more »

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Focus on Sustainability

Delivering the Future: How UPS Is Pursuing the Possibility of Sustainable E-Commerce

By Jim Bruce, senior vice president, UPS

At UPS, ours is anticipating the direction of e-commerce and staying ahead of it, because we believe that e-commerce will profoundly impact the development of our cities, lifestyles and business.

The question is whether e-commerce will improve or diminish global sustainability. We think it can go either way but are optimistic about the possibility of real improvement. Which way it goes depends on a number of factors: 1) Can we create a sustainable global delivery network? 2) Will people rely on that network enough to lessen reliance on personal vehicles and to increasingly live in decongested, pedestrian-friendly cities? And 3) Will cities begin to view e-commerce as essential to their sustainable future? Truly, a "yes" to these three questions would be transformative to our cities and global carbon-reduction efforts...

Read more at the National Association of Manufacturers blog
Washington's Hydropower Is No Laughing Matter

Who needs those old dams?

By Tracy Warner, editorial page editor, The Wenatchee World

They had a good laugh over it, the reports said. What a knee-slapper. Candidates for the United States Congress, at a recent climate change forum at a Ballard brewpub, indicated through their mistaken answers to a simple question that neither has any idea where electricity comes from. What a hoot...

Electricity doesn't just show up. It is not produced by flights of fancy, moonbeams, cool articles in Wired or a Harry Potter character waving a wand. It required the intense effort of generations, the labor of tens of thousands of people, and investments in the multiple billions to produce enough electricity to supply Seattle and provide the energy without which its thriving economy wouldn't be worth a 500K RAM chip from a 1984 IBM PC.

To feed the city energy there are hundreds of turbines, turning ceaselessly through the power of falling water from the great river of the West, harnessed by blocks of concrete so large we can scarcely imagine larger...

Of course, you don't get rid of such assets. You don't speak of it, even in jest.

Read the full column in The Wenatchee World
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