December 5, 2016
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Top Stories

Evening of Excellence recognizes top employers during Seattle event

An elegant event in Seattle's Benaroya Hall brought together some of the state's most innovative and forward-looking employers for the first-ever AWB Evening of Excellence. The event also allowed AWB to publicly thank two longtime business advocates with special awards for service to the employer community.

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Third-annual AWB D.C. fly-in begins today

Twenty-four AWB members are in Washington, D.C. this week for AWB's third-annual D.C. fly-in. After a welcome dinner and candlelight tour of the Capitol this evening, attendees will meet with lawmakers and connect with other national policy-makers through mid-week.

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Rossi appointed to Senate as interim replacement for Sen. Andy Hill

Dino Rossi is headed back to the state Senate. This afternoon the Metropolitan King County Council chose Rossi to fill the 45th District Senate seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond. Rossi will fill the seat until a special election next November.

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Minimum wage set to increase to $11 an hour on Jan. 1

The minimum wage increase approved by Washington voters in the November election begins taking effect in less than a month. The minimum wage will increase to $11 an hour on Jan. 1 for all workers, including those in agriculture. Workers under age 16 can be paid 85 percent of the adult wage, or $9.35 per hour.

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Workers' compensation rate to increase by 3.1 percentage points more than needed to break even

The Department of Labor & Industries approved its workers' compensation premium rate increases for next year. Rather than raising rates, it could have lowered them by 2.4 percent and still broken even. By raising them an average of 0.7 percent instead, L&I has increased costs for employers by 3.1 percent more than necessary.

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Holiday Kids' Tree lighting brings joy to Olympia and $22,000 to needy families

Gov. Jay Inslee, firefighters from across the state, a military family from Gig Harbor and countless families joined AWB for the 28th annual lighting of the state's holiday tree in the state Capitol Friday evening for a fun, festive evening.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

Insurance Commissioner Kreidler, Sen. Becker, Rep. Cody to speak to AWB Health Care Committee

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, Senate Majority Caucus Chair Randi Becker and Rep. Eileen Cody, chair of the House Health Care Committee, will speak to the AWB Health Care Committee this Tuesday, Dec. 6, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Contact Connie Carlson for call-in information, or Sheri Nelson for more information about the content of the meeting.

Federal Issues

Boeing CEO urged Trump administration to keep Ex-Im Bank or risk losing foreign sales

America's manufacturing economy and more than 1.5 million aerospace jobs depend on the ongoing work of the Export-Import Bank. That is the message to the incoming Trump administration from Boeing, the National Association of Manufacturers, and other employers.

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Trump's trade deal stance could have an outsized impact on trade-dependent Washington

International trade accounts for 40 percent of Washington jobs, The Puget Sound Business Journal reports. Incoming President Donald Trump's trade policies, therefore, could have a major impact on Washington's economy.

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McMorris Rodgers reportedly being considered for cabinet position

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-WA, is one of several people that President-Elect Donald Trump is reportedly considering as the next secretary of the interior.

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Other News

Employers step up to help homeless families in King County

A coalition of business leaders is leading the fight against homelessness in the Seattle area by contributing millions to the annual No Child Sleeps Outside campaign to benefit Mary’s Place.

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PNNL scientists show how to lock away greenhouse gases underground

Scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have turned conventional wisdom about carbon sequestration on its head. In a demonstration project near Wallula, carbon dioxide pumped into underground basalt turned into rock over just two years -- not the thousands of years that scientists had predicted.

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Boeing begins construction of new training center in Auburn

A ceremony last week kicked off construction of the first new Boeing Auburn in nearly 25 years. The Workforce Readiness Center will have a robotics center and will offer training for more than 5,000 Boeing Auburn workers.

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AWB Events & Resources

Registration now open for 2017 Employment Law webinar series

Employment law is a crucial part of navigating today's business world. Learn the basics along with the latest legal changes during AWB's 2017 Employment Law webinar series. Ensure access to all six, and save money through our early bird pricing, by signing up before Jan. 6. Read more »

Skylar Olsen, senior economist at Zillow, will keynote the 2017 Legislative Day and Hill Climb

Skylar Olsen, a senior economist at Zillow, will give the keynote address at AWB's annual Legislative Day and Hill Climb. This year's event will be held Tuesday, Jan. 17. Save the date on your calendar and contact Kelli Schueler to learn more and register to attend. Read more »

Finally, a 401(k) retirement plan built for small businesses!

An all-new website highlights MyFuture 401(k), a program that allows small-business owners to offer robust, full-featured retired plans for their employees without the costs and hassle of running a full retirement program on their own. Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Entrepreneur of the Year



They Said It

Jobs in Cowlitz County

"There's no reason to make Millennium pay for China's climate responsibilities... Southwest Washington should be allowed to reap the jobs that the Millennium terminal can provide." ~ The (Everett) Herald Editorial Board, saying it's time to wrap up the environmental review of the Millennium Bulk Terminal project and approve the export infrastructure improvement project in Longview.


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Sustainability in Action

A green milestone for Microsoft: 500-acre Redmond campus generates (almost) zero waste

By Nat Levy, GeekWire

The 44,000 employees at Microsoft's Redmond headquarters campus went through a whopping 189 million pounds of food and packaging between July and December 2015. Even more impressive than employees' appetites is the fact that the company managed to keep 99.5 percent of food and dining waste out of landfills.

Microsoft said Monday its headquarters has earned the gold level of Zero Waste Certification from the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council for keeping 90 percent of food, office, and construction waste out of landfills. Microsoft says it is the first tech company in the country to obtain such an achievement.
Read the full story in GeekWire
Build on Success

Washington lawmakers should hold off tinkering with Boeing tax break

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Benefits of the state investment can be seen in Everett, where Boeing has now spent more than $1 billion on its facility for building advanced, composite wings for the 777X.

This work involves a constellation of suppliers. It also expands the cluster of companies and expertise working with advanced composites in Washington.

That cluster, the jobs it supports and the future opportunities it creates should continue, regardless of what happens with the WTO.
Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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