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Association of Washington Business – Updated Weekly

Top Stories

AWB is in Suncadia for this week’s sold-out Policy Summit

  Policy Summit begins Tuesday with a slate of insightful and engaging speakers, with plenty of time for discussion and networking. Keynote speakers will include Politico Editor-in-Chief John F. Harris, former Congressman George Nethercutt, pollster and author Kristen Soltis Anderson, and data security expert Jennifer Golbeck. Follow along with all the Policy Summit discussion on Twitter and Olympia Business Watch.

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Discussion intensifies on carbon ‘fee’ initiative

  National eyes are settling on Washington, where Initiative 1631 could be the first time voters enact a statewide “fee” on carbon emissions. On the other hand, observers say that increasing the costs of manufacturing, fuel and energy use in Washington could push even green companies out of state. New sites opposed the initiative have come online at www.VoteNOon1631.com, with regular updates on Facebook and Twitter.

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National attention focuses on Snake River dams after Pasco congressional hearing

  With members of Congress meeting in the Tri-Cities last Monday, more national attention than usual came to the network of dams that provide energy, freight mobility and recreation while protecting salmon runs on the Columbia-Snake river dam system.

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Teacher strikes end in Tacoma, Tumwater and Battle Ground

  Students are heading back to class in Tacoma, Tumwater and Vancouver, as labor strife appears to be over for this school year. The Tacoma School District and its teachers’ union agreed on a tentative contract Thursday afternoon, ending a weeklong strike. Teachers and districts also came to agreement in Tumwater and Battle Ground over the weekend.

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Alaffia wins U.S. State Department’s 2018 award for Corporate Excellence in Women’s Economic Empowerment

  Tumwater-based Alaffia will be presented with the U.S. State Department’s 2018 Award for Corporate Excellence in Women’s Economic Empowerment next month in Washington, D.C. Alaffia, a fair-trade skin care and cosmetics company, was founded to support women-run enterprises in Togo. AWB profiled Alaffia in the 2017 Grow Here campaign.

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Other News

Higher health insurance premiums coming to state’s health-care exchange

Premiums on the Washington state health-insurance exchange will increase by about 14 percent next year. That will mark the fourth year in a row that premiums have increased, including a 24-percent increase this past year.

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WSU sets statewide enrollment record for the third straight year

With campuses in nearly every corner of the state, Washington State University is seeing its enrollment surge — especially at its flagship campus in Pullman.

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Starbucks announces global ‘Greener Stores’ commitment

Building on its legacy as the world’s largest retailer builder of LEED-certified stories, Starbucks has committed to designing, building and operating 10,000 ‘Greener Stores’ across the globe by 2025.

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Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce hires Lance Beck as president and CEO

The Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce has tapped Lance Beck, an experienced marketing executive with deep Spokane roots, to serve as president and CEO. The Spokane Valley Chamber is an active member of AWB’s Grassroots Alliance.

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September is Paid Family and Medical Leave Month: Employment Security Department hosting public forums, rolling out Voluntary Plan application

It’s a busy month for the state Employment Security Department as the agency raises awareness among employers and employees about the new Paid Family and Medical Leave program that begins its first phase on Jan. 1, 2019.

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AWB Events & Resources

Newly announced event: OSHA 10 Training, Oct. 22-23

  AWB will offer a two-day OSHA training program at its headquarters in Olympia in October. It’s designed for construction workers, foremen, job supervisors and anyone involved in the construction industry.

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Get ready for Manufacturing Day and AWB’s Manufacturing Week bus tour Oct. 4-12

  Mark your calendars for Washington’s biggest celebration of manufacturing. As part of national Manufacturing Day celebrations, AWB will again tour the state in a custom-wrapped bus this October. AWB’s Manufacturing Week will celebrate and promote the vital role manufacturing plays in supporting Washington’s communities and economy.

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Rural Jobs Summit to be held this fall in Longview

  AWB’s ongoing focus on statewide economic development, which started with two summits last year, will continue with the 2018 Rural Jobs Summit Nov. 8-9 at Lower Columbia College in Longview. Reserve your spot here.

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Celebrate Washington’s extraordinary employers at AWB’s Evening of Excellence Nov. 28

  AWB will roll out the red carpet again this year for its third-annual Evening of Excellence awards gala at Benaroya Hall in Seattle on Nov. 28. It’s AWB’s chance to celebrate innovation, environmental stewardship and the overall community spirit of Washington’s diverse employer community.

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Best of the Blog

Detailing the differences: Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family and Medical Leave

  While they might sound the same, there are many important differences between Washington’s Paid Sick Leave program (established by initiative) and its Paid Family and Medical Leave program (voted into law by a bipartisan negotiation process through the Legislature). Learn the differences, and how your business could be affected, in this AWB blog post.


Tweet of the Week

Curing Alzheimer’s



They Said It

Supporting the Snake River dams

  “I believe it’s important that Congress is educated about how vital our federal river power system is to the Pacific Northwest.” ~ U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, during a congressional hearing about the role of the Snake River dams to the region’s communities, commerce, agriculture and lifestyle.