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Association of Washington Business – Updated Weekly

Top Stories

Trade moves creating pressure for Washington wheat, other products

  Washington wheat farmers say they are facing a difficult future due to recent trade tension escalation and the United States’ withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership last year. And, as 90 percent of farmed Washington geoduck clams are sent overseas, the industry is left wondering if it can absorb the financial impacts of new tariffs.

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Boeing kicks off Farnborough Air Show with $13 billion in orders

  The year’s biggest air show kicked off near London with major jet order announcements. Boeing announced billions of dollars in orders, indicating global demand remains high. Another storyline from the big airshow: the business of space travel and satellites.

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Tax structure committee to hold meetings; AWB offers perspective on what’s working with the tax code

  In 2017 the Legislature created a “Tax Structure Work Group,” which will hold three meetings this month on “advantages and disadvantages” of Washington’s tax structure and possible changes. With employers paying well over half of all state and local taxes, businesses are watching the discussions closely. AWB’s Clay Hill has a new blog post looking at what’s working in Washington’s tax code.

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Connect with Congress at AWB’s Federal Affairs Summit in August

  Connect with Congress Aug. 14 at the AWB Federal Affairs Summit in Tacoma. Four members of Congress have confirmed their participation so far: U.S. Reps. Rick Larsen, Denny Heck, Derek Kilmer and Adam Smith will all be talking directly with AWB members, and more members of Congress are expected to confirm as the date approaches. Sign up today for a unique opportunity to connect with Washington’s congressional delegation without making a trip to D.C. Register here.

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Other News

Paid Family and Medical Leave premium deductions begin in January 2019, benefits available in January 2020

The state Employment Security Department is urging employers to tap into the agency’s communications and information tools to prepare for the first phase of the Paid Family and Medical Leave program, which begins with payroll deductions for employees and some employers Jan. 1, 2019. Benefit claims will begin being accepted Jan. 1, 2020.

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Washington’s average yearly wage nears $62,000

The average wage in Washington was $61,887 per year in 2017, state officials report. That’s a 5 percent increase from the year before and the biggest increase in more than a decade.

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Greater Seattle Partners picks first chief executive

Brian P. McGowan has been selected by the Greater Seattle Partners to lead a new regional economic development effort.

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State government jump starts Washington’s tourism marketing

Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed nine people to the state’s new Tourism Marketing Authority Board, which will oversee a new fund to promote Washington’s excellent tourism assets.

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Spokane Community College opens new simulation lab for nursing students

Spokane Community College has invested nearly $600,000 to open a new simulation lab for students, part of an effort to address the country’s growing nursing shortage.

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Portland pushes for immediate tolls on I-5, I-205

In a surprise move, the Portland City Council is asking for immediate tolling on the freeway bridges over the Columbia River, rather than a smaller pilot project’s phased-in plan. Officials in Southwest Washington were not happy with the move.

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Aerospace program turns students into in-demand hires

KING 5 profiled a successful apprenticeship program at Sea-Lect Plastics in Everett that is helping fill the pipeline for trained, skilled workers. One teenage participant calls it “Intro to Adulthood 101.”

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AWB Events & Resources

Get ready for Manufacturing Day and AWB’s Manufacturing Week tour in October

  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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Best of the Blog

Career-connected learning takes the stage as Workforce Board visits AWB

  Employers can shape the future of workforce development in Washington — but they need to be engaged. That was a major message Wednesday as the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board met at AWB. Gary Chandler, AWB vice president, government affairs, is a member of this important statewide board. Learn more on Olympia Business Watch.


Tweet of the Week

Trade Supports Washington



They Said It


  “We made it to the All Star game. Boom!” ~ Mariners’ shortstop Jean Segura, after a massive and successful #SendSegura campaign by the baseball club helped send him to this week’s All Star game. Segura had 13.6 million fan votes to win the “Final Vote” challenge for the final position on the American League team.