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Big and small. Urban and rural. White collar, blue collar and new collar.

We're all in this together.

The heart of AWB’s mission is to serve as a unifying voice to promote economic prosperity throughout all of Washington, and in 2018 we accomplished that in many ways. We come from different places and backgrounds, but Washingtonians are bound together by shared values: We love our state. We want the best for our families and communities.

Kris Johnson, President | Tim Schauer, Board Chair

GROWING A SKILLED WORKFORCE

“This Workforce Summit was probably one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve had regarding the state of Washington and the direction we’re heading.”

WHITAKER DUNN, TECHNICAL TRAINING COORDINATOR, DUNN LUMBER

As the state’s economy grows, so does the need for a skilled workforce. That’s why the theme of workforce development, recruitment and retention ran through nearly every AWB event in 2018. AWB was also active in preparing member employers for the first phase of the new statewide Paid Family and Medical Leave program through the creation of explainer videos geared toward both employers and employees and four webinars open to all association members.

“I want to really applaud AWB. I look at the materials that are here, your Redbook and summary on the rural economy, and you all nail it.”

MARK SCHEFFEL, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, ADVANTAGE CAPITAL, SPEAKING AT THE 2018 RURAL JOBS SUMMIT

COLLECTIVE POWER

Washington manufacturers produce more than $58 billion in goods annually.

The power of connection was evident during AWB’s second-annual Manufacturing Week bus tour in October when, on the tour’s third morning, the bus stopped at Hobart Machined Products. The small machine shop in rural King County, founded in a garage in 1978, has fewer than 10 employees and yet it has produced parts for every Boeing jet since the 707. The tour succeeded in raising the profile of Washington’s manufacturing sector, encouraging lawmakers to support the industry and inspiring young people to pursue careers in manufacturing.

STANDING UP FOR EMPLOYERS

“It’s time to let all manufacturers win.”

KRIS JOHNSON, AWB PRESIDENT

After years of effort to meet the obligations of the 2012 McCleary education ruling, lawmakers passed a 2018 supplemental budget that moved up full funding of teacher salaries, finally satisfying the Supreme Court ruling. State spending for elementary and secondary education has risen from $13.4 billion in the 2011-2013 biennium to $22.8 billion in the most recent budget and is projected to surpass $26 billion in the next biennium.

EXPANDING THE ECONOMIC LANDSCAPE

“That is the beauty of AWB. It’s coming together with a whole bunch of business leaders to talk solutions and how to make what we do even better.”

LUCAS MACK, FOUNDER AND CEO, 4TH AVENUE MEDIA

AWB’s advocacy work centered around growing and expanding economic opportunity in every county, small town and city across Washington state. One highlight was advocating for the need to expand access to broadband to unserved and underserved areas outside urban centers. Part of AWB’s Rural Jobs Task Force agenda, the idea gained traction with a bill being introduced in the state Senate. It would have created a Governor’s Office of Broadband Access to better coordinate public and private work to reach statewide connectivity.

Other areas of focus in AWB’s economic expansion effort were finding ways to support iconic industries, such as the manufacturing and natural resources sectors, and starting the conversation on how to address workforce needs of employers and access to quality child care to help employees thrive in the workplace.

The 2018 Evening of Excellence Winners:

The 2018 Manufacturing Excellence Winners:

AWB Grow Here Campaign

MOD PIZZA

ALAFFIA

LAMPSON INTERNATIONAL

THE McGREGOR COMPANY

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