“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
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.