Millennium Bulk Terminals Receives First Permit For Coal Export Terminal

After nearly five years and five months in the permitting process, Millennium Bulk Terminals (MBT) has finally received its first permit for the company’s...

Seattle’s Business Climate and Consequences of a Progressive Income Tax

Even if the Seattle City Council’s local progressive income tax survives a court challenge, the unanimous vote symbolizes an agenda by the city in...

Construction Business Owner Shares His Struggle With Unresolved Workers’ Compensation Claim

A long-standing workers’ compensation claim can be enough to put a company out of business, take away the owner’s ability to stay profitable, or...

Washington State Sweet Cherry Growers Expecting “Heavy Set” Harvest

It should be a bountiful sweet cherry harvest this year, according to recent estimates from the U.S. National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). As cherry...

Seattle’s Fight For $15 Killed 5,000 Jobs

A recent study of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage ordinance suggesting the second phase of the pay hike cost the city 5,000 jobs may give...

Locals Divided Over Benefits Of Proposed Vancouver Energy Oil Terminal Project

The proposed Vancouver Energy oil export terminal project is anticipated to create local jobs, lower the state and county’s dependence on foreign oil and...

Enhanced Safety Strategies Protect Workers, Reduce Construction Business Operating Costs

For construction businesses, workplace accidents have ripple effects which extend beyond the initial claim and the worker’s wellbeing – any injury can hold up...

Proposed Vancouver Energy Oil Terminal Would Bring Jobs, Revenue To Local Communities

Final public comment regarding a permit for the proposed Vancouver Energy oil terminal proved lively as local residents, environmental advocates, business stakeholders and members...

Identifying Small Business Challenges In Washington’s Workers’ Compensation System

In the business world, one workers' compensation claim can spell disaster for employers and their ability to stay afloat in a competitive market, and the financial effects...
Promoting Middle-Skill Worker Recruitment Efforts

Promoting Middle-Skill Worker Recruitment Efforts

After an overwhelming majority vote in the Washington State Senate earlier this month, business advocates this week are praising SB 5713 during it's first...

Implementing Statewide Regulations For Ridesharing Companies

This week, the Washington State Senate approved a measure which would establish statewide laws for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), such as Lyft or Uber. During...
utreach Efforts For A Skilled Workforce

Bolstering Industry Outreach Efforts For A Skilled Workforce

As part of a national survey last fall, Washington state's construction sector businesses reported a strong need for recruiting skilled workers for hourly craft jobs....
Shining Light on Secret Public Sector Labor Negotiations

Shining Light on Secret Public Sector Labor Negotiations

Two state Republican Senate bills aim to reform contract negotiations currently held in secret between public officials and public sector unions. SB 5545 would...
Finding The Hidden Jobs Of The Future

Finding The Hidden Jobs Of The Future

Haven't you always wanted to work in sustainable forestry, or salmon restoration? How about a steady, working-wage job operating, maintaining and repairing machinery used...
Paid Sick Leave Compromise Bill Emerges

Paid Sick Leave Compromise Bill Emerges

Bipartisan sponsors and employer stakeholders Monday, January 30 came together around a compromise bill on paid family and sick leave, at a hearing of...
State May Help Sonics, But Not With Cash

State May Help Sonics, But Not With Cash

State lawmakers January 26 kicked off the first of three planned work sessions to help decide if legislation would help bring the Seattle Sonics...
Cutting Red Tape On Job Licensing

Cutting Red Tape On Job Licensing

Nearly one-third of Washington jobs require government-issued occupational licenses or certificates, more than in all but two other states. Licensing delays and red tape...
Coming: A Workers' Comp Overhaul Try

Coming: A Workers’ Comp Overhaul Try

What would be meaty reforms to the state's troubled workers' compensation system are contained in new draft Senate legislation heard in the Commerce, Labor...
Paid Family Leave Debate Intensifies

Paid Family Leave Concerns Intensify

Washington state industry associations want lawmakers to pump the brakes on paid family and medical leave until they consult with affected employers. They say...
Engineering Economic Justice: It's Trickier Than You Might Think, As Lawmakers Learn

Engineering Economic Justice: It’s Trickier Than You Might Think, As Lawmakers Learn

Dueling gender pay equity bills from Washington State House Republicans and Democrats are prompting a closer look at the best ways to calculate if,...
Boosting Washington State Higher Education: The Conversation Deepens

Boosting Washington State Higher Education: The Conversation Deepens

Representing the largest four-year public universities in Washington, the Council of Presidents on January 17 told the State Senate Higher Education Committee their institutions need additional funding to...
Alarms Ringing On Higher Ed Attainment

Alarms Ringing On Higher Ed Attainment

Hundreds of thousands of new jobs are coming to Washington in the next five years, and they will mostly require education beyond high school. State data presented last...
Paid Family Leave Battle Looms

Paid Family Leave Battle Looms

Employees in Washington state could claim up to 38 weeks of paid family and sick leave under companion bills introduced in the House and Senate...

Gearing Up For Advanced Manufacturing

Driven by growing automation and a globalizing economy, American manufacturing continues its transformation, with big implications for workforce development. Lacking a beefed-up supply of...
Busting The State Workers' Comp Monopoly

Busting The State Workers’ Comp Monopoly

Washington is one of four states in the country without a private insurance option for workers' compensation. Busting the state monopoly on sales of workers comp policies to those employers who are not self-insured would...
Reforms Aplenty Could Tighten Up Workers' Compensation Costs In Washington State

Reforms Could Tighten Up Workers’ Compensation Costs In Washington

Washington state struggles to contain workers' compensation costs, ranking third in payouts nationally per $100 of payroll from 2010 through 2014. It is also one of only...

Washington State Aims To Get A Better Grip On Workers’ Compensation Costs

As workers' compensation premiums continue to rise in Washington, raising alarms for employers, the state is already among the most expensive for claims. Washington from...
Washington K-12 Students Have A Long Way To Go On Science Proficiency

Washington K-12 Students Have A Long Way To Go On Science Proficiency

Nearly 60 percent of Washington state public school fourth-graders don't reach the "proficient" level in science, nor do slightly more than 60 percent of...
Lens Report Leads To Improved State Unemployment Data

Lens Report Leads To Improved State Unemployment Data

The Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) is now reporting a broader measure of unemployment in the state known as U-6 unemployment, following a...

New Reports: Port Project Delays A Blow To Workers, And Washington Economy

Recent reports from the Washington Maritime Federation (WMF) and Washington Research Council (WRC) emphasize that lengthy permitting processes for proposed fossil fuel transport projects at major Washington...
Seattle Getting Granular About Work, Again

Seattle Set To Micromanage Private Sector Work Scheduling; Employers Alarmed

In a move that could inspire similar legislation in other cities nationwide, the Seattle City Council “secure scheduling” ordinance is likely to pass Monday...

Public Pension Reform: A Work In Progress

Washington has eight public pension systems for employees of state and local governments, and 15 plans within those systems. According to the latest numbers...
Minimum Wage, Maximum Debate

Minimum Wage, Maximum Debate

If approved by voters November 8, Washington Initiative 1433 (I-1433) would just two months later require employers statewide to pay $11 an hour minimum...
Getting A Leg Up On Income Inequality

Getting A Leg Up On Income Inequality

A key aim of Initiative 1433 to raise the Washington state minimum wage, and a theme accentuated by Governor Jay Inslee in his 2016...
Seattle Push For Uber Union Vote Slowed; Automation Is Coming, In Time

Seattle Push For Uber Union Vote Slowed; Automation Is Coming, In Time

The City of Seattle is attempting to engineer unionization votes by drivers at Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft. The effort...
Avoiding Another Ports Slowdown

Avoiding Another Ports Slowdown

After a costly setback from fall 2014 through early 2015, major West Coast port labor unions and employers are set to begin negotiations well...
Seattle Worker Scheduling Law Panned

Seattle Worker Scheduling Law Panned

A 48-page draft “secure scheduling” ordinance would impose monetary penalties and micromanagement by mandate on larger Seattle food and retail businesses. Employers say it...

Unemployment Insurance: The Wrong Medicine?

Washington employers carry a relatively high financial burden of providing insurance to jobless workers while they seek new employment. In 2015 businesses in the...
Seattle Employer Fees Still An Option, For More City Labor Law Probes And Outreach

Seattle Employer Fees Still An Option, For More City Labor Law Probes And Outreach

Dead for now is a ballot measure on a controversial employee hours-worked tax in Seattle. It would have been to fund more Seattle investigations...

Occupational Licensing Reform Push Grows

Jerry Schmidt files horse teeth at his farm near Port Angeles, Washington for a fraction of a veterinarian's cost. After a formal complaint from...
Critics: Seattle Hotel Measure I-124 Draconian, And Has Sketchy Waiver Clause

Critics: Seattle Hotel Measure I-124 Draconian, And Has Sketchy Waiver Clause

A major U.S. labor union local is advancing a Seattle ballot measure, Initiative 124 (I-124), which purports to help hotel housekeepers. However, industry sources...
A Full Plate For Washington Agriculture: Labor Needs, Visa And Immigration Reform

A Full Plate For Washington Agriculture: Labor Needs, Visa And Immigration Reform

The national trend in agriculture is an unsettling one, and hits close to home in Washington state. Despite growing demand for output, there are...

Timeless Wisdom From Frank Zappa On Rights And Responsibilities Of Employers

If you think of Frank Zappa at all, it may be as an anachronistic rock musician who sometimes used bad words in his song...
The Minimum Wage, And Machines

The New Baseline: Special Skills

Political and policy activism on labor conditions for low-wage hourly workers is on the rise. Yet the growing emphasis on upstream tweaks may overshadow...
Seattle's Worker Scheduling Mandate: It's Complicated

Seattle’s Looming Labor Scheduling Law: It’s Going To Be Kind Of Complicated

Labor advocates call it "fair scheduling" or "guaranteed scheduling." Opponents describe it as "restrictive scheduling." Depending on your perspective, it may be a worthy...
Right Time For Right To Work Could Be Coming To Washington State

Right Time For Right To Work Could Be Coming To Washington State

If the national trend is any indication Washington could eventually allow public and private sector employees a choice on whether to pay union dues....
A Pipeline To Skilled Trades: Family-Wage Jobs Aplenty For Electrician Trainees

A Pipeline To Skilled Trades: Family-Wage Jobs Aplenty For Electrician Trainees

More and more buildings are springing up around Puget Sound, but the skilled workers who build and maintain them are nearing retirement and the...
Job Training, Social Programs Are Next Frontier In Public-Private Partnerships

Job Training, Social Programs Are Next Frontier In Public-Private Partnerships

When you hear the phrase "public-private partnership" what's apt to come to mind is a contentious public debate about a toll road to be...
Broadband Internet For Economic Growth In Rural Washington: More, Please!

Broadband Internet For Economic Growth In Rural Washington: More, Please!

Rosalia Mayor Nan Konishi sells hand-crafted furniture, when she's not busy governing the town of about 550 residents in Whitman County, Washington near the...
Growth Rules Stymie New Schools Needed To Relieve Crowdingvideo

Rumblings Grow On Minimum Wage

Sometimes there's a price for feeling good about yourself, says Larry Stewart. He's Executive Director of the Washington Association of Neighborhood Stores, which represents...
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