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...
Aerial view of Spokane

Retooling Spokane’s economic development

Organizations representing local businesses and economic development interests have made it known that the previous and existing model for promoting the greater Spokane region...
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...

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...
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...
City of Bellingham

Port of Bellingham to ramp up cargo capacity

A new agreement will allow the Port of Bellingham to handle more cargo shipments—a move which members of the port and the labor community...
Box of apples

The dangers of tariffs

Leadership representing trade and business agree that tariffs create a long-term hindering effect on Washington state industries and impede the effectiveness of trade until...
Washington’s hospitality labor shortage

Washington’s hospitality labor shortage

As Washington state is currently experiencing a low unemployment rate, industries such as hospitality in recent years have struggled to fill job openings. A...

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...

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...
Ships docked

Modernizing the state’s fishing fleet

Lawmakers and stakeholders are praising a proposal which would help encourage competitiveness of the state’s fishing and seafood processing sectors by establishing a preferential...
The fight to fully fund guest worker program

The fight to fully fund guest worker program

Washington farmers in recent years have increased the number of applications for H-2A guest worker visas while the federal government has decreased funding to...
How Janus could change Washington’s politics

How Janus could affect Washington state

In a major blow to public sector labor unions, the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned 22 state laws requiring state employees pay them a...
U.S. lawmakers speak to the future of global trade

Securing Washington’s trade future

During the Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT)’s annual Trade Summit, U.S. lawmakers weighed in on how Washington state could maintain its position in...
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...
Port a catalyst for economic growth in Clark County

Port a catalyst for economic growth in Clark County

As Clark County prepares for further economic development, the Port of Vancouver could prove another strong source of growth in the region. At the moment,...

Labor urges passage of Millennium Bulk Terminals permit to boost economy, create jobs

Members of the labor community have taken a strong interest in urging Cowlitz County to approve shoreline permits for the proposed export terminal project...
'Right to work’ ruling could change public sector landscape

‘Right to work’ ruling could change public sector landscape

The state of Illinois is in a financial mess; every resident owes $11,000 for $150 billion in unfunded public pension liabilities. The state’s credit...
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Lens Video: Dick’s Drive In- Growing alongside Seattle

Lens met with Jasmine Donovan, Executive Vice President and CFO of Dick's Drive-In, to learn about how the restaurant got its start and has...
Loading forestry truck

Employers support high-demand jobs bill

Washington state lawmakers heard from rural employers this week who support a pending proposal to support students to both earn degrees and succeed in...
More And Faster Jobs Data Shaping Higher Ed

More, Faster Jobs Data Shapes Higher Ed

Colleges are increasingly looking at the particular skills employers seek, using data analytics to mine thousands of job listings. They’re using tools rich with...
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Lens Video: Seattle head tax-not just an Amazon tax

Lens asked Jan Gee, President and CEO of the Washington Food Industry Association (WFIA), her opinion of the Seattle City Council voting unanimously to...
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...

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...

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...
Construction workers planning next step

Lawmakers: Future of work proposal “redundant”

State lawmakers disagreed over the need for a bill which would predict changes in Washington industries and work by creating the future of work...

Public awareness campaign warns voters of Spokane rail proposition

A public awareness campaign has launched to inform Spokane voters of the dangers of approving a proposition to fine rail car owners for transporting...

Workers comp cases need increased state oversight, employers say

After four years of battling a reportedly fraudulent workers’ compensation claim, one Washington construction business has decided to drop the case to avoid further...
Loading Crane at Port of Vancouver

Energy council recommends governor deny Vancouver Energy project

The Washington State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) voted unanimously this week to send Governor Jay Inslee a recommendation to deny the proposed...
Grocery store checkout line

Grocers embrace new tech to stay afloat

Grocery stores across Washington are stepping up their efforts to modernize and reformat their stores to better highlight what online shopping can never quite...
Cashier at store

Business community concerned over proposed overtime changes

Representatives from the business community say that while they appreciate efforts made by the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) to update its overtime...
House passes new "consent" bill for public worker unions

House passes new “consent” bill for public worker unions

Earlier this week House lawmakers approved in a 57-41 vote SSHB 1575 in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) Janus ruling last year...
Wendy Hutchinson speaks to benefit of Millennium Bulk Terminals project

Hearings on Millennium Bulk Terminals permits conclude with strong support

Hearings concluded this week on Millennium Bulk Terminals’ (MBT) Shoreline Substantial Development and Conditional Use Permits for its proposed export terminal in Longview. The...
The future of right to work in Washington state

The future of right to work in Washington state

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision overturning required union dues for government workers, the Washington-based Freedom Foundation has filed a class-action lawsuit on...

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...
Noel Christmas Trees

Local businesses navigate Christmas tree shortage

‘Tis the season for Christmas tree selling, and Washington’s tree selling businesses and tree farms are busy cycling in trees so community members can...
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...
Fulfillment Center

The “Amazon Effect” on Spokane’s business community

Although Spokane was not chosen as the location for Amazon’s HQ2, the city’s efforts were not in vain. The company has announced it would...
Straw in strawberry milkshake

Seattle goes strawless: no more plastic pointy things…

Seattle has become the largest metropolitan city to forbid the use of plastic straws and utensils as part of the plastic utensil and straw...
Initiative opens government labor talks to public

Initiative opens government labor talks to public

Governor Jay Inslee’s Office of Financial Management (OFM) next week will begin collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations with public unions in meetings that are...
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...
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,...
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...
Nurse spending time with patient

Individual provider bill controversial

Lawmakers opposed to SB 6911 are arguing the bill would take away the freedom of choice for individual home care providers when considering whether...

Spokane rail measure bad for trade-dependent Washington

There is no question Washington is seeing increasing activism by those who are opposed to industrial projects, especially when fossil fuels are involved. While...
Construction workers discussing plan

Addressing Washington’s skilled worker gap

With an aging workforce and new jobs appearing weekly across the state, one thing is clear: Washington needs to double down on preparing to...
Right to work for public employees?

Right to work for public employees?

A case currently before the United States Supreme Court may soon determine whether public employees throughout the country have to pay union dues –...
Employer helps intern with equipment

Career readiness bill aims to fill skill gaps

Academic representatives and employers alike are praising a proposal they say would help prepare more of Washington’s youth for the workforce and fill skilled...
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Lens Video: Apprenticeships- The path to a stable career

Lens visited the Puget Sound Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (PSEJATC) school in Renton and interviewed Kevin Trinh, a fifth year apprentice, and...

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...

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