Archive for the ‘Public Policy’ Category
Today we hosted The Future of Health Care: Health and Wellness @ Work for Your Business’ Bottom Line. The topic of health and wellness at work is important to all businesses – especially as health care costs rise and health care reform starts to be implemented.
Our four panelists – Donna Steward of Association of Washington Business; Dr. Kyle Dosch of Washington Dental Service; Mark Patrick of Moloney + O’Neill Benefits, LLC; and Elisabeth Buchman of Group Health Cooperative – all spoke to the ways health care reform is changing the way businesses provide or don’t provide benefits, and how businesses can create a “culture of health” in the workplace.
We are back from Olympia, and back from the winter storm.
Despite Olympia getting a record snowfall (more than 14 inches!), more than 60 members of our delegation traveled to Olympia to meet with our regional representatives from the 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 9th legislative districts, plus Governor Christine Gregoire. All of our regional representatives met with us or with members in our delegation.
It’s that time again.
We’re partnering with the Spokane Valley and West Plains chambers of commerce to lead a large delegation (as in more than 70 people) to Olympia to advocate on behalf of Eastern Washington.
Time to get our show on the road.
With 2011 in the rearview mirror, it’s time to focus on 2012. What lies ahead for Spokane? What will happen, what might happen, and how will it affect the business community?
Let’s look into the crystal ball, shall we?
A dynamic, growing presence on the east end of downtown Spokane is the University District, a place where innovation, research, education and more rule the day. Washington State University Spokane, Eastern Washington University, Whitworth University, Gonzaga University and Community Colleges of Spokane all utilize real estate in the U-District.
We have been working with various groups in the community to grow the district. Our U-District is a higher education hub with WSU’s Health Science Campus as its anchor. One of the district’s best kept secrets is the Applied Sciences Laboratory (ASL), a part of Washington State University’s Institute for Shock Physics. ASL is a contract research organization providing multidisciplinary expertise in Research & Development and Materials Characterization for government and industry. Research scientists at ASL have expertise in material science and advanced materials development, optical science, lasers, polymer chemistry, computational modeling and much more.
For instance, did you know there’s team researching ways to detect IEDs to protect U.S. soldiers? And did you know there are studies determining the best way to destroy biological agents, such as anthrax? All of this is vital for our nation, and it’s happening right here in Spokane’s U-District.
Fourteen area public school districts will have a levy on the Feb. 14 ballot (which drops in the mail Jan. 27). These levies fund vital programs and resources, such as textbooks, teaching materials, extracurricular activities, classified support staff and a lot more.
The levies will fund bus transportation and vital programs and resources, such as textbooks, teaching materials, extracurricular activities, classified support staff and a lot more.
The Executive Committee of Greater Spokane Incorporated voted on behalf of the Board of Trustees to support the school levies.
Our President and CEO, Rich Hadley, was quoted in the paper regarding Tuesday’s late breaking news that Providence Health & Services will bring 250 billing jobs to Spokane – from clerks to executives, as the story says. Saying it was a great “gift” for Spokane got us thinking.
What are some other recent “gifts” Spokane has received? Since it’s the gift-giving and receiving time of year, let’s take a look.
In September, Governor Christine Gregoire called for a special session, which will begin on Nov. 28, after state economist Dr. Arun Raha estimated a $1.4 billion budget shortfall for 2011-2013.
As Washington State legislators address this budget shortfall, the question is…
What will our Eastern Washington legislators’ priorities be? We researched and asked, and came up with some highlights from our Eastern Washington delegation that will be present during the Special Legislative Session. This is not all each representative will focus on, but a sample.
A big part of our job here is to advocate on behalf of the businesses of all sizes and industries. To do that, we form relationships with local, state and federal governments and meet with representatives year-round.
Each January, we take a delegation of business leaders to Olympia in conjunction with the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and the West Plains Chamber of Commerce for three days to meet with our state legislators, discuss issues, advocate for business-friendly laws, policies and projects, and much more.
We also bring our State Agenda, which outlines our region’s priorities. Let’s take a look at how it’s developed.
Click the above diagram for a larger view.
The aerospace industry is one of our region’s vital and growing sectors.
Currently, there are 80 aerospace-related companies in the Inland Northwest. The graphic above shows how some of the regional companies are involved in aircraft manufacturing.
Governor Christine Gregoire recently launched Project Pegasus, a program aimed at keeping new Boeing manufacturing programs in Washington. We’d like to see the company build its next generation 737, the 737 MAX, in our region.