Archive of: Work Force

Title Issue

Washington farmers want a legal workforce

The Washington Farm Bureau and other agriculture-related groups are turning up their political heat for the passage of House Bill 1896, which is scheduled for public hearing before the House Committee on Commerce and Labor tomorrow.

Despite record numbers of unemployed workers, there are still not enough legal seasonal workers available to meet the demand. But many of these available workers are not authorized to work here because of their immigrations status.

February 2009

Valley reports increase in dividend

Valley Community Bancshares, Inc., the parent company of Puyallup-based Valley Bank, today reported earnings of $2.4 million, or $2.10 per diluted share, for the year, compared to $2.5 million, or $2.20 per diluted share, in 2007.

"Although the bank did not experience any non-accrual loans in 2008, we are not immune to the credit challenges facing all banks as a result of the slowing economy," said David Brown, president and CEO. "We are, however, confident about the overall quality of our credit portfolio and we believe we are well-positioned to weather further challenges presented by the continued deterioration in the economy." 

February 2009

Patriot Express loans top $250 million

In just 20 months, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative has approved more than $250 million in loan guarantees to nearly 2,900 veterans and their spouses who are using the SBA-guaranteed funds to establish and expand their small businesses.

The Puget Sound SBA office has processed 79 loans with a gross amount of $7,868,100.

More than 20 percent of the loans offered around the nation have come in the first four months of fiscal year 2009, and overall loan amounts have averaged around $88,000 per loan. Some 15 percent of the loans have gone to military spouses.

February 2009

Puget Holdings completes purchase of PSE

Puget Holdings LLC, a group made of mostly Canadian investors, today announced the completion of its $7.4 billion purchase with Puget Energy and its wholly-owned utility subsidiary, Puget Sound Energy, acquiring all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Puget Energy for $30 a share.

"Our merger with Puget Holdings is already providing benefits to our 1 million electric and nearly 750,000 natural gas customers in Western Washington," said Stephen P. Reynolds, president and CEO of Puget Energy and PSE. "During this time of economic instability, PSE has been able to improve its credit rating and secure long-term credit facilities to improve and expand our energy delivery system, providing local jobs and meeting local needs."

The PSE board includes Herbert B. Simon, a member of Simon Johnson LLC, a real estate and venture capital investment company in Tacoma.

February 2009

COFFEE BREAK: Stimulus responses

The Business Examiner asked readers of the BE Daily on Wednesday to voice their thoughts on the various stimulus packages that have already passed or are currently under discussion. Will they work? Are they wastes of taxpayer dollars? Are they too little, too much? Here are some of those responses:

February 2009

Weyerhaeuser posts fourth quarter loss

Weyerhaeuser Co. has reported a net loss of $1.2 billion for the fourth quarter, or $5.73 per share, on net sales from continuing operations of $1.8 billion. Last year, Weyerhaeuser reported a fourth quarter net loss of $63 million, or 30 cents per share, on net sales from continuing operations of $2.5 billion.

February 2009

Job losses in building underlines need for action

The latest report on job losses in construction-related industries underscores the urgency of passing a job-boosting economic stimulus package focused on infrastructure, said Ken Simonson, chief economist for The Associated General Contractors of America.

February 2009

DNR seeks new settlement terms with Taylor

The new Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark has announced that he will not renew a lease with Taylor Shellfish with terms that were negotiated by the previous commissioner, Doug Sutherland. The terms had been set in a settlement addressing the company's use of aquatic lands in Shelton's Totten Inlet for its geoduck operations.

February 2009

Retail container traffic to fall 11.8 percent

After ending 2008 down 7.9 percent, total cargo volume at the nation's major retail container ports, including operations in Tacoma, is expected to drop at an even faster pace during the first half of 2009 as the economic recession continues, according to the monthly Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and IHS Global Insight.

February 2009

Weyerhaeuser announces Alabama closures

After announcing last month the closure of two Washington state mills, Weyerhaeuser said today that it will indefinitely close its iLevelĀ® veneer and lumber mills in Pine Hill, Ala., effective immediately. The announcement will affect approximately 300 employees at the site.

Demand for wood products continues to decline due to a slowdown in the housing market. As a result of these challenging market conditions, the Pine Hill facilities will close for an indefinite period of time while the company continues to balance supply with demand.

"The demand for residential wood products continues to erode and this announcement is a direct result of the business environment we face," said Tom Gideon, executive vice president, Forest Products.

February 2009
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