Archive of: Work Force

Title Issue

Weyerhaeuser closes two more mills

Slowdown in building industries has claimed another two mills from Federal Way timber giant Weyerhaeuser Co. which announced late yesterday the immediate closure of mills in Washington due to weak market conditions.

The closures include the shutdown of the Aberdeen sawmill, with a capacity to produce 200 million board feet of lumber and the closure of the Pacific Veneer mill in Aberdeen. The mill has the capacity to produce 210 million square feet of veneer.

January 2009

Insurance commissioner fines insurers

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler collected more than $630,000 from insurance companies and agents who his agency claims did not follow the rules during the last four months of 2008. This amount came in addition to $313,500 in suspended fines, based on future compliance.
 
"My primary goal is to protect consumers. Making sure insurers play by the rules is vital to accomplishing that goal," said Kreidler. "The added benefit is that all of the fines we collect are added to the state's general fund to pay for other state services - particularly important in light of our struggling economy."

January 2009

Local hospitals fair well on national ranking

Franciscan Health System and MultiCare Health System are again ranked among the best-performing health systems in the nation, according to the national magazine Modern Healthcare reported in its current edition.

The Tacoma-based Franciscan organization stands at No. 8 on the list of the 100 most integrated health systems in the United States as determined by the independent information and research company, SDI. MultiCare holds the sixth spot, which is the highest ranking of a health system in the Pacific Northwest.

January 2009

State's economy depends on small business, study finds

Washington's economic recovery will depend on small business. That message is driven home in the newly updated Washington Small Business Profile released today by the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The most recent data show that the state has 147,948 small employers, and they employ 98.2 percent of the state's workforce.
 
"Washington depends on small business for jobs and economic growth," said Shawne McGibbon, Acting Chief Counsel for Advocacy. "During this time of financial stress and economic instability, policymakers need to remember that the state's small businesses provide the economic base for its families and communities."

January 2009

MultiCare, Good Samaritan create largest hospice center in area

Good Samaritan Home Health & Hospice and MultiCare Home Health & Hospice have officially become one organization under a unified name and structure, MultiCare•Good Samaritan Home Health & Hospice.

Home health caregivers are supposed to provide rehabilitative and supportive care to patients recovering from strokes, surgery or ongoing health issues such as diabetes or osteoarthritis in the comfort of the patient's home. Hospice is supposed to provide spiritual, emotional and physical support for patients in the last phases of incurable disease so that they may live as fully and as comfortably as possible.

January 2009

Around the Sound

The Fife Regional Chamber of Commerce Employer Solutions Committee, which encompasses the communities of Milton, Edgewood, Fife, and the Port of Tacoma, is kicking off their 2009 topical series on Tuesday, Jan. 27. This month's 90-minute seminar luncheon, "How to Choose a Retirement Plan that Makes Sense for Your Business," will feature Stephanie McClain of Edward Jones. The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. at Rushforth Construction at 6021 12th St. E, Suite 100 in Fife. To make your reservation, call the Fife Regional Chamber of Commerce at (253) 922-9320 no later than 11 a. m. on Jan. 26. Space is limited.

Ali Vincent and Devin Alexander of TV's "Biggest Loser" will come to Tacoma for "Do Something Healthy 10," which will be held Thursday, Jan. 29 at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, 1500 Broadway in Tacoma. The presentation is sponsored by the MultiCare Center For Healthy Living and hosted by John Curley from KING-TV's Evening Magazine. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a health fair and screening, followed by a YMCA Zumba dance-based fitness demonstration at 6:15 p.m. Vincent and Alexander will share their personal journeys to health and fitness at 7 p.m.  Pre-registration is required and tickets are $15. To register for Do Something Healthy 10 or to find out more about Pierce County's Biggest Winner and Million Minute Mission, go to www.multicare.org, or call 1-800-485-0205. 

January 2009

Gregoire requests federal disaster funds

Gov. Chris Gregoire today asked President Barack Obama to declare a federal disaster area in nine Washington counties impacted by flooding, mudslides and avalanches caused by severe weather earlier this month.

Gregoire requested federal assistance for Clark, King, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston and Wahkiakum counties. Damage surveys are continuing this week and the results are expected to add counties to the disaster declaration request.

January 2009

PSE completes $250 million refinance

Puget Sound Energy, the utility subsidiary of Puget Energy, today announced it has successfully completed a $250 million issuance of first mortgage bonds. The bonds were placed with more than 35 institutional investors, have a term of seven years and carry a 6.75 percent coupon.

Net proceeds from the issue will be used primarily to repay outstanding short-term debt incurred to partially fund the utility's capital expenditures, including the $240 million Mint Farm Power Generating Facility, a natural gas-fired power plant in Longview, Wash. purchased by PSE in December 2008 using previously secured bank financing.

"Successful completion of this bond offering with its relatively low coupon in very difficult capital markets demonstrates positive market reaction to the pending close of our merger with Puget Holdings LLC, a group of long-term infrastructure investors," said Stephen P. Reynolds, chairman, president and CEO of Puget Energy and PSE. "The upgrade of PSE's corporate credit rating to 'BBB' by Standard & Poor's, immediately after we announced the merger closing date, also improved the bond credit ratings and enabled an attractive interest rate on the debt."

January 2009

Washington sees sharp drop in job openings

Job vacancies in Washington last fall were 32 percent fewer than just six months earlier, according to the latest job-vacancy report from the Employment Security Department. The survey showed that Washington companies were attempting to fill an estimated 50,593 open positions in the fall of 2008, compared to 74,744 open positions in the spring of the same year.  

The Fall Washington Job Vacancy Survey report is based on a survey taken in October that measured job openings that firms across Washington were actively attempting to fill. The survey is taken twice a year, in the spring and fall. 

January 2009

Olympian publisher steps down

The staff changes at The Olympian newspaper continued yesterday after publisher and president John Winn Miller announced plans to resign. He has headed the newspaper for more than three years. His last day will be Jan. 30.

He told the newspaper's staff that it was a personal decision that had nothing to do with the change in ownership from Knight Ridder to McClatchy two years ago or the recent round of layoffs and resignations that also included the newspaper's editor.

January 2009
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