Archive of: Work Force

Title Issue

Local economy, wage data online

The state Employment Security Department has created a Number and Trends online tool that makes local work force-related information easy to find. The site includes data about unemployment rates, wages, unemployment claims, and projected growth in various occupations and industries.

"We have a lot of labor-market information available on our Web site, but it can be complicated to find it," said Karen Lee, commissioner of the Employment Security Department. "We created Numbers and Trends to help citizens quickly find the most popular data in one place."

December 2008

Unemployment tax going down for some

For the first time ever, more than half of all Washington employers will be in the lowest unemployment-insurance tax bracket in 2009, with tax savings totaling some $45 million.

"There hasn't been a lot of good news for businesses lately, so it feels good to spread a little holiday cheer," said Employment Security Commissioner Karen Lee in announcing the information today.

December 2008

Boeing schedules first Dreamliner flight

Boeing today announced an updated schedule for its all-new 787 Dreamliner program that moves the commercial jet's first flight into the second quarter of 2009 and first delivery into the first quarter of 2010. The new schedule reflects the impact of disruption caused by the recent Machinists' strike along with the need to replace certain fasteners in early production airplanes.

December 2008

People on the move

Beth Johnson has been hired to lead Provider Services for Regence BlueShield. In her role, Johnson will oversee relationships with all provider networks for Regence in Washington. Before joining Regence, Johnson worked 10 years for First Choice Health, most recently as vice president of network management. Before that, she spent four years with MultiCare, first as a practice manager and then as the system manager for plan operations. Earlier in her career, Johnson managed physician clinics. Johnson received her master's degree in Public Health Administration from the University of South Carolina. Her undergraduate degree is from James Madison University in Virginia. A resident of Tacoma, Johnson will be based in Seattle.

Mark Losh
has joined Mills & Mills Funeral Home and Memorial Park in Tumwater as a family service professional and advance planning specialist. Mills & Mills is owned by Service Corp. International.

December 2008

Gates Foundation pushes education

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced grants totaling $69 million to organizations working to improve college enrollment and completion rates in America. The foundation aims to double the number of low-income students who earn a postsecondary degree or credential with genuine value in the workplace by age 26 -- an increase of approximately 250,000 graduates each year.

December 2008

Employers pay for government shortages

The "hidden tax" on employers and privately insured families created by underpayments for Medicare and Medicaid was given new attention today with the release of a study. According to the new research, $88.8 billion in government underpayments are shifted to the private sector annually -- or about 15 percent of the costs of private insurance premiums.

December 2008

State suggests 'shared work'

The state Employment Security Department held a news conference in Yakima today to promote its Shared-Work Program. The program offers Washington employers an alternative to laying off skilled employees when they're experiencing a slow-down.

State officials said an employer can reduce employees' hours up to 50 percent, and qualified workers may receive partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages.

December 2008

Financial crunch hits higher education

As the governor's budget-cutting edict is being digested by public colleges and universities in Washington, major private higher education campuses are facing their own financial squeezes.

Private schools financially rely on investment earnings, tuition payments and alumni gifts, said Sherry Mondou, vice president for finance and administration at the University of Puget Sound. Unfortunately, she said, it appears UPS may be hit on all fronts.

December 2008

Five high schools go to college

Washington Business Week, a hands-on business leadership training program for high school students, will bring more than 500 students to the campus of Centralia College from Dec. 15 to 19. Students from Centralia, WF West, Toledo, Napavine and Winlock high schools will learn about the Free Enterprise system from managers and other employees of local Lewis County companies.

This year's Business Week is expected to see the largest turnout of high school participants since it began in the area seven years ago. This is the first year the program will be staged on the Centralia College campus.

December 2008

UWT announces seamanship course

Seasoned mariners and recreational boaters alike will receive world-class training in a course offered by the UW Tacoma Continuing Education program. Capt. Skip Anderson, lead instructor for the course, said it's designed to give boaters the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are well prepared. As added incentive, he noted that industry professionals look for licensed graduates of these courses for prospective employees.

December 2008
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