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Gregoire hears business concerns

Gregoire hears business concerns

Gov. Chris Gregoire met with business, labor and education leaders today on the University of Washington's Tacoma campus to discuss her Washington Jobs Now initiative and brainstorm strategies to help Washington pull out of the recession.

"It is going to take all of us to create reforms that will make Washington stronger and more economically sustainable," Gregoire said. "I plan to meet with local leaders across the state to gather their ideas and strategies, and will rely on them to provide valuable input and help lead our communities through these tough economic times."

Those invited to speak directly to the governor included Melanie Dressel, president and CEO of Tacoma-based Columbia Bank; Tim Farrell, executive director of the Port of Tacoma; Peter Orser, CEO of Quadrant Homes; and Ray Tennison, CEO of Simpson Investment.

February 2009

States urge feds to push for mortgage changes

Attorney General Rob McKenna joined a group of other attorneys general and state banking regulators in sending a letter urging federal officials to encourage national banks and federal thrift-servicing operations to modify mortgage loans that are becoming unaffordable for consumers.

"Every day, our office hears from families struggling to make their mortgage payments and those who have lost their homes," McKenna said. "They are our neighbors and we have as much of an investment in helping them as do officials in the other Washington. The states want to work with federal regulators - not against them - to help reduce foreclosures."

February 2009

Teamsters step up pressure against local truck company

Teamster unions across the country have informed KeyBank that they intend to end their financial relationship with the bank because the banking giant is the primary lender for Auburn-based Oak Harbor Freight, where more than 600 Teamster members have been on strike for the past four months.

January 2009

Columbia post 4 cent dividend

Columbia Banking System, Inc. announced today that a quarterly cash dividend of $0.04 per share will be paid Feb. 25.

January 2009

People on the move

The U.S. Green Building Council has named Bates Technical College an approved education provider for its online green construction and remodeling series. The series, which offers both college credit and a certificate of training, is the state's first to earn the USGBC Approved Education Provider designation. This distinction allows educational institutions who offer green construction courses to earn a designation beyond the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a certification for the green construction, design and operation of buildings. This highly respected endorsement has prompted Japanese company Tokyu Home Corp., a pioneer in introducing western housing construction in Japan, to contract with the college to run the online series a second time for its employees.   

January 2009

Nestlé pulls its Orting facility plans

Nestlé Waters North America is no longer planning to pursue building its new bottling facility in Orting and will not be looking further at the Wingate Springs water source.

January 2009

Health care options under debate in Olympia

According to a new report, a proposal working its way around the capitol campus hopes to cover nearly 60,000 more young adults than are currently uninsured and is the only proposal that would result in increased insurance coverage at no cost to the state.

January 2009

Strike, economy make Boeing revenue dive

The Boeing Co.'s fourth-quarter net income declined to a loss of $56 million, or $0.08 per share, reflecting the now-settled machinists' strike. The strike cost the company $4.3 billion in lost revenue. Overall fourth-quarter revenues declined to $12.7 billion from $17.5 billion because the strike pushed airplane deliveries into future quarters.

January 2009

Cabinet firms merge operations

Simco Distributing has become Tacoma-based Founders Choice Cabinetry, a wholesale distributer of all-wood cabinetry and has merged with The Countertop Co. The companies are geared to sell wholesale cabinets and counter tops to builders and developers.

January 2009

COFFEE BREAK: business and politics

There is a bill working its way through the state Legislature, SB 5446, that is meant to protect workers from being unduly influenced by being forced to attend company meetings where politics or religion might be discussed. While seemingly well meaning, some critics have warned that the bill could mean the end of businesses participating in charitable fundraisers, holiday parties or company food drives since those are often spearheaded by religious or political groups.

The Business Examiner would like to know your thoughts on the issue of political or religious discussions at work.

January 2009
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