Archive of: Work Force

Title Issue

Storm damages reach $7.2 million

As flood waters recede, the process of damage assessment has begun for the Veterans Day storm. To date governmental costs and damages have reached $7.2 million in Pierce County. This includes roads and levees that were damaged, as well as costs incurred by jurisdictions responding to the floods. Six private residences reported a total damage loss of $45,000.

Pierce County is encouraging all jurisdictions and citizens to report flood damage. A presidential disaster declaration and FEMA assistance may be available if Washington State meets a total of $7.8 million in allowable disaster damages.  

November 2008

Filing unemployment taxes is easier than ever

A new online tool is available that gives Washington employers more flexibility for filing their unemployment taxes and managing their accounts.
 
The Employer Account Management Service was developed by the state Employment Security Department.

November 2008
Saint Martin's names new president

Saint Martin's names new president

Ken F. Parsons, chairman of the board of trustees of Saint Martin's University announced today that Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D., will be the university's new president.
 
Heynderickx succeeds Bryan M. Johnston, J.D. who died in June just prior to assuming his role as president replacing Douglas M. Astolfi, Ph.D.
 
"Heynderickx's ability and skills, honed from his extensive senior level management experience in Catholic higher education, will make him an effective leader for Saint Martin's," said Parsons.  "The board of trustees is confident that Heynderickx will set a positive tone and build collegiality within the Saint Martin's community."

November 2008
Technology is about innovation, UWT conference told

Technology is about innovation, UWT conference told

The ninth annual South Sound Technology Conference was held at the William W. Philip Hall on the University of Washington, Tacoma campus and offered a host of views on the state of  technology, particularly in the South Sound.

"Technology is such an important part of this economy," said UWT Vice Chancellor Beth Rushing, noting that the university and its Institute of Technology feed into that growing industry by providing local businesses with well-trained workers. "We definitely see education as a driver of economic development."

November 2008

People on the move

Tacoma was recently named Port of the Year for its hosting of this summer's Tall Ships Tacoma Festival in July. This is the second time that Tacoma has received this honor from the American Sail Training Association. Tacoma was also named Port of the Year after the 2005 festival. To win the award, Tacoma beat larger host cities participating in the Pacific Coast Tall Ships CHALLENGE, including San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.
The Port of the Year Award is awarded to a city that demonstrates significant success in supporting ASTA's Tall Ships CHALLENGE race. It is based on overall performance of a host city and award criteria include services provided to the ships and crews, community involvement, volunteer participation and overall operations. A significant portion of the award is based on voting by the captains and crews of the participating ships.
While the 2008 festival resulted in a deficit of roughly $500,000, the award highlights many of the organization's achievements, including: more than $19.2 million in economic impact to the local economy, 300,000 visitors to the Foss Waterway, More than $1.5 million in permanent improvements to the Foss Waterway and more than 2,000 volunteers who donated more than $800,000 worth of time.

November 2008

State revenue forecast continues to fall

Economic conditions in both the nation and the state have deteriorated sharply since the last Revenue Forecast in September, according to the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.

"The credit crunch has knocked the wind out of an already weakening national economy," an economic forecast released today stated. "Consumer and business spending have stalled as access to credit has been choked off, and confidence has worsened."

November 2008

Paychecks got bigger in September

Real average weekly earnings rose by 1.4 percent from September to October, after seasonal adjustment, according to preliminary data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

The jump stemmed from a 0.2 percent increase in average hourly earnings combined with a 1.2 percent decrease in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. Average weekly hours were unchanged.
   
Before adjustment for seasonal change and inflation, average weekly earnings were $612.19 in October 2008, compared with $594.88 a year earlier.

November 2008

State takes action against South Sound health providers

The state Department of Health has taken action in several cases involving health care providers in the South Sound.

In Pierce County, the Nursing Commission indefinitely suspended the license of licensed practical nurse Wendy E. Arneson. Arneson charted she changed wound dressings when she did not. She also removed a five-day supply of antibiotics from a supply cabinet without permission and gave a patient incorrect medication.

The Health Care Assistant Program suspended the credential of Cheri A. Hackworth. Hackworth wrote fraudulent prescriptions for herself.

The Medical Commission indefinitely suspended the license of Norma V. Kouklis. Kouklis failed to respond to inquiries from the commission.

The Registered Counselor Program reinstated the credential of Doddie A. Moore. She must comply with terms and conditions. Moore's credential was suspended in September 2008 because she failed to comply with previous terms set against her credential.

The Nursing Commission and the Massage Program permanently revoked the credentials of registered nurse and massage therapist Dale A. Neel. Neel had sexual contact with three clients while giving them massages.

The Registered Counselor Program revoked the credential of Camellia O. Ricks. Ricks entered into a romantic relationship with a patient.

November 2008

Unemployment rate up, jobs down

The nation's economic woes continued to be felt in Washington in October, where the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 6.3 percent from September's rate of 5.8 percent, according to the state Employment Security Department.

At the same time, the roughly 24,000 aerospace jobs that were on strike in October contributed to a net loss of 23,200 non-agricultural jobs. Without the strike, jobs in Washington increased by about 800.

"The employment losses look dramatic, but we recouped all of them and then some when the Boeing strikers returned to work in November," said Mary Ayala, chief economist for Employment Security.

November 2008

AAA predicts decline in Thanksgiving travel

AAA forecasts a small decline in the number of Americans traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Some 41 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving holiday, a decrease of 600,000 travelers from last year's total of 41.6 million. This is the first decline in Thanksgiving holiday travel since 2002 and is the fourth consecutive travel holiday this year with a year-to-year decline in the number of travelers.

"The overall state of the economy continues to present real challenges for some Americans looking to travel this Thanksgiving," said AAA Washington's spokesperson, Jennifer Cook. "However, the desire to spend time with family, combined with significantly lower gasoline prices than earlier this year, will provide strong motivation for many Americans to travel this holiday."

November 2008
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