Archive of: Work Force

Title Issue

State fares well in competitive ranking

State economists released the latest Economic Climate Study for Washington and concluded that the state is doing well on key economic indicators used to determine the business climate in the state.

The study provides information about Washington's competitive standing in relation to the other U.S. states. It is based on the premise that, while improving productivity is primarily the domain of Washington's business sector, appropriate state and local policies, particularly those relating to education, public safety, infrastructure, cost of doing business and the environment, are essential to promoting higher standards of living.

November 2008
Recovery from floods still a long time away

Recovery from floods still a long time away

While the initial recovery from the flooding that hit areas of the South Sound a year ago is over, the impact of the damage the water created is still very present in Lewis County.

"On the surface, everything appears to be OK," Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield said. "There are still things that have to be done here. The flood is still with us."

November 2008

State disciplines South Sound health providers

The Washington State Department of Health has taken disciplinary actions or withdrawn charges against health care providers in the South Sound.

In Mason County, the Nursing Assistant Program charged Michael Abrams with unprofessional conduct. He allegedly failed to respond to department inquiries regarding a complaint filed against him. The Office of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma System charged paramedic Barbara J. Bodin with unprofessional conduct. She allegedly worked as a paramedic on an expired license for three years.

November 2008

Workshop set for employee health insurance

Business owners not previously able to afford health insurance for their employees have a new tool available to them - government subsidies for employee health insurance.

The state's Health Insurance Partnership combines public and private resources to help small employers and their employees purchase health insurance in the marketplace. 

November 2008

People on the move

The American College of Physicians has named MultiCare Health System's David Chen, MD, as one of the nation's top hospitalists. Chen was one of 10 physicians nationally to receive the honor. He was nominated for the award by his peers in the MultiCare Inpatient Service, a group of physician hospitalists. Chen serves as the medical director of the Tacoma General Allenmore Hospitalist Group.

Masa Comida Mexicana on Tacoma's Sixth Avenue is now hosting "Masa House Blend Thursdays-Music for Charity" as a way to fight childhood obesity. Every Thursday, Masa hosts an evening of music and dancing to benefit the Mary Bridge Childhood Obesity Clinic. Masa waives the cover charge and instead encourages people to donate $5 to the obesity clinic. So far, the restaurant has raised enough to help with the startup of the childhood obesity program.

Windermere Professional Partners has announced the addition of Scott Harthorn. Harthorn was born in Tacoma and raised in Gig Harbor where he has been a Realtor since 2004. He has consistently remained a Top Producer in both the Tacoma and Gig Harbor markets due to his high level of customer service and dedication to his clients. He currently resides with his wife and two children in Gig Harbor, and has been a baseball coach at Gig Harbor High School for the last six years.

November 2008

Unemployment program extended

The state's unemployed got some good news from the "other Washington" as President Bush signed legislation to extend emergency unemployment compensation benefits.

"There's never a good time to be unemployed, but job conditions are especially difficult right now. I applaud Congress for moving so quickly to approve this additional income assistance for our unemployed workers," said Gov. Chris Gregoire.

November 2008

Home elevation grants news release

Residential building owners around Chehalis and the Deschutes River might be able to receive flood preparation grants. There will be a special meeting to highlight Thurston County's Flood Elevation Grant Program for homeowners in flood-prown areas that suffered damage during last year's flood.

November 2008

Cash is king during down economy

In a day when credit card debt is at an all-time high and paying with "plastic" is as common as driving a car or checking e-mail, Americans are renewing their affinity for cash.

The new Coinstar National Currency Poll on economic trends reveals that nearly a quarter of Americans report using cash more often to pay for purchases than they did just one year ago. Reasons cited include helping to manage budgets and control credit card debt. In addition, more than 60 percent of Americans polled said they will be changing their financial plans for 2009 due to difficult economic times.

November 2008

Columbia, Heritage complete Treasury deals

Tacoma-based Columbia Banking System, Inc. and Lacey-based Heritage Bank announced separately that they had completed federal transactions with the Department of the Treasury.

Columbia raised $76.9 million in capital by issuing 76,898 shares of Series A preferred stock for $1,000 per share to the U.S. Department of Treasury as a voluntary participant in the federal government's Capital Purchase Program.

"We are pleased to have been selected as one of the first regional banks to participate in the Treasury's program, further affirming our financial strength," said Melanie Dressel, president and chief executive officer. "The additional equity bolsters our already strong capital levels, enhances our ability to lend and increases our flexibility to pursue strategic opportunities which may arise. We believe this additional measure of strength will be well received by our employees, customers and shareholders."

November 2008

State launches video to help businesses with tax planning

Washington State has launched a multi-agency streaming video that gives new and small businesses easy-to-understand basics on how to plan for, prepare and pay state business taxes and insurance premiums.

The video guides business owners through the process as they face their tax reports. It answers basic questions, such as: which taxes, and what rate, businesses will have to pay;    how and when to file state taxes; and what steps business owners should take to plan ahead.

"Small businesses play a critical role in growing our state's economy," Gov. Chris Gregoire said. "We need to provide Washington's small business owners with as much information as possible so they can successfully develop and build their companies -- and this video helps achieve that. A strong business climate will keep Washingtonians employed, and contribute to our state's growth."

November 2008
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