Archive of: Work Force

Title Issue

Holmquist: broad bill could limit free speech, cost jobs

In a Senate Labor, Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee hearing today, Republican Sen. Janea Holmquist of Moses Lake called on her Senate colleagues to reject a bill that would limit the free speech of employers and possibly violate the National Labor Relations Act.
Senate Bill 5446 would prohibit all communication and/or activities related to legislation, elected officials, candidates, religious holidays or charity drives. Employees would be able to sue employers who violate the provisions of this act for even sending out a notice regarding a charity drive.

February 2009

Anderson island blackout continues

Pierce County Department of Emergency Management has set up a command center at Anderson Island's general store as the residents and businesses set in for what could be a potentially lengthy power outage. Lights went out Saturday around the island just off shore of Steilacoom.

Tanner Electric Co. technicians reports that a problem in the underwater transmission line from the mainland to the island likely caused the outage.

February 2009

Storm victims may qualify for IRS relief

Victims of recent severe winter storms, landslides, mudslides and flooding in the South Sound may qualify for tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service.

Following the severe weather last month, the federal government declared King, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston and Wahkiakum counties a federal disaster area qualifying for individual assistance.

February 2009

People on the move

Ray LaForge, the former owner of Olympic Outfitters has been named the Olympia Downtown Association's Person of the Year. LaForge sold his 40-year-old, downtown business to Alpine Experience last year. LaForge was active in the association as well as having served as its president in 2003. One of the former owners of Wind Up Here, Paul Seabert, was named ODA's Volunteer of the Year.

February 2009

Nonprofit Leadership Institute seeks new class

South Puget Sound Community College's Nonprofit Leadership Institute is gearing up to launch its second cohort on March 3.   

The non-profit business sector - significant in its size around the South Sound - providing much-needed educational, cultural, environmental and health and human services. In light of the current economic crisis, these organizations have seen a steady increase in demand, presenting new challenges for local nonprofit leaders.

February 2009

Business startup class set for Thurston

In the current uncertain economy, unemployment is steadily on the rise so many are looking at starting their own business around the South Sound. Business assistance centers are seeing a spike in client visits.

February 2009

Bill could set up three-tiered wage laws for teens

In an effort to give young people a better opportunity to land their first job in a struggling economy and for businesses to hire more teen workers, Rep. Mike Armstrong has introduced a measure to establish a youth training wage.

House Bill 1928 would allow employees under the age of 16 to be paid at a rate not less than 85 percent of the federal minimum wage rate. Employees who are 16 and 17 years old would be paid the federal minimum wage rate. The federal hourly minimum wage is now $6.55, but will increase to $7.25 an hour beginning July 24.

February 2009

Communications firms partner to bundle services

Rainier Connect and Click! Cable TV have partnered to create the first telecommunications bundle offered by local companies in this market. Rainier Connect is now offering the VIP Bundle - video, Internet and phone service to residents in Click! Cable TV's service area in the greater Tacoma area.

"We're excited to offer this great bundle of services to those with access to Click! Cable TV," said Brian Haynes, CEO of Rainier Connect. "We first offered high-speed data services to businesses on Click! connections in 2001, then Internet services in this market in 2007 and now this!"

February 2009

International Financial Services Area to be hot topic at hearing

The Tacoma Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Wednesday, Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. in City Council Chambers in the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St., to hear thoughts on the proposed change to downtown zoning requirements that would eliminate the existing minimum and maximum off-street parking requirements for new development. 

February 2009
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
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