OLYMPIA – Develop disaster recovery plans. Expand job training opportunities. Create a risk analysis for potential pollution scenarios.
These are just a few of the short- and long-term recommendations recently put forward by the Economic Resilience of Maritime and Manufacturing in Washington Task Force, a bipartisan group of lawmakers who spent two years studying how to maintain and expand Washington’s $30 billion maritime and manufacturing industries.
With a strong 9-0 vote to approve the recommendations, the task force – co-chaired by Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard) – submitted its final report to Governor Inslee and the Legislature on June 1.
“We are at a critical crossroads in this increasingly competitive global economy,” said Tarleton. “Washington must continue looking 10, 20, and 50 years down the road to stay in the game and ensure our state remains an attractive place to live and work. Having successful maritime and manufacturing industries is crucial for our future.”
The maritime and manufacturing industries create family wage jobs, strengthen the middle class, and provide for a diverse economy. A 2013 analysis showed that Washington’s maritime and fishing industries support nearly 170,00 direct and related jobs at average annual salaries of more than $70,000. Manufacturing alone employs around 280,000 people in our trade-dependent state.