Working together to create more middle-class manufacturing jobs

Dear neighbors, 

We’ve passed the halfway point of the session, and I’m proud of the progress we’ve made.

In this newsletter, I’d like to tell you about a major issue that’s getting bipartisan support–boosting manufacturing jobs in our state–and invite you to the 10th District’s first virtual town hall.

Manufacturing is the strong backbone of our economy

It’s time that Made in Washington means something again. 

While technology gets all of the headlines, manufacturing is the backbone of our economy and the source of good, middle-class jobs. 

For too long, aerospace has been what comes to mind when you talk about manufacturing. This is a big industry, yet we should never rely on a single sector.  

I believe it’s time to diversify our manufacturing base to build on our state’s natural strengths in technology, research, timber, agriculture, and international trade. 

I am proud to be the co-sponsor of House Bill 1170, which was written to help develop manufacturing jobs throughout our state. 

This is a bipartisan issue, with lawmakers from both parties and every corner of the state uniting behind the effort. 

Here’s what this legislation will do: 

  • Make it a state goal to double the number of workers employed in the manufacturing sector, the number of businesses, and the number of women- and minority-owned businesses; 
  • Create a manufacturing council to help facilitate the expansion of manufacturing; and 
  • Set up grants to accelerate the development of regional clusters in both manufacturing and research and development. 

Washington state is well-positioned to benefit from emerging technology on multiple fronts. This includes manufacturing electric vehicles, boats, and even airplanes, such as the prototypes being developed and flown in Snohomish County today.

Our state could also become the home to the production of cutting-edge battery technology to power the cars, trucks, and boats of the future, including our state ferries. Drones and self-driving vehicles involve two of our state’s strengths: computers and artificial intelligence along with manufacturing. Finally, cross-laminated timber and thermally treated wood could revolutionize the building industry.

The fact that our state is home to two world-class research universities—UW and WSU—puts us in an even better place to fight for the world’s best new jobs. And our community colleges, spread throughout the state, are how we would train the manufacturing workforce to build products that could be sold across the globe. 

That’s why I believe this legislation is a such huge step for our state to take.  

We should never reach the point again where we are overly reliant on a single industry or corporation. Instead, the smartest economic strategy is to cultivate a number of companies and industries, so when one sector is in a slump, others might be having a sales boom. 

A variety of sizes is also key, with 90 percent of workers employed at small businesses.  

Finally, it’s important that every Washingtonian has access to these family-wage jobs in manufacturing and research and development. That includes women, communities of color, tribes, and rural areas. We need to increase the number of women- and minority-owned businesses in our state. Supporting the manufacturing sector is a great way to do that. 

I’m happy to report that House Bill 1170 passed on a 96-0 vote and is now being considered by the Senate. 

If you believe this idea is worth fighting for, please email or call your lawmakers (800-562-6000) and tell them to support House Bill 1170. 

Please join our town hall

I hope you can make our first virtual town hall on March 17!

Click here to register in advance.

Keep in touch 

If you have a question, comment, or idea, please get in touch with me.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope to hear from you soon!