The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news.
President Dave McFadden highlighted New Vision's 2014 accomplishments and also outlined the association's top successes over the past 30 years. McFadden thanked New Vision supporters saying that the association's successes are due to teamwork: "We win when we work together."
Steve Mullin with the Washington Roundtable provided an interesting program. He shared that several business organizations in the state conducted a statewide listening tour last year to learn about top issues facing business. The group found there was remarkable consistency around three top issues facing business: transportation, education, and regulation.
Adequately maintaining our transportation network is a major concern for business. Companies depend on well maintained and efficient highways and Washington state faces a growing backlog of important tranportation investments. Mullin was hopeful that the State Senate's $15 billion transportation package would pass the House.
The state's education system is also a big concern and priority for business. Mullin suggested the state needs to boost funding for early childhood education and STEM education. He added that we also need to focus on teacher accountability.
Businesses are also concerned about regulations and taxes. As the economy continues to rebound from the recession, Mullin and his business peers want to ensure that companies can innovate and create jobs. He cited that many businesses are overwhelmed by taxes and regulatory costs and called for a simpler and more favorable business climate.