By Kris Johnson
employers are entrepreneurs who build their companies for more than the product
they make and the services they provide; they build them to fulfill their
values of community, compassion and conscience.
That’s the message behind Grow Here, the multi-media employer image ad campaign from the Association of Washington Business.
third year, Grow Here’s goal is two-fold: to highlight the “why” that motivates
Washington companies and share the employee experience within those businesses.
And, to remind people that Washington state’s competitiveness — its ability to
attract and retain employers — is critical to an economy that works for all
illustrate those goals, AWB takes closer a look at three very different
companies and how they are improving lives and supporting communities – here
and around the world.
A fast-growing company, MOD Pizza, which has a restaurant in Richland, is giving “justice-involved” individuals and those recovering from addiction a second chance to gain meaningful employment and rebuild their lives.
In Kennewick, Lampson International, the company that builds some of the largest construction cranes in the world, has literally helped build the community by donating cranes to lift hydroplanes in and out of the Columbia River during the annual Columbia Cup as well as structures including the local high school sports stadium.
Tumwater, Alaffia, a fair-trade skin-care product manufacturer, is waging a war
against poverty in the small nation of Togo, West Africa, one job at a time.
“business as usual” for Washington state companies.
heard time and again how private enterprise is used as a catalyst for good,
both for the people of the state and the environment.
many reasons to tell the employer story but one of the most important ones is
that policy makers — at every level — often craft policies that have unintended
consequences. Those policies may end up hurting some of the underly-ing work a
business is doing, work that’s about not about the bottom line but about doing
the story can help lawmakers understand how their actions may hurt job
creation, but also impact social good within a community.
example, when lawmakers talk about raising taxes or creating new ones to
generate more money from the “wealthy,” small, family-owned businesses almost
always get ensnared, too.
67 percent business and occupation tax increase proposal in the Legislature
right now. It would hit service-sector employers, including small health care
clinics, affecting their ability to serve those most in need and to fulfill
their values-driven and philanthropic missions.
first year, AWB’s Grow Here campaign highlighted Nucor Steel Seattle. It’s the
cleanest and greenest steel mill in the world. It upcycles steel scraps,
melting and molding them for reuse in buildings, the Seattle Tunnel Project and
more. Without Nucor, Washington would need to import steel, creating a hefty
Nucor employee put it, “You can’t make the argument that getting steel from
Oregon, Utah, California or China is going to be greener than getting it from
your neighbor in West Seattle. For us, sustainability is about maintaining
living wage jobs and it’s about being good environmental stewards.”
the power of private enterprise – entrepreneurs see a need and fill it. They
take to heart community values and they live them. They see a need in their
community, and they serve it.
story highlighted in the Grow Here campaign, there are thousands more that go
untold. We should all feel proud to support the industries and companies that
make our communities great places to raise a family, find a good job and enjoy
the beauty around us.
Kris Johnson is the president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s chamber of commerce and designated manufacturing association.
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