Labor & Employment

Rosa Reyna, an employment specialist at Goodwill Industries of the Columbia, shows off the job board in the Employment Connection Center in Pasco during a recent open house. The local nonprofit has placed 571 people in jobs and assisted 3,439 people from January to September.

Local unemployment rate hits lowest point in 28 years

By Jennifer L. Drey It’s a good time to be a job seeker in the Tri-Cities. The unemployment rate for Benton and Franklin counties hit a record low in September, dropping to 4.1 percent and marking its lowest point in the 28 years kept on record by the state’s Employment Security Department. The figure was…

Silvia Lugo, communications and outreach consultant with the state Employment Security Department spoke at a recent Ask The Experts panel about the state’s paid family and medical leave insurance program. The panel was hosted by the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce .

Employers preparing for state’s new paid family, medical leave program

In January, employers will begin collecting premiums for the state’s paid family and medical leave insurance program passed into law last year. Although benefits won’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2020, this statewide benefits program will allow workers to take up to 12 weeks of guaranteed paid time off — 18 weeks in limited special…

Report shows income inequality widespread across state, U.S.

The top 1 percent of earners take home 19.7 percent of all the income in Washington. That top 1 percent also make 24.2 times more than the bottom 99 percent in the state. That’s according to a recent Economic Policy Institute report on income inequality. The institute, a nonpartisan Washington, D.C.-based think tank, reports that income inequality has…

Second chance hiring may expand talent pool for Tri-City employers

By Jerry Goodstein Washington became the 11th state to adopt the Fair Chance Act on June 2, extending “ban the box” job seeker protections to cover the state’s public and private employers. The bill delays criminal background checks until an applicant meets the basic criteria for the job and prohibits employers from automatically or categorically…

Steve Simmons, owner of CG Public House in Kennewick, said the proposed Labor and Industries rules for salaried employees could negatively affect service businesses like his restaurant, especially if tied to the minimum wage.

Washington L&I considers salary revision for exempt employees

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries could soon be proposing new wage requirements for salaried executive, administrative and professional employees. The wage requirements would be tied to the state’s minimum wage, which is set to go up $1.50 every year through 2020 with the passage of Initiative 1433. The current proposal would increase…

Business people joining hands

Empowering employees helps business owners succeed

By Danielle Kane Congratulations, business owner. You have successfully found and hired a team of smart and capable employees to help accomplish the organization’s goals. The team is working well – until one day, your top manager needs an unexpected couple of days off during a busy time when you and your other employees are…

Construction Industry Training Council of Washington electrical apprentices Aaron Sundby, left, and Jared Hunt review material to prepare for an exam.

Vocational trade school to open in Pasco

A new trade school in west Pasco will provide classroom and laboratory space for apprentices pursuing careers in skilled trades, including future electricians, plumbers and sheet metal workers, all jobs in demand across the state. The Construction Industry Training Council of Washington, or CITC, is opening its first dedicated schooling site in the Tri-Cities. The…

rural versus urban counties

New jobs report outlines differences between rural, urban counties

State’s rural jobless rates historically lag behind urban counties Washington’s unemployment is hitting a major low, but the state’s rural counties — including Benton and Franklin — are not doing as well as their urban counterparts. That’s because rural counties, which have huge agricultural presences, have less diversified industrial economies than cities, said Asja Suljic, regional…

Mid-Columbians in lower-paying jobs earn less than urban counterparts

Mid-Columbians in lower-paying jobs tend to earn less than their counterparts across Washington. That’s what a breakdown of figures show in a state Employment Security Department report on employment and wages released in September. The report’s statistics came from statewide surveys with a 66 percent return rate, said Asja Suljic, a Kennewick-based regional labor economist for…

Eager job seekers fill out basic paperwork at Express Employment Professionals in Kennewick, where hiring specialists meet with clients and place them in positions throughout the area.

Recruiters do check social media feeds to find, screen candidates

Experts say maintaining professional online presence is important for job seekers Seventy percent. That’s the percentage of employment recruiters using social media to screen candidates, according to a recent CareerBuilder study. The online employment company’s study surveyed 2,380 private sector hiring and human resource professionals selected from a variety of industries and company sizes. As…

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Tri-Cities Prep Candlelight Christmas Concert

December 16 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Free Movie – The Polar Express

December 21 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Free Movie – The Polar Express

December 21 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm