Labor & Employment

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…

(Courtesy Paul T. Erickson)

WSU Tri-Cities creating new computer science training program for teachers

New program receives financial support from OSPI, PNNL Washington State University Tri-Cities plans to develop a program to train teachers in computer science. The program received a $49,000 grant from the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and a matching contribution from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland. Currently, there is no teaching…

Election may upend plans to turn Washington into right-to-work state

By Michelle Dupler Preliminary election results from the November general election could quash one group’s hopes to rewrite Washington law to join the ranks of right-to-work states. Right-to-work policies aim to prohibit the practice of requiring all employees in a union workplace to pay union dues, regardless of whether they want to be part of…

Marijuana

Using legal marijuana could hinder job search, security

By Michelle Dupler It’s been legal to toke up in Washington for a couple of years now, but experts say it may not be the best idea when looking for a job. Employers can decline to hire people based on a pre-employment drug test — or fire them based on random drug screenings after they land…

Executive employment contracts can set clear expectation for both parties

By Beau Ruff Many business owners believe executive employment contracts are unnecessary. Or, that they might lose the ability to fire at-will. Perhaps the employer believes having less specificity about the job, the employer maintains more flexibility and control. Business owners also can be put off by the amount of work and time required to…

Business community wary of minimum wage increase

Business community wary of minimum wage increase

What will the passage of Initiative 1433 — raising the minimum wage to $13.50 an hour by 2020 — mean to small businesses in the Tri-Cities? To Don Karger, owner of Henry’s Restaurant & Catering in West Richland and his eight employees, it could translate to an $11,000 drop in his personal income. With the passage…

Social Security recipients to see modest bump in 2017

Social Security recipients will receive a modest increase in their benefits next year after getting no cost-of-living adjustments in 2016. Benefits for more than 65 million Americans will increase 0.3 percent in 2017, the Social Security Administration announced last month. The cost-of-living adjustment will begin with benefits payable to Social Security beneficiaries in January. Increased…

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