Washington Governor Gregoire Addresses State Labor Council


Vancouver, BC  (CompNewsNetwork) - Washington Governor Chris Gregoire delivered the opening remarks to more than 400 statewide labor leaders at the annual Washington State Labor Council convention in Vancouver.

Gregoire pledged her commitment to working families, and discussed her work to improve worker safety, compensation and trades programs.

“Ultimately, workers in Washington are safer and healthier, but we aren't done yet,” Gregoire said. “Working together we will build on improvements to worker safety, protect wages, and push for continued training and apprenticeship programs.”

Gregoire worked with the Labor Council to launch the “Running Start for the Trades” program that connects high school students to the trades. Since its launch, nearly 15,000 apprenticeships have been created, almost doubling the opportunities for students.

In addition, Gregoire has directed the development of rules and programs to improve crane safety and protect against job-related heat stress. During her first year in office, she promoted an innovative plan for vocational rehabilitation that provided faster claims processing, improved rehabilitation opportunities and added financial help to retrain workers.

Gregoire highlighted that last month, Forbes magazine ranked Washington the third best state for business, up from its fifth place ranking in 2007. Forbes noted that Washington is one of only three states to finish in the top 10 in four of the six categories, ranking second in labor and business growth prospects, and achieving high rankings in the environment and economic climate categories.

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