House committee to hear Boehnke bill aimed at doubling manufacturing jobs in Washington by 2031

A bill sponsored by Rep. Matt Boehnke seeking to double the number of manufacturing jobs in Washington by 2031 will be heard Friday morning in the House Community and Economic Development Committee.

Washington's 6,600 manufacturers are responsible for more than 265,000 jobs and generate more than $63 billion annually in economic output. Substitute House Bill 1170, the Building Economic Strength Through Manufacturing (BEST) Act, would provide a framework for the state to add 300,000 new manufacturing jobs over the next 10 years. The bill also seeks to double the number of small manufacturing firms and the number of women- and minority-owned manufacturing firms in Washington.

“Rebuilding our economy and revitalizing struggling communities around the state is going to take a multifaceted approach focused on real solutions,” said Boehnke, R-Kennewick. “This is a bold bill with strong bipartisan support that offers hope for our economy by focusing on one very specific vision: that Washington be the best place in the world to make things. My goal with this legislation is to rally business, unions, and the building trades to work in solidarity toward a future of economic strength and security in every region of our state. I look forward to seeing this bill advance so we can move one step closer to providing 300,000 new jobs for middle-class Washingtonians, growing our economy, and positioning our state as a leader in this critical sector for decades to come.”

If signed into law, SHB 1170 would:

  • Provide that it is the goal of Washington state to double the state's manufacturing jobs, double the number of small businesses in manufacturing, and double the number of women- and minority-owned manufacturing businesses over the next 10 years.
  • Direct the state Department of Commerce (Commerce) to identify the strategic initiatives needed to achieve the goals laid out in SHB 1170.
  • Require biennial reporting to the Legislature on the state's progress in achieving these goals, and require policy recommendations from a broad-based manufacturing council.
  • Assist Commerce in forming strategies tailored to each region of the state to grow the manufacturing workforce.
  • Direct Commerce to appoint a workforce innovation sector lead to identify needs and coordinate with state agencies to meet them.
  • Direct Commerce to report to the Legislature on how to strengthen the research and development sector that supports manufacturing innovation.

A public hearing on SHB 1170 is scheduled for Friday at 8:30 a.m. in the House Community and Economic Development Committee.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov