Manufacturing jobs bill sponsored by Rep. Matt Boehnke signed into law

A bill sponsored by Rep. Matt Boehnke that seeks to double the number of manufacturing jobs in Washington by 2031 has been signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee.

House Bill 1170, the Building Economic Strength Through Manufacturing (BEST) Act, will provide a framework for the state to add 300,000 new manufacturing jobs and double the number of small manufacturing firms and the number of women- and minority-owned manufacturing firms over the next 10 years.

Boehnke, who serves as the ranking Republican on the House Community and Economic Development Committee, says he's optimistic the bill's goals can be achieved.

“Washington's manufacturing sector has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The goal of House Bill 1170 is to restore it by providing a pathway to double the number of manufacturing jobs in our state over the next 10 years,” said Boehnke, R-Kennewick. “With the Department of Commerce leading this effort and business, unions, and the building trades working in solidarity, I truly believe we can hit our jobs target and position our state as a manufacturing powerhouse for decades to come.”

Under the bill, the state Department of Commerce will be tasked with:

  • Preparing a biennial report to the Legislature on the state of the manufacturing and research and development industry and workforce in Washington.
  • Convening a manufacturing council to advise and consult on the development of the report and recommendations.
  • Granting funding for initiatives that accelerate the development of regional clusters in manufacturing and research and development.
  • Appointing a workforce innovation lead to coordinate needs identified by the manufacturing, clean technology, and aerospace sector leads.

House Bill 1170, which has 23 Republican and Democrat cosponsors, received unanimous approval in both the House and Senate. It will go into effect July 25.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov