Jobs and Economic Growth
I think there's no better place on earth to live and work than Eastern Washington. Some of us would like to keep that secret to ourselves. Our economic survival will depend, however, on how connected we are to the world. There's no reason why we can't capitalize on global trends to bring additional good jobs to people right here.
To ensure economic growth for every job-seeker, I will promote:
* Expanding healthcare research and training in biotechnology at the WSU Riverpointe campus in Spokane and at similar cutting edge programs at Eastern Washington University. New biotechnology industries and additional research opportunities will add high paying jobs in the region.
* Developing energy processing technologies that can bring new job opportunities to Eastern Washington. Let's process the bio-mass fuels that could be abundantly produced in the region, grown by our farmers who shop in our stores, come to our cities and are vital to our overall economic health.
* Increasing funding for local universities so Eastern Washington can remain on the cutting edge of agricultural innovation, computer and electrical engineering, and manufacturing progress.
* Increasing the federal minimum wage. While Washington's minimum wage is at $7.63, our current federal minimum of $5.15 per hour was set 10 years ago. During that time, Congress has raised its own wage more than $30,000 per year.