State of Washington
67th Legislature
2021 Regular Session
ByHouse Community & Economic Development (originally sponsored by Representatives Boehnke, Paul, Walsh, Kloba, Shewmake, Santos, Springer, Dolan, Dye, Graham, Leavitt, McCaslin, Young, Walen, Riccelli, Bateman, Lovick, Lekanoff, Eslick, Frame, Barkis, Sutherland, Robertson, and Dent)
AN ACT Relating to building economic strength through manufacturing; adding new sections to chapter 43.330 RCW; and creating a new section.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1. This act may be known and cited as the Washington BEST manufacturing act.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2. It is the intent of the legislature that Washington retain and build on its leadership in the manufacturing and research and development sectors. The legislature finds that a thriving research and production sector are complimentary and should be promoted in every region of the state. The legislature finds this is critical to provide a strong, resilient tax base for good schools, safe streets, and community optimism. Therefore, the legislature intends to identify and invest in strategies to ensure every geographic region of the state can benefit from a strong manufacturing and research and development base, with the goal of doubling the state's manufacturing employment base, the number of small businesses, and the number of women and minority-owned manufacturing businesses in the next 10 years.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3. (1) The department is responsible for identifying and developing strategies to help achieve the goals established in section 2 of this act. In support of pursuing the goal, the department must prepare and update each fiscal biennium a report on the state of the manufacturing and research and development industry and workforce. The report must identify progress or challenges the state has encountered in achieving the goals established in section 2 of this act and identify recommendations to the legislature.
(2) The report may include, but not be limited to:
(a) Recommendations for specific actions to develop a manufacturing workforce pipeline and specific manufacturing subsectors that present workforce opportunities or challenges;
(b) Identification of dislocated workers;
(c) Career-connected learning opportunities;
(d) A survey of financial aid that can be leveraged to fund training for the manufacturing workforce pipeline, such as Washington college grant opportunities, passport to careers, and prison to postsecondary funding;
(e) Recommendations on improving the state's competitiveness for manufacturing and research and development job retention and creation;
(f) Identification of high-demand advanced manufacturing industries and subsectors globally;
(g) Identification of site selection criteria of advanced manufacturing and research and development projects; and
(h) Recommendations of best practices to streamline environmental permit approval and appeal processes for the purpose of getting manufacturing businesses who want to site or expand in Washington more certainty, faster.
(3) The department must convene a manufacturing council to advise and consult on the development of the report and recommendations.
(a) The director or the director's designee must appoint to the council such persons from the private, nonprofit, and public sectors as may best inform the state's ability to innovate, diversify supply chains, and expand living wage jobs in the manufacturing sector.
(b) Representatives must include small to mid-sized private sector manufacturing businesses, labor and apprenticeship programs, statewide business associations, higher education institutions, and workforce partners. The department must work to ensure:
(i) Equal representation of business and labor on the council;
(ii) That appointees represent every region of the state such that economic diversification across all regions is supported; and
(iii) That the council includes a strong array of voices from women and minority executives and labor in manufacturing.
(4) All state agencies with expertise in workforce development and economic development are encouraged to provide such information and resources as may be requested to inform and facilitate identification and analysis of public policy challenges and potential recommendations for the report in subsections (1) and (2) of this section.
(5) In its first biennial report, the department shall coordinate with the office of the superintendent of public instruction and the state board for community and technical colleges to assess any inadequacy or gaps in delivering hands-on, skills-based learning remotely to all Washingtonians seeking to enter the manufacturing workforce or to be retrained for a transition within the manufacturing workforce.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4. (1) The department must support the development of regionally tailored strategies to facilitate the continued existence and development of manufacturing workforce across the state.
(2) To support regional manufacturing cluster development and job creation, the department must grant any funding provided in section 5 of this act for initiatives that accelerate the development of regional clusters intended to grow living wage jobs in manufacturing and research and development.
(3) The department is encouraged to consider the creation of regional offices or establishing additional duty stations that facilitate sector leads to be located in the regions most dependent on their sector.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5. (1) The manufacturing cluster acceleration subaccount is established in the economic development strategic reserve account. All receipts from appropriations made to the manufacturing cluster acceleration subaccount shall be deposited into the subaccount.
(2) The department may make expenditures from the subaccount to support regional cluster acceleration strategies, including: Supporting projects to assist manufacturers to diversify their customer base and supply chain, supporting pilot or demonstration manufacturing projects coordination with organized cluster initiatives, and supporting projects that are intended to increase manufacturing and research and development jobs regionally.
(3) The department is encouraged to seek match funds for any funds appropriated to this account and may utilize funds to match nonstate funds being expended on a specific project that aligns with the purpose of this section.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6. (1) The department must appoint a workforce innovation sector lead, to coordinate workforce activities and needs identified by industry sector leads such as the manufacturing, clean technology, and aerospace sector leads, and connect this work with the lead workforce agencies to inform strategic allocation of funding.
(2) Within existing resources, the department must report to the appropriate committees of the legislature beginning December 1, 2022, and continuing every fourth year thereafter, the progress made in developing, recruiting, and retaining research and development employers and workforce; and a description of how the state's policy toolkit for developing strength in research and development as a sector compares to competitor states.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 7. The duties in sections 2 through 6 of this act are subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for the specific purpose.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 8. Sections 2 through 7 of this act are each added to chapter 43.330 RCW and codified with the subchapter heading of "MANUFACTURING AND RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SECTOR PROMOTION."
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