Employer Resources: COVID-19 “New Normal” Planning

Challenge Seattle, Washington Roundtable Engage with Public Health and Business Stakeholders to Develop Recommendations for Washington Employers in Preparing for the Return-to-Work Phase of COVID-19 Response


Challenge Seattle and Washington Roundtable, working in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), have developed a set of recommendations for employers as they plan for the easing of “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” measures.  These recommendations – informed by close collaboration with public health, epidemiological, and care delivery leaders in the region – align closely with Governor Inslee’s plan for a safe, incremental, and data- and science- based return to work in a “new normal.”

The resources include checklists in three categories: Workplace Safety, Workforce Support, and Customer/Visitor Expectations. Baseline recommendations are also provided regarding protection of vulnerable populations (individuals 65 years or older and those with underlying health conditions) and employer involvement in testing, tracking, and tracing the virus. The checklists are not sector or activity specific. Instead, they provide baseline recommendations that individual businesses can tailor to their specific environments.

Resources available to download, use, and share:


“Priority one for employers across our state is to understand what they can and should be doing to prepare to bring employees back and reengage with customers as safely and confidently as possible, while following public health guidance. Our hope is these resources will help businesses prepare for when the state begins to move from an environment where only essential businesses can operate to one where safe businesses can operate.” – Chris Gregoire, Challenge Seattle CEO and former Governor of Washington State

“It is critical to note that this guidance is intended to benefit all employers and implementation will likely differ by environment. We wanted to use the best available data, coupled with input from public health officials and private sector learnings from experience in other markets, to give Washington businesses a head start on preparing to restart operations in this new environment.” – Steve Mullin, Washington Roundtable President

For more information, visit our COVID-19 Recover Together page.

Roundtable Joins West Coast Employer Organizations in Regional Recovery Group

A coalition of employer groups from Washington, Oregon and California pledged their support for the recently formed Western States Pact and offered to work with the governors of the three states to assist in reopening their economies in line with the easing of Stay Home, Stay Healthy restrictions and Stay at Home orders. Just as the governors came together to form a shared vision for reopening businesses and controlling the spread of COVID-19, the leaders of six statewide associations representing manufacturers and businesses in the three states are united behind a set of shared principles.

Leaders from the associations shared those principles in a joint letter to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. The organizations include AWB, the California Business Roundtable, the California Manufacturers & Technology Association, the Oregon Business Council, Oregon Business & Industry and the Washington Roundtable.

Charting a Path through COVID-19 with One Goal: Recover Together

The Washington Roundtable would like to thank our state’s health care community as well as the businesses, private foundations, public agencies and institutions across our state that have come together in unprecedented ways to help address the COVID-19 crisis and provide relief and support for Washingtonians. We want to recognize the inspirational stories rising out of the response effort while at the same time focusing on the work yet to come. For that reason we have launched a new page, focused on one message: Recover Together.

The site offers links to state and federal COVID-19 resources and shares stories of efforts to support the healthcare response; provide relief to small businesses and vulnerable communities; support students and families through remote learning; plan for safe workplaces so employees and customers can confidently come back; and more.

Recovery from COVID-19 presents a daunting challenge and the road will no doubt be bumpy. The work we do together as Washingtonians is defining a roadmap for how to beat this virus, transition back to work and school, and lead in recovery. We’ve got this Washington. Let’s recover, together.

New Report: 2020 Update on the Path to 70% Credential Attainment

Washington educators, students, and families are charting new waters in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we navigate this crisis together, the Washington Roundtable and our education foundation, Partnership for Learning, remain focused on what it will take to recover and to ensure Washington students are prepared for the future. Increasingly the jobs available in our state have been filled by workers who have completed a postsecondary credential – such as a degree, apprenticeship, or certificate. Earning a credential after high school is the key to accessing a vast array of career and advancement opportunities in our state. We believe more so than ever that completing a credential is essential to that preparation. We remain wholly committed to reaching the goal that, by the high school class of 2030, 70% of Washington students go on to complete a credential.

Today, we release this new report updating our work toward the 70% credential attainment goal. It is the culmination of many conversations with leaders from Washington’s K-12 and postsecondary systems and institutions. This report assesses Washington’s progress, highlights the critical role postsecondary institutions play in driving improvement, and establishes guiding principles for investments. Right now, just 41% of our high school students are estimated to go on to earn a credential by age 26. To ensure students are prepared for jobs and opportunity, Washington must rapidly increase the rate at which students prepare for, pursue, and complete postsecondary credentials.

The annual increase in credential attainment must nearly triple to reach our goal. Postsecondary enrollment must increase by an average of 53% across all institutions. That means Washington must enroll 29,000 more graduates from the high school class of 2030 into postsecondary programs than the number projected to enroll from the high school class of 2017. Postsecondary completion must increase 14% on average across all of Washington’s postsecondary institutions. Greater supports will be needed for a larger, more diverse student population that includes higher numbers of first-generation and low-income students.

Reaching 70% credential attainment is an ambitious challenge. We are encouraged by the growing partnership between the business community and the state’s K-12 and postsecondary systems, institutions, and agencies in pursuit of credential attainment. We look forward to tackling this challenge together. Read more here.