The Roundtable works to effect positive change on public policy issues that are most important to supporting state economic vitality and fostering opportunity for all Washingtonians. That work includes sharing news and analyzing policy developments affecting our state.

A conversation with Roundtable Member Mark Mitchke


1. Why did you decide to join the Washington Roundtable?

Washington state has been my home for nearly 30 years, and I value the opportunity to be part of leadership efforts to strengthen our communities and our economy. I believe employers have an important role to play in driving economic prosperity and opportunity for everyone in our state. Washington Roundtable provides a forum to join other business leaders and advocate for strong and equitable education systems, a safe and efficient transportation network, and an economic climate that makes our state a great place to live and do business.

2. Can you comment on the role the business community can and should play in our state through the work done via organizations like the Roundtable?

The business community can be a catalyst for positive change,  and can bring innovative thinking, active listening, and energy to important conversations about policies that improve the well-being of all Washingtonians. Organizations like the Roundtable leverage the collective experience and expertise of employers to help advance critical conversions and move Washington in a shared direction.

3. One of the Roundtable’s biggest areas of focus is working to ensure more young Washingtonians complete the post-high school credentials that our state’s economy demands. Why is it important to you to participate in efforts to ensure students’ success in their education and careers?

The healthcare community – including oral health/dentistry – plays a huge role in the vitality of our state, and our people are our greatest asset. As is broadly true in healthcare, dentistry needs diverse and talented employees across all levels of expertise and experience, from dental assistants and hygienists to doctors. In 2022, 71% of dental practices in Washington reported exceptionally long vacancies for open hygienist positions and 61% reported the same for open dental assistant positions. I am looking forward to working with other business leaders to make sure all Washington students have equitable access to great education and credentialing opportunities that will enable them to experience career success in the future.

4. For possible Roundtable/PFL communications efforts in the future, does your company provide internships and/or other career-connected learning opportunities for Washington students?

Yes, we offer internship opportunities annually for college students that are interested in working with us to define innovative solutions to improve the oral health of all Washingtonians.


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