Around the Table: PNNL, Seattle Kraken, Retail Lockbox, Seahawks, Microsoft, PSE, Virginia Mason, & more

Adapting to COVID-19

After Pacific Northwest National Laboratory summer internships went virtual because of COVID-19, interns continued to do research about biofuels, a radiation detector, and more. Learn how PNNL adapted to new circumstances from this column by director Steven Ashby. The Space Needle has reopened to visitors with limited capacity after investing $1 million in coronavirus-related safety upgrades. Staff installed ultraviolet lights to kill airborne viruses, eliminated the use of cash, and other safety measures. The Seattle Kraken recently opened its flagship retail store with by-appointment shopping and safety measures such as body temperature scans. Learn more here.

Supporting and raising awareness about racial equity

Boeing has committed $10.6 million in grant funding to 20 nonprofits working to address racial equity and social justice in the U.S., including grants to increase the number of minority and underserved students pursuing STEM education and diversify aerospace talent. In July, Retail Lockbox CEO and President Craig Dawson participated in a Puget Sound Business Journal virtual panel discussion on race and business. Dawson discussed the income gap, the importance of supporting Black-owned businesses, and more. Microsoft launched a community skills grant program that will include a $15 million investment for Black- and African American-led nonprofits that aim to increase skill development and economic opportunities.

Closing gaps in digital access

As remote learning begins for most students across Washington state, the Seattle Seahawks, Microsoft, and Puget Sound Energy have provided funding for the new Digital Equity Initiative, hosted by Seattle Foundation and All In WA. The initiative will provide resources and funding for hardware and devices, access to hot spots, and technological support. Learn more here.

Sharing healthcare expertise

Gary Kaplan from Virginia Mason and Susan Mullaney from Kaiser Permanente Washington recently participated in a “State of Our Hospitals panel” at the Puget Sound Business Journal‘s Health Care of the Future virtual half-day conference. In addition, Dave Sabey from Sabey Corp. took part in a panel discussion about how tech is changing health care and response, and Jean Gabarra from Microsoft‘s Health AI team discussed artificial intelligence and medicine.

Around the Table: Space Needle, McKinstry, Seattle Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Boeing, Starbucks

Space Needle reopens to visitors after safety upgrades

After investing $1 million in coronavirus-related safety upgrades, the iconic Space Needle has reopened to visitors with limited capacity. Staff installed ultraviolet lights to kill airborne viruses, eliminated the use of cash, and other safety measures. Masks are provided and required. Read more here.

McKinstry’s “Return with Confidence” service featured in the Puget Sound Business Journal

When clients began calling with questions about safely reopening their facilities during COVID-19, McKinstry launched its Return with Confidence services. The company evaluates the quality of buildings’ systems, such as plumbing systems, and advises owners and managers on next steps. McKinstry has provided these services for its clients as well as 50 other customers. Read the article here.

Seattle Foundation and JPMorgan Chase & Co participate in Civic Commons panel

A recent Civic Commons panel webcast that included Tony Mestres (President & CEO of the Seattle Foundation) and Phyllis J. Campbell (Pacific Northwest Chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co) explored shared prosperity and how it can lead to equitable community change. They discussed the importance of cross-sector experiments like the Evergreen Impact Housing Fund, which works to create more affordable housing. Watch the webcast here.

Boeing welcomes high school students for manufacturing internship

Boeing held its first-ever virtual Core Plus Aerospace manufacturing internship for high school students this summer. Interns completed activities at home, built employability skills, and developed innovations to improve safety and quality work practices in their classrooms and school environments. At a virtual Innovation Fair, students pitched their ideas to Boeing leaders, educators, and a panel of judges. Read more here.

Starbucks highlights College Achievement Plan

A recent blog post describes how three Starbucks employees who are pursuing college degrees in organizational leadership and graphic information technology with the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, which offers benefits-eligible employees 100% tuition coverage for first-time degrees through Arizona State University. Since the program’s inception in 2014, more than 4,700 Starbucks partners have graduated from ASU and another 16,000 are currently working toward their degree.

Business Coalition Launches “Stay Safe, Stay Open” Campaign

“Stay Safe, Stay Open” is a new public service campaign funded by a coalition of Washington state business and industry associations, including the Washington Roundtable, that urges the public to wear masks in public places to save lives, protect jobs, and keep our economy moving forward. The new website and video focus on how businesses are preparing for reopening by investing in protective measures, and highlight the importance of wearing a mask as COVID-19 cases trend upward.

Resources available on the website for businesses include downloadable 30- and 60-second videos, a poster to promote wearing masks, radio spots, and social media assets that will be added soon. The Washington Roundtable thanks the Association of Washington Business and our other coalition partners for their work on this campaign. Please share the website with your employees, families, and communities.

New Path to 70% Report: Restarting Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Spring 2020 in Washington state was defined by the rapid escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic, unprecedented economic disruption, and a much-needed public conversation about racial equity. The Washington Roundtable and its education foundation, Partnership for Learning, are committed to playing a collaborative and productive role as we move forward, together.

Today, we release a report that shares lessons from the Great Recession; shines a light on those individuals who are most vulnerable in the economic wake of the COVID-19 pandemic (namely, people of color, young workers, and those with only a high school education); and begins to examine policy options and opportunities to build a better Washington. This report focuses specifically on using education as a catapult for those furthest from opportunity and as a driver of economic recovery. (more…)