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October 8, 2004

Message from the Governor

Today I took part in a groundbreaking event for Toray Composites (America). Toray is an aerospace supplier that makes composite parts for Boeing. This $30 million expansion will accommodate the manufacture of composites for the Boeing 7E7 Dreamliner.

This is a great day for Toray Composites, a great day for Boeing, and a great day for Washington state.

We have worked hard over the past several years to be more business-friendly, and more competitive. The U.S. Census Bureau recently released state rankings for state and local tax burdens. And we ranked 31st. This is the lowest our state has ranked since 1981!

We have also made substantial progress in regulatory reform, cutting red tape, streamlining regulatory processes and turning the jargon-ridden legalese of rules and regulations into plain English.

When Boeing chose Washington for final assembly of the 7E7, it was proof that we’re on the right track. We competed nationally for the 7E7 against states known for excellent economic development and business climates. And we won! “Built by Boeing” will continue to mean “Made in Washington by the best aerospace workers in the world.”

Quote of the Week
“We deeply appreciate Toray’s investment in this plant expansion. This will mean more jobs for our state, and it will put more dollars into our economy. That’s always welcome news!”
—Governor Locke, October 8, 2004

We fought very hard to keep Boeing here because this was about much more than a couple thousand new jobs. We protected our aerospace industry—and the nearly 200,000 direct and indirect jobs it provides to our state. Suppliers like Toray are a large part of this industry and those jobs.

Importantly, Boeing will receive the maximum benefit of the tax incentives only if all final assembly production of other airplane models stays in our state. We’ve done our best to make sure that building airplanes here in Washington will always be a smart business decision!

Those same tax breaks will also benefit the many suppliers and component manufacturers in Washington. We want to help companies like Toray to be more competitive in selling to Boeing and other aerospace firms.

Congratulations to Toray Composites (America) on being selected as a supplier to the 7E7 Dreamliner program. The 7E7 is a new airplane for a new world. It opens an exciting era in commercial aviation. And it reaffirms Boeing as the innovative, business-focused leader in commercial aerospace. We are very proud to be the home of the Dreamliner. And as a member of the world-class team working on this airplane, Toray has a right to be very proud too.

I also hope that Toray Composites (America) considers further investments in our state. Washington is a great place to work—and a great place to live and raise a family, too. And Washington companies—great companies like Boeing—make great partners.

Gary Locke
Gary Locke

Governor’s Priorities
News Highlights

Making Life Easier Through Digital Government
Governor Locke unveiled the state’s revamped Web site, Access Washington, and proclaimed October as Cyber Security Awareness Month at a news conference October 6. The Governor also announced that Washington citizens will be able to renew their driver licenses online beginning November 1. “Making state government more efficient has been a top priority throughout my entire administration—and we continue to improve upon our success,” the Governor said. “We’re making state government more convenient and efficient by making services available online so people can spend more time with their families, rather than standing in long lines.” In 2003, Washington state was named “the most digital state government” in the country, based on a five-year national survey.

The online driver license/identification card renewal system will allow eligible customers to renew their Washington driver license or identification card from any location through Internet access. The online renewals are good for five years and can be done once every 10 years without having to visit a driver licensing office.

Keeping Washington Clean
The Governor's Awards for Pollution Prevention & Sustainable Practices were presented on October 7. The awards went to seven facilities that do exemplary jobs of preventing pollution and using natural resources. All of the winners have used innovation and acumen to serve customers, offer services and make products in ways that also reduce or eliminate hazardous waste and conserve Washington's resources. In addition to preventing pollution, the winners also were honored for using "sustainable" business practices that support the vitality of the economy, the environment and the community. The winners of the 2004 awards are Betterbricks Daylighting Lab, Columbia Plateau Producers in Reardan, Corry's Fine Dry Cleaning of Mercer Island, Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, Granum Inc. of Seattle, Seattle University, and the University of Washington Motor Pool.

Foster Care System Excels
The state Department of Social and Health Services recently reached a new milestone in its Kids Come First Phase II project to improve the state’s child welfare system. DSHS passed a federal review to determine whether claims for federal reimbursements of foster care funds are accurate. Only half the states being considered passed the review, which the state also passed in 2001 as well. Federal reviewers checked foster care cases to see if the foster home was appropriately licensed, if the state made timely efforts to prevent out-of-home placement and if the payments claimed by the state were allowable under federal rules. Carol Overbeck, team leader for the federal review, said, “Washington has a strong eligibility system that supports accurate decisions.” More than 8,000 children reside with Washington foster care families.

Success Story: Washington Teacher to the Head of the Class
Lisa Szkodyn, a teacher at Pioneer Elementary School in Vancouver, has been named a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award winner for 2004. Superintendent Terry Bergeson and Lisa SzkodynAlong with the recognition, Szkoden receives a $25,000 cash prize. Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson and Milken Family Foundation chairman and co-founder Lowell Milken announced the award at a school assembly October 6. Szkodyn, who has been with the Evergreen School District since the fall of 1998, is currently teaching the fourth grade. She shares her passion for literacy by serving as a teacher leader for Pioneer Elementary and helping her colleagues increase their literacy teaching skills. The Milken award program was created in 1985 to attract, retain and reward outstanding K-12 teachers, principals and other education professionals who make important contributions to excellence in education. A total of 38 Washington teachers have received the Milken educator award since the program began in our state.

Upcoming Events

10/9: Northwest Asian Weekly Appreciation Dinner, Bellevue

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