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Volume 6, No. 2

February 2014

Business Kelso Longview

Calendar Monday Mondays through March 17 7 to 8 a.m. Legislative Briefing Breakfast Red Lion, Birch Room, Kelso

Tuesday February 11 – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Business After Hours Estetica Day Spa 1146 Commerce Ave., Longview $15 advance/$20 at door Register at:

Wednesday Every Wednesday – 3 to 4 p.m. Chamber Connection KEDO AM 1400 Contact the Chamber to schedule your 10-minute business spotlight

Connection Chamber of Commerce

CEO’s Message

Weekly Legislative Briefing gives local business owners a forum with lawmakers By Bill Marcum Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce CEO The Legislative session is under way and so is the Legislative Briefing conducted by the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce. This year, due to the Monticello Restaurant closing, we are holding our Legislative Briefing Breakfast at the Red Lion Hotel, in the Birch Room, from 7 to 8 a.m. every Monday through March 17, when the session is scheduled to end. This past Monday morning we had 16 people in attendance. The group included members of our city council, retail businesses, educational community, trucking companies, manufacturing industry and the Council of Governments, as well as a lobbyist. Also in attendance was District 19 Legislative Representative Dean Takko. During the briefing we were also able to dial in through a conference call other local Olympia representatives who were unable to attend in person. This way they had

an opportunity to address the group as well. We plan to provide this opportunity at all our briefings. We had a full house via phone that first Monday as State Senators Brian Hatfield and John Braun and Representatives Brian Blake and Ed Orcutt joined us. Gary Chandler, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Association of Washington Business (AWB), also attends via conference call. He generally leads off the Briefing by giving the group attending a review of the past week’s issues, bills and discussion that directly affect your business. If you are not following the bills listed below you need to attend our Monday morning Briefing to keep up to speed on what is happening that could directly affect the success of your business. Here are a few that were discussed and need your attention: • HB 2238 – Mandated vacation leave for any company with more than 25 employees working 20-plus hours.

Please see Briefing, page 3

2014 Legislative  Representatives  



Brian  Hatfield  –  State  Senator,  19th  Legislative  District     Olympia  Office:   237  John  A.  Cherberg  Building   PO  Box  40419   Olympia,  WA  98504-­‐0419   (360)  786-­‐7636                     Brian  Blake  –  Representative,  19th  Legislative  District             Olympia  Office:   437A  Legislative  Building   PO  Box  40600   Olympia,  WA  98504-­‐0600   (360)  786-­‐7870     Dean  Takko  –  Representative,  19th  Legislative  District     Olympia  Office:   336  John  L.  O'Brien  Building   PO  Box  40600   Olympia,  WA  98504-­‐0600   (360)  786-­‐7806                  

Committee Assignments   Agriculture  Water  &  Rural   Economic  Development   (Chair)   Financial  Institutions   Housing  &  Insurance Ways  &  Means  

Committee Assignments   Agriculture  &  Natural   Resources  (Chair)   Business  &  Financial   Services Government   Accountability  &  Oversight  

Committee Assignments   Local Government (Chair) Public Safety Transportation  

Committee Assignments   th

Ed Orcutt  –  Representative,  20  Legislative  District     Olympia  Office:     408  John  L.  O'Brien  Building   PO  Box  40600   Olympia,  WA  98504-­‐0600   (360)  786-­‐7990  

Transportation (Ranking  Minority   Member)   Finance   (Asst  Ranking  Minority   Member)   Agriculture  &  Natural   Resources  

Richard DeBolt  –  Representative  and  House  Minority  Leader,  20th  Legislative  District   Olympia  Office:   335C  Legislative  Building   Committee  Assignments   PO  Box  40600   Rules (Ranking Minority Member)   Olympia,  WA  98504-­‐0600   (360)  786-­‐7896   John  Braun  –  State  Senator,  20th  Legislative  District     Olympia  Office:   103  Irv  Newhouse  Building   PO  Box  40420   Olympia,  WA  98504-­‐0420   (360)  786-­‐7638;  Cell  –  360-­‐508-­‐6540  

Committee Assignments  

Trade &  Economic   Development  (Chair)   Commerce  and  Labor (Vice   Chair)   Governmental  Operations Ways  &  Means  

Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014


Briefing, from page 1

Hope to see you there, the success of your business may depend on it.

• HB 2525 – Ability to continue to conduct background checks when hiring employees. • HB 2672 – A proposed increase in the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2017. The transportation package was discussed by each of the elected at the Briefing with most believing there will not be a package to vote on before the end of the session. The transportation package with its 11.5-cent gas tax for everyone across the state, with very little in the package for southwest Washington, is not gaining much support from our elected officials.

Bill Marcum, Chamber CEO Lion. This is your chance to speak directly to your elected officials, ask questions and let them know how some of the things that are being discussed in Olympia will affect your business.

Two topics not touched on but we anticipate addressing the morning of February 3 are the new marijuana law and the need for an overhaul of our mental healthcare system.

Hope to see you there, the success of your business may depend on it.

So, if your business will be affected by a $12 per hour minimum wage or an 11.5 cent per gallon increase in the gas tax you should be at the Legislative Briefing every Monday at the Red

For a list of local officials in the Longview-Kelso area, please see Page 2. To find more details about the Kelso Longview Chamber’s Legislative Briefing, please see our ad on Page 18.

The Sky is the Limit! We started in a garage in April 2007. Twin City Bank has provided us the necessary funding to grow our business into a multi-million dollar company. By early fall Twin City Bank will help us move into our new 15,000 square foot facility with room to continue our growth. Jon Hansen, General Manager Sid Somers and Steve Norby Fabricast Valve

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May 2 Hiring the Right Person - Does the person fit the job? Company? Facilitator: Darci Hoffman, WorkSource May 9 Employee Handbook - Important? You Bet! Facilitator: Don Schilling,HR Director, Weyerhaeuser May 16 Most Common HR Mistakes - They could cost you money. Facilitator: Gary Parafinczuk, Sr. Director, Human Resources, Kapstone May 23 The New Marijuana Law - How to protect your business/employees Facilitator: TBA May 30 Attract and Keep your best Employees What the experts say. Facilitator: TBA June 6 Firing in an At Will State - Risks and Rewards. Facilitators: Lisa Straughan and Kari White, Express Employment Professionals

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Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014

Cowlitz Economic Development Council

Signed agreement positive step between Port of Kalama and NW Innovation Works By Ted Sprague President – Cowlitz Economic Development Council

quarters. In addition, I visited the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, which was established by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a partner in the project. Since then, the leaders of NW Innovation Works have been meeting locally with Port of Kalama staff, Port Commissioner Randy Sweet and me to further discussion about the viability of this project at the Port. While much has been accomplished at this point, there is still a great deal to do, but I am confident in the team we have working on this.

We are excited at the positive response to the agreement signed recently between the Port of Kalama and NW Innovation Works and are grateful for the congratulations and well wishes we have received. While we are very enthusiastic about this project, I want to remind everyone that this is just the first step in a long process. There are many hurdles still to be jumped before a lease is agreed to, permits obtained and construction started. The purpose of this preliminary agreement is to continue due diligence at the Port of Kalama site the company is interested in leasing. It is gratifying to see projects such as this developing from contacts made prior to and during Governor Inslee’s trade mission to China in November. On that trip, I met with NW Innovation Works CEO Simon Zhang and toured their head-

Many have contacted the CEDC to learn how they may be in touch with the company to offer their support or expertise. At this point, the company has asked that all inquiries and information be sent through the contact page on their web site: This could be an enormous boost to our economy regionally, increasing the tax base and providing many above average wage jobs for years to come. As you receive feedback and questions about this endeavor, I would encourage you to promote the benefits of membership in the CEDC. Please remind those you network with that the CEDC is a countywide, private, not for profit organization that is able to work on projects such as this because of funding received through its members.

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Team Bill Marcum, CEO Amy Hallock, Bookkeeper Brooke Fisher, Project Manager

We are excited about the future of this project and the potential for economic growth it brings to Cowlitz County. Thank you again for your support.

Kelso Longview Business Connection is published monthly by the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce. 105 Minor Road • Kelso, WA 98626 • 360-423-8400

For more information on the project see The Daily News stroy on Page 6 or follow this link – local/china-backed-company-envisions-major-methanolexport-plants-at-kalama/article_8545041c-8320-11e3-b1d70019bb2963f4.html

To advertise, call Brooke Fisher, 360-423-8400 ext. 16 or e-mail Ad Deadline: 20th of each month.


Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014

Two big chunks of vacant Port of Kalama land to the left of the Steelscape mill (long white building, center), could soon become the home of a $1.8 billion methanol production plant that a Chinese company wants to build there. The proposed methanol site includes the spit of land to the lower left, where the Sandblaster 5K obstacle run was held last fall. Photo by Bill Wagner/TDN file

China-backed company envisions major methanol export plants at Kalama, Clatskanie Officials estimate project will bring 2,000 construction jobs during initial building period

noting that the projects will help boost government revenues, lower joblessness and restore hope for better times in the longstruggling region. In addition to the methanol jobs, the plants should generate hundreds of “spinoff ” jobs, and the full net job creation could hit 1,000, company officials estimated. “This is how we build our way out of this recession,” Clatskanie Mayor Diane Pohl said Wednesday. Cowlitz Economic Development Council President Ted Sprague said Wednesday that the project is just what Cowlitz County economic leaders have been trying to secure for years: It provides long-term employment and it’s environmentally sound, not just for the region but globally. “This brings together all the best benefits of economic development. It’s a large capital investment, brings a lot of high-wage jobs, and exports a product. Plus, we like the green product,” Sprague said.

By Erik Olson and Tony Lystra Reprinted with permission from The Daily News, Longview To view this January 22, 2014, story and related stories at The Daily News website click here Local officials are cheering a Chinese company’s plan to build two methanol export plants at the Port of Kalama and Clatskanie and create up to 480 permanent jobs and 2,000 construction jobs over next five years. The $3.6 billion investment by a newly formed company won’t by itself be a salvation from hard times, but many people in business, government and labor were giddy with the news,

Please see Methanol, page 7


Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014

Frequently Asked Questions about NW Innovation Works

Methanol, from page 6 Northwest Innovations Works, a new company with offices in Vancouver, plans to build the twin plants (each costing $1.8 billion) in two phases. In addition to the economic boost, company officials say they’re building a green business that reduces greenhouse gas emission worldwide by helping reduce the burning of coal in China. Initial reports suggested the jobs created would be half the amount reported Tuesday, but during a Wednesday morning meeting with The Daily News, company representatives said they plan to build a second phase at both plants. Company officials also said they’re looking to build three more plants on the West Coast to meet demand. The boost in jobs would be the region’s largest since Steelscape opened at the Port of Kalama in the early 1990s. The project would also be the largest private capital investment in the history of the Lower Columbia River region. At the Port of Kalama, Northwest Innovation Works officials want to lease a vacant site north of Steelscape for one of the manufacturing facilities. The company also would require a natural gas pipeline to supply the plant. At Port Westward Industrial Park near Clatskanie, Northwest Innovation is seeking to lease 82 acres for a similar, separate project. Natural gas lines already serve that area. Northwest Innovation officials hope to start construction next year and begin fully operating both plants in 2018. The company would then begin exploring the second phases. Northwest Innovation is a joint partnership between the Chinese Academic Sciences and BP, formally known as British Petroleum. The two proposed facilities will supply methanol to the northern Chinese city of Dalian, which uses the methanol to make olefins, a key ingredient in manufacturing plastics, such as water bottles. The plants will not use any raw material other than natural gas, which is converted through a chemical process into methanol, a liquid that evaporates easily, completely dissolves in water and that has been manufactured in the U.S. for decades. By contrast, many Chinese plants man-

What is methanol? Methanol, also known as “methyl alcohol” or “wood alcohol” is a light and colorless liquid that dissolves in water and is biodegradable. NW Innovation Works would produce the methanol from natural gas.

This Q&A provided by Ted Sprague President – Cowlitz Economic Development Council

What is it used for? Methanol from natural gas is becoming a replacement for methanol from petroleum and coal to be used in the production of plastics and other products. The result replaces the use of fossil fuels and dramatically reduces carbon emissions. What is NW Innovation Works planning for the region? The company is studying multiple sites at the Port of Kalama in Washington and Port Westward in Clatskanie,Oregon to construct manufacturing facilities. Who is behind NW Innovation Works? NW Innovation Works has a number of key international partners, including the China Academy of Sciences (CAS) and British Petroleum. Both BP and CAS have made a $485 million investment in growing clean technologies. NW Innovation Works also has a number of investors from China and the US, including Dalian, an industrial park/city in Northeast China, and H&Q AP, a Silicon Valley investment firm with a $3.5 billion portfolio that includes a portion of Boeing’s retirement fund. How many people does NW Innovation Works expect to employ? Based on employment numbers at plants here in the U.S., each NW Innovation Works project expects to create 120 full-time jobs at each facility phase (there are two phases planned for the Port of Kalama). These will be family-wage jobs, with workers trained and recruited locally. During multi-year construction, each NW Innovation Works phase will employ up to 1,000 workers. How soon does NW Innovation Works expect to break ground? We are planning to begin construction on our first facility by the end of 2014 and have set an ambitious schedule for our first phase to be fully operational by the end of 2017. Isn’t methanol a dangerous chemical? Methanol is chemical. It is also biodegradable, not carcinogenic, evapo-

Please see Q&A, page 10

Please see Methanol, page 9


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Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014

Methanol, from page 7

Those involved with the deal stressed that the plans are in their earliest stages. Terms of lease with the Port of Kalama are still being worked out, and it’s unclear what sort of environmental and regulatory hurdles the company will face. In addition to jobs, the two plants would provide a significant boost in tax revenue for local governments, though a precise estimate was not immediately available Wednesday. Cowlitz County Assessor Terry McLaughlin said Northwest Innovation Works’ investment of $1.8 billion in the county would increase the county’s overall assessed property value by 20 percent. That’s about $10 million in new property tax revenue using existing levy rates, he said. “It’s a significant contribution. It’s definitely going to help local government,” McLaughlin said. “It’s nice to see this community still being looked at as an investment to business.” Northwest Innovation has not yet applied for building permits and must clear regulatory hurdles before construction begins. Company officials say the plant will release steam and trace amounts of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide. Sprague said the company has been eyeing the region for four months and was attracted by the low energy costs. Northwest Innovation Works is a subsidiary of the Chinese Academy of Science, a government-owned group that supports economic development projects worldwide. Wednesday night, Port of Kalama commissioners granted Northwest Innovation officials permission to start preliminary work at the site. On Thursday, the company will present its Oregon plan to Port of St. Helens commissioners at 5 p.m. at the Clatskanie PUD building. Previous plans to build a natural gas line to the Port of Kalama have met with protests from citizens along the proposed route, some of whom argue that landslides on the soft ground could cause a line to rupture. Erik Olson covers labor and industry and politics for The Daily News. Reach him at 360-577-2510 or Tony Lystra covers Kelso city government, Cowlitz County government and environmental issues for The Daily News. Reach him at 360575-6210 or

ufacture ethanol by burning coal, a far dirtier process. Using natural gas is far cleaner and far more efficient and can help China reduce it contribution to global greenhouse gases, company officials said. “We take natural gas and make a product out of it that is used to make things we touch on a daily basis,” Northwest Innovation Works President Murray “Vee” Godley III said. “Windshield washer fluid is 30 percent methanol.” The company considered the Pacific Northwest because of its low natural gas prices. Officials said they don’t expect their large consumption will cause a spike in prices for other consumers. The company’s Chinese client is hungry for large quantities of the product, which would be shipped from the Columbia River ports on 50,000-metric-ton Panamax ships to Dalian. Methanol does not require any pressurized or special handling technology, they said. “We need to get to market fast,” Godley said. Workers will produce 5,000 metric tons daily of methanol at each plant and 1.8 million tons annually. The city of Dalian is planning to build an 8 million metric ton storage tank for the product. Godley said Northwest Innovation intends to hire union contractors to build the plants and intends to hire local workers to staff them. The lowest-paid jobs would have salaries in the $40,000 to $50,000 range, but each plant also would employ a number of higher-paid engineers, chemists and professional workers. Union construction officials said they’re seeking a written agreement to ensure most of the jobs are local. They said they met with Northwest Innovation officials Wednesday and were happy the company was actively seeking their help from the start. “It seems like a huge boom, a huge surprise. ... We’re really looking forward to trying to find some more building trades people in the future,” said Jeff Washburn, president of the KelsoLongview Building and Trades Council. Asked why the company chose Kalama and Port Westward, Godley said, “These two ports fit our needs. You’ve got a good, strong workforce that’s local and needs jobs.” The company needed a northwest location to make it easy to ship products across the Pacific to China, he added.


Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014

Q&A, from page 7 rates when exposed to air and dissolves completely when mixed with water. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) rates methanol a “1” for health risks, meaning it can cause irritation upon exposure and a “3” for flammability, which means it can be ignited under most conditions. NFPA rated methanol a “0” for reactivity. A 2011 article written by Duke University environmental scientists and published in the journal “Environmental Policy” concludes: “Methanol poses little long-term threat to ecosystems because it is biodegraded quickly in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions and therefore is unlikely to accumulate in the environment.” (“China’s growing methanol economy and its implications for energy and the environment,” by Chi-Jen Yang and Robert B. Jackson, Energy Policy, Nov. 2011) How will you prevent spills in the Columbia River? Loading facilities will be constructed with state-of-the-art technology to prevent minor and major spills. Of course, we will still have emergency response capability on site in case prevention technology fails. Although no spill is acceptable, methanol evaporates quickly and biodegrades quickly. It does not pose the same risk as petroleum, LNG or most other chemicals. Is methanol the same as LNG? They are different. Methanol is a safe product that is used virtually every day in your home. It is safely handled, stored and

transported in ambient conditions. It is not uncommon to have methanol around the house. Sterno – the fuel used to light a camp stove or to keep a chaffing dish warm – is made from methanol. The windshield fluid in your car is about 30 percent methanol by weight. Methanol can be used as a transportation fuel, but methanol from NW Innovation Work’s plants will be used to make a variety of products including plastics, carpets, building materials and even pharmaceuticals. Does NW Innovation Works plan to ship by rail or otherwise create additional traffic through our community? NW Innovation Works will not use any trains and will not bring road congestion. Our product will be loaded and exported by ships designed to carry bulk liquid cargo. Is there a market for all this methanol? There is a strong demand for methanol in Asia as an alternative and clean feedstock for producing plastics and other every day materials, which are traditionally made from crude oil and, increasingly, from coal in China. What permits will be required for a plant at Kalama, Washington? We will need local land use approvals, including a shoreline permit and SEPA review. We’ll need an air permit from either the Department of Ecology or Southwest Clean Air Agency and a stormwater permit from the Department of Ecology. The Port has indicated that it can handle our wastewater.

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Anne O’Connor onthemark associates

Bianca Lemmons Cowlitz County Title Company

Michael Julian Kelso Theater Pub

Chris Bailey Lower Columbia College

Clayton J. Bartness, DC Longview Chiropractic Clinic

Chet Makinster Longview City Council

Jerri Henry, Past President Futcher-Henry CPA Group Joel Hanson, President KLOG/KUKN/The Wave

Dennis Weber Cowlitz County Commissioner Bob Crisman Gallery of Diamonds

Michael Claxton Walstead Mertsching

Ted Sprague Cowlitz Economic Development Council

Lance Welch PeaceHealth

Steve Taylor Kelso City Manager


Diane Craft, Vice President Koelsch Senior Communities Linda DiLembo Three Rivers Mall Julie Rinard Community Home Health & Hospice Neil Zick, Treasurer Twin City Bank

Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014

No money to advertise By Chuck Nau Retail Consultant and Sales and Management Trainer Murray & Nau, Inc. In today’s struggling retail environment, uncovering available dollars to INVEST locally in advertising to support (… and grow!) your retail business, service or small business continues to be an ongoing challenge. “No money to advertise!” Simply stated, is an all too frequent rationalization for not digging deeper to find those necessary and needed business investment dollars in a challenging business climate. However, when business is tough to get and the retail or service provider sector continues to be challenging, you must (…to survive AND grow) investigate every source and resource to find investment dollars for one’s business, service or small company. Easily said! But, where does one look to find dollars that may be utilized to invest in your business through advertising and promotion. Within your business and without increasing your budget or without additional cash input, INVESTMENT (e.g. advertising or marketing) DOLLARS DO EXIST to invest in your business. Here are six areas to consider in your search for those elusive ad dollars... • Explore reducing overall salary expense…by reviewing your business’ hours of operation. Opening an hour later or closing an hour earlier without impacting customer service or revenue generates 20 hours (one hour/day x 20 days) of saved expense that may be converted to a $ 200/month ad budget (20 hours x $10/hour in payroll expense). • Bring your vendors and suppliers into the conversation … inquire from each and every business that you do business with, if co-op advertising or extra promotional dollars exist to support THEIR product placement in her business. Leverage enhanced product placement in your store or in your ads for those vendors willing to contribute to the promotion of THEIR product or service. • Review your current inventory and purchasing habits and controls. (Again) is it possible to tighten your inventory


without impacting customer service or revenue, and shift those savings into an advertising or marketing dollar investment? • Take a look at initiating a joint neighborhood marketing effort. Ask Bill Marcum at the Chamber or inquire at other city agencies to see if neighborhood promotional dollars or marketing opportunities are available for the asking. This strategy may also open the door for additional and NEW local businesses to partner with, too! • Challenge yourself (… and your investors) to review your own remuneration schedule your salary (!) (… and their expected return on investment). Remind yourself and others within your business that a small reduction in your (… and their) personal income this year may reap big benefits for your business and subsequently to you (… and yours) next year and down the road! • Last, but not least, clarify where your business dollars are going in support of her local community. Do some services or charities or groups duplicate others … would a realignment of your dollar commitments maximize results while better allocating those funds? “No money to advertise!” … may simply be a challenge offered to you by a challenging economy to find the money! Good luck and have fun! © Murray & Nau, Inc. Chuck Nau of Murray & Nau, Inc. is a Seattle area based consultant and sales and management trainer. He is a 25year veteran of advertising, sales, media and management, who knows and understands the everyday challenges of starting up, growing, and surviving in today’s ever changing retail climate. He has spoken to and conducted workshops for a number of local retail and chamber organizations, national publishing groups, national retailers and manufacturers, state press associations, and newspaper groups. Comments and questions are welcome and may be directed to Chuck via email: or at 425-6030984.

Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014



Creating a quality of place

Rebounding retail at Three Rivers Mall

By City Council Member Ken Botero

By Mayor David Futcher

In his article, “What Draws Creative People” Robert Florida asks, “Why do people – especially talented, creative people, who have lots of choices – opt to locate in certain places? What draws them to some places and not others?”

For people who only pass through an area, they know it by the landmarks visible from the highway. For instance, Fife brings to mind all of those fancy car dealerships, and Wilsonville brings to mind Fry’s

Creative minded people enjoy a mix of influences. They want to participate in different kinds of entertainment, such as the Columbia Theatre, Stageworks, and our local symphonies. They enjoy the variety of foods in the community whether that is our many coffee shops; brew pubs, family restaurants or fast food services. They want to meet and socialize with people like themselves, to trade views and debate issues facing the community, state, and nation.

and Bullwinkle’s. There is much more to those cities, but when you pass them on the highway, that’s what sticks in your mind. For Kelso, there’s no question that our landmark for the rest of the world is the Three Rivers Mall. For many of the past 10 years, it didn’t tell a great story to the passersby. You’d see an empty anchor spot facing I-5, a broken sign out

Generally, we can think of quality of place as cutting across three key dimensions:

front, and let’s just say plenty of good parking was available. Once the sign was improved, it started to look more viable.

What’s there: The combination of the built environment and the natural environment

But when another anchor location opened up, some believed the mall was finished. In a testament to the dedicated

Who’s there: diverse people of all ethnicities, nationalities, religions and sexual orientations providing clear clues that this is a community where anyone can fit in and make a life.

work of the management and ownership, however, we are on the precipice of having all four anchor locations filled with permanent tenants for the first time since 2003. The recent Food Court Wars visit was also a tool to attract

What’s going on: the vibrancy of the street life, cafe culture, arts, and entertainment, the visible presence of people engaging in outdoor activities.

attention to the mall, and at least one new restaurant to the food court. The traffic generated by the addition of the Regal

Quality of place can be summed up as an interrelated set of experiences. Some of those experiences include the beautiful natural atmosphere of Lake Sacajawea and our many parks combined with a very active historical society, downtown partnership, and art commission combined with our Longview Outdoor Art Commission. We

Cinemas in early 2015 and the Sportsman’s Warehouse, likely later in 2014, will certainly help attract more interest in the other spaces in the mall as well. If our landmark is a barometer of the business climate in Kelso, we are rebounding like Charles Barkley when he was

Please see Longview, page 13



Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014

Longview, from page 12 also provide a very positive experience with our Pathway’s 20/20 program, Economic Development Council and the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce.

“Fibre Federal: What Personal Service Really Means” “After going to Fibre, I finally got to experience what personal service in the banking industry REALLY means. From commercial and real estate loans to daily transactions, each employee makes banking easy. Each branch you visit always

Quality of place does not occur automatically. It is an ongoing, dynamic process that engages a number of disparate aspects of community. Quality of place defines the very soul of a successful community, the factors that go into it – aesthetic, cultural, demographic – add up to the things that we all want in our community. Our quality of place can be a reality, but only if WE as citizens join in the effort to make our HOME, Longview, the quality of place and life that WE all dream of. This is a time of US not THEM. Council, commissions, committees, service clubs, organizations and mostly US THE CITIZENS of Longview will make it happen.

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Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014

Lower Columbia College

Low cost adult diploma sets students on path to career success By Chris Bailey President – Lower Columbia College Meghan Griffith was determined to have a career that would pay enough to take care of her two sons and her daughter. Randy Bailey was inspired by his son, who was serving in the military abroad, to return to school after 25 years. The pair were among 13 percent of Cowlitz County adults without a high school credential and at risk of chronic unemployment. During the recent recession, the unemployment rate for those adults was 35 percent higher than for high school graduates. To make matters worse recent changes to federal rules for financial aid, and an increase in the cost to earn a GED certificate, made finishing high school less affordable for many adults. Those changes highlighted the need for a more affordable, traditional classroom-based option for earning a high school credential in Washington. Last summer Washington’s community and technical colleges offered up a new solution and at Lower Columbia College (LCC) the results have already been significant. In just two quarters, 168 adult learners took advantage of the program, named HS21+, to earn high school credits. Thirty-seven have already earned their diploma and, equally important, 27 of those graduates are now enrolled in college programs, including both Meghan and Randy. Moving adults into college training and education to encourage lifelong learning is a primary goal of HS21+. When adults earn a high school diploma, they are better prepared to enter college-level programs, leading to better skills and family-wage jobs. Here’s how the program works: • LCC staff meet with students to measure their gaps in education and work readiness. Then, a personalized map of their academic, career, and personal competencies is created to determine what they need to pursue further education, training, and employment. • Students are required to show competency at a high school level in reading, writing and math in the context of science, history, government, occupational studies,


and digital literacy. • These competencies can also be demonstrated through alternative means, such as work, life, and military experience; a prior learning portfolio; and high school and college transcripts. • To fill in the gaps in their education, students can enroll in Adult Basic Education classes at LCC at the Basic Skills tuition rate of $25 per quarter. • Once they have passed the necessary coursework, LCC will issue the high school diploma. Both LCC instructors and students have high praise for the new program. For some students, who had struggled to pass the GED test after extended time in basic skills courses, HS21+ offers a better alternative to demonstrate knowledge. Others are motivated to finally pursue their diploma because HS21+ provides a lot of personal support from instructors and fellow students, which is important to adults returning to school after an extended absence. Students can enter this program at any time; they don’t need to wait until the beginning of a new quarter. Those with low incomes may even be eligible for a waiver of the $25 per quarter fee. According to the 2009-2011 American Community Survey estimates, almost 31 percent of Cowlitz County adults (age 25 and older) without a high school degree lived in poverty. Living in poverty also translates into poor health outcomes for both adults and children. For those who have graduated from high school the rate of poverty is cut in half and continues to drop with additional education at the college level. Their progress improves the quality of life for their own families and for our community as a whole. That makes the HS21+ a PLUS for all of us.

TUNE IN every Wednesday Your Chamber Connection

KEDO AM 1400 – 3 to 4 p.m. Contact the Chamber to schedule YOUR 10-minute business spotlight

Apply Now! Deadline March 31st! The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce recognizes that the skills required of businesses today typically demand post secondary educa-tion, and has identified that many students in our area are in need of financial assistance in acquiring additional education after completion of high school. As a business organization, benefiting from the contributions the educational system has provided us; we need to assist students in their endeavor to improve their skills for the workforce of tomorrow. Students can apply for the Maria Harris Scholarship or the Lower Columbia Professionals Scholarship on the Kelso Longview Chamber website: AMOUNT It is the intent of this program to award scholarships in the amount of $500 or more. As the funds for these scholarships are based upon the voluntary contributions of our members, the actual amount is dependent upon the level of contributions to the scholarship fund. CRITERIA  The scholarship is to be used at a post secondary institution for tuition.  The student/applicant must be a resident of Cowlitz County.  The student/applicant must demonstrate financial need.  The student applicant must have a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.25 or better.  The student applicant must submit 3 letters of Character Reference from a parent or family member, a friend or community member. Letter should address character, personality, and academic or community involvement.  The student applicant must submit a letter, including future goals, statement of need, outlining why the applicant should receive the scholarship.  The scholarship award must be used within one calendar year of the following term.

Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014

Community News

Community receives $1,000 grant from Kelso Eagles Auxiliary

King-size party to benefit Community Home Health & Hospice

Kelso Eagles Auxiliary presented a $1,000 check from the Hands of Many Eagles Charity Fund (HOME) for purchasing pediatric and adult-sized blood pressure kits for Community Home Health & Hospice (Community). These kits are used to monitor the blood pressure of Community’s patients. Their gift will add to the kits inventory that is in short supply as well as offer a smaller size to patients with very small and frail limbs.

The family of Janice J. King is planning the 4th annual benefit dance and auction for Community Home Health & Hospice February 23. Janice King had a reputation for making sure everyone around her was entertained and she was a true party girl. Before she passed away, she told her family not to have a funeral – instead, have a party. Through the years, the annual event has drawn hundreds of partygoers and raised $39,049 in memory of Janice.

The HOME Fund allows donors from Eagle Communities to designate and support various charities from which the club benefits. HOME Fund Chairman Anita Webster-Morgan encouraged Community to apply for the grant and invited Community to present current healthcare needs at the club’s 107th Aerie Anniversary in January.

There is no charge for admission. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. In addition to original art by the King family and friends, for the first time this year antiques and collectibles will be featured. The dance and auction takes place from 3 to 6 p.m. at Kelso Longview Elks Lodge No. 1482, 900 Ash St., Kelso. The King Brothers Band will perform. King family artists, friends and other community members have donated art, antiques and collectibles and local businesses donated prizes. The King family welcomes additional participation from community members. For more information, contact Don King at 360-431-8315.

“When you have witnessed Community’s services, it makes you want to give back,” Webster-Morgan said. “There are a lot of us Eagles members who have seen all they do and appreciate it.” “I am astounded by the dedication of Kelso Eagles club members,” CEO Greg Pang said. “They have provided outstanding support over the years and they are some of the hardest-working people I know. The club is contributing to the betterment of our area and we couldn’t be more grateful to be a recipient of their hard work.” The Kelso Eagles Auxiliary has been a long-time supporter of Community, sponsoring the first picture cellphones seven years ago that enabled quick communication between doctors and nurses in the field. The auxiliary has helped the agency stay on the cutting edge of healthcare technology.

Coming Soon

Community schedules free volunteer orientation and training


Community Home Health & Hospice (Community) is seeking individuals, especially veterans, in Cowlitz, Columbia and Wahkiakum counties to volunteer in their communities with the Community hospice program.

paperless billing

Free 18-hour orientation is scheduled for February 11, 12 and 13. Training will include learning how to be a companion to a hospice patient, supporting family members by giving them a break and volunteering with other agency programs.

Watch for it!

Contact Rudy Miniutti, volunteer coordinator, at rminiutti@ or 360-414-5433 or 800-378-8510.


Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014


Funding available for workforce training By Lee Ann Lawrence Employer Services Manager Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council

Meet Lee Ann Lawrence

Over the past year, numerous manufacturing companies have benefitted from training subsidies provided by the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council (SWWDC) to improve the skills of their existing workers. These training dollars helped workers gain skills to keep or advance in a job, employers saved money by keeping a valued employee, and the investments improved our community’s long-term growth and competitiveness. Currently, funds are available through the Metro-Insourcing Training Initiative (MISTI), to enhance worker skills in H-1B visa occupation groups, thus, strengthening our workforce and reducing the need to recruit foreign workers to fill these jobs. Businesses, especially small- and medium-sized companies and those owned by minorities or women, are encouraged to apply. MISTI funds will be awarded to local advanced manufacturing and IT businesses that wish to improve the skills of their existing employees. Applications are required and this is a competitive solicitation process. Training must be for current employees in these occupations: • General/Operations/Sales Managers • Industrial Production Managers • Network and Computer Systems Administrators • Computer Hardware and Software Engineers • Engineers – electrical, mechanical, industrial, electronics, chemical, materials • Engineering Technicians • Millwrights • Logisticians • IT and Computer Specialists • Systems Administrators/Architects Training topics can vary by employer and cover areas of need in the business. Prior trainings have included: lean manufactur-


Lee Ann Lawrence joined the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council (SWWDC) in October 2013 as employer services manager. She assists employers with funding and training resources to enhance the skills of their existing employees and connects them with WorkSource services to recruit and hire additional workers. She is the lead on manufacturing and IT sector strategy teams in southwest Washington where she works on a regional approach to workforce development in conjunction with the Columbia-Willamette Workforce Collaborative, a partnership between SWWDC and the workforce boards serving Multnomah and Clackamas counties in Oregon. She has a history of workforce development experience and knowledge of the regional workforce system. Her background includes working with youth, where she doubled youth employment during the recession. She has eight years’ experience building business partnerships in multiple industries, many of which resulted in temp-to-hire opportunities. She has built programs to meet industry long-term needs. Lawrence is committed to building strong partnerships across industry, business and community organizations to support vibrant growth in our economy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Spanish from Western Washington University where she also published and earned a certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She studied economic development at the CIMAS Foundation in Quito, Ecuador. ing/enterprise certification, Microsoft Outlook/Excel, Windows Server, negotiating, supervisor skills, programming, problem solving, quality control and project management, among others. To learn more, please contact me at 360-567-3170 or

Connect with Legislators Legislative Briefing Breakfast Begins Monday, January 27, 7am, RED LION And continues each week throughout the Legislative Session

Each week, contact is made with our local legislators, either in person or by conference call, for an update on the bills and issues currently under consideration. Gary Chandler from the AWB is our main source of information as to what is going on in Olympia from a business perspective. As a business, you often feel the impact from some of the decisions made by our State Legislators on your ability to do business in Washington State. These breakfast briefings give you an opportunity to discuss personally with your elected officials issues that impact your business and seek options that provide for better business operations in Washington. So Step-Up and Step-Out and be a part of something that can help businesses in Longview and Kelso. Let your voice be heard.

January - March 20th Legislative Update Breakfast Mondays RED LION, Birch Room 7:00 a.m.

April - December Legislative Committee Meetings First Monday of each month Location for 2014 to be determined 12:00/Noon

Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014

Business Toolbox

The ABCs of business profitability By Jerry D. Petrick Certified Business Adviser As a business owner or future entrepreneur, I believe it’s never too early to start thinking about how to make and keep your business profitable. In simple terms, profitability is the amount of sales revenue left over after business costs. Learning to measure profits helps to answer the question, “Are we making enough or going to make enough money to achieve our goals and make this worth our efforts?” You, as a business owner, have control over four major areas that affect profitability: • Price you charge for your products and/or services. • Quantity (or volume) of products and/or services you sell (marketing or operations issue). • Variable costs you directly incur by producing or buying the products and delivering the services you sell (These are called variable costs because they increase or decrease as your sales increase or decrease). • Fixed costs – the expenses you incur whether you make any sales or not (i.e., rent, utilities, insurance etc.). The strategy you come up with involves taking action to increase or decrease any of the four factors in consideration of its impact on, or the impact from, each of the other factors. In other words, the factors are not independent of one another and should be addressed as a ‘system’ or package. Here is an example of learning to measure profitability and make changes. A while back I met with the owners of a service business that had not been profitable since it started two years prior. I prepared a break-even summary for them, which is a simple equation that says how many sales dollars or units sold are necessary to cover fixed and variable costs. The quick analysis indicated they needed eight sales a day (with an average invoice of $xx) to break-even. Their gasp of horror was the only thing I heard. “But we can only process three sales a day,” they said. “Ah ha,” I responded. “There are two things you need to do to improve (in this case become profitable) profitability in your business.”


1. Streamline your system, (operations), so you can handle more sales. 2. Raise prices. In this case the detailed documentation involved with each sale is what was providing their value to the customers. The reason it took them a few years to recognize they weren’t profitable was because they were not keeping on top of their bookkeeping. Bookkeeping errors is my fifth addition to the four factors of profitability. SBDC advisers around the state will agree that nearly all of the businesses we advise have errors in their books. One of the best things a business owner can do is to learn what each financial report means; how to read it and how to set it up to accurately reflect the true activities of the business. Questions I often hear are: • “What is the difference between a balance sheet and income statement? • “Why does my business show a profit on the income statement yet we have no cash in the bank?” As the leader of the business, learning the answers can be one of the most empowering things an entrepreneur can do. When set up correctly, the information in these financial reports can be used to make accurate decisions toward being/ becoming and staying a profitable business. As the saying goes, “All roads lead to the numbers.” If you have questions like those above and would like personal, confidential help reviewing your business financials including support and guidance with improving your business performance I encourage you to contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Adviser. We are here to help you and your business thrive and prosper. This article was prepared by Jerry Petrick MBA, SPHR, CGBP, PMP and Certified Business Adviser with the Washington State University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Longview office. Jerry provides no-cost confidential advisory services by appointment. He can be reached via email at

Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014

Ambassador of the Month

Agren earns Chamber’s Red Coat honor for January The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce’s Ambassador of the Month for January is Erika Agren. Agren is the firm administrator at FutcherHenry CPA Group. The Chamber recognizes one of its Ambassadors each month for their contributions to the Chamber in their role as Ambassador. Chamber Ambassadors, known as The Red Coats, are an integral part of the Chamber of Commerce. The Ambassador team is made

up of active Chamber volunteers whose responsibilities include meeting and greeting at Chamber events, welcoming new members and assisting at ribbon cuttings and community events. Ambassadors juggle busy professional careers while making time to assist the Chamber at a variety of events year long. If you would be interested in wearing a red coat and representing the Chamber, contact Brooke Fisher at the Chamber office.

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Connie Bjornstrom Lindsey McTimmonds

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Phone: 360.425.2950 Fax: 360.425.8010

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Bonnie Woodruff

Joel Lengyel

1425 Maple St. Longview, WA 98632



Erika Agren Futcher-Henry CPAGroup

Pillars of Strength: Business & Education Awards Accepting 2014 Nominations

It is time to nominate who you feel should be recognized for the following: Education: Top Administrator, Top Teacher, Top Support Person Workforce Best Practice: Company Best Practice, Individual Achievement Business: Business Person, Small Business, Large Business, Large Non-Profit, Small Non-Profit Nominations can be filled out at: Deadline for nomination submissions: March 31, 2013

Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014


Investing in a healthy community By Kirk Raboin Chief Administrative Officer PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center Savvy businesses reinvest in infrastructure, technology and employees to sustain and grow in the markets they serve. This can be challenging in the current economic climate, but it’s important to the future growth of any business. It’s much the same with health care, though our business decisions make a life-giving difference for our clients. That is why we carefully consider all our decisions and how we invest and reinvest our resources. PeaceHealth St. John is committed to and will continue to pursue the best for our patients and community – the best health care professionals, the best programs and services for our local market and the best technology. The recent redesign and renovation of our Kearney Breast Center is a great example. For more than 25 years, the breast center at PeaceHealth St. John has been serving the women of our community and we’ve worked hard to keep up with the latest technology. Of course, reinvesting in business, especially health care is challenging as there are so many worthy investments we can make in vital programs and services. None of which would be possible without the support of local businesses and individuals. The funding for the Kearney Breast Center was made possible through the generosity of individual donations, like the Kearneys, and the many other donors who also live and serve our community. Our community should be proud – they have made it possible to have this beautiful new breast center available to the women in our area. Not only is it a warm, inviting environment of care, but also includes 3D imaging technology – the most advanced mammography imaging available in the area. 3D mammography is more accurate and sensitive finding 40 percent more invasive cancers than 2D, better at visualizing abnormalities, and may reduce the risk of unnecessary breast biopsies. This new technology will save lives! Investing in our local hospital – making possible services like the New Kearney Breast Center – is a vote of confidence in our community’s economic health as well. Research shows that a robust health care system is indicative of a robust and healthy community. Healthcare is one of the key sectors that businesses and professionals look at when considering whether to locate to a specific area. More business means more dollars spent locally and reinvested di-


rectly into our local economy, including local health care. PeaceHealth St. John has served our local communities more than seven decades. We are grateful for the many ways our community supports us and the trust you place in us for your care. Together we can continue to bring technology and quality health care that is second to none, serving patients and families for decades to come. We thank you for choosing local.


New Kearney Breast Center

Sometimes all you need is a mammogram. Sometimes a closer look is needed. And, Sometimes breast cancer is discovered.

For this reason, the new Kearney Breast Center offers the best in breast imaging technology, including 3D and more. Together with radiologists, technologists, breast surgeons, oncologists and nurse navigators, we are able to support you whether your visit with us is for a routine mammogram or a fight with breast cancer. At the Kearney Breast Center, we take your health personally.

Schedule your mammogram 360-414-2701 1615 Delaware Street, Longview, WA 98632


Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014

Non-Profit Night

Supporting the Cause The Chamber of Commerce kicked off the year with its annual Non-Profit Night to raise community awareness and encourage involvement in local nonprofits January 17 at Mark Morris High School. The goal for Non-Profit Night is to allow nonprofits an opportunity to showcase their services, 2014 calendar of events, initiatives and impact they make in our community. More than 50 nonprofit organizations participated in this year’s event. Pictured at left are Julie Rinard, Community Home Health & Hospice, and the Chamber’s Brooke Fisher. Mark Morris DECA students worked with the Chamber and the more than 50 nonprofit organizations who participated in the event. A big thank you for their help.

The event provided nonprofit ogranization representatives the opportunity to provide information about their work in the community to the general public.


Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014

Longview Downtown Partnership

Partnership with mountain sparks eruption of creativity By Alice Dietz Longview Downtown Partnership President There are 63 miles of road that divide our Longview’s downtown and Johnston Ridge Observatory (JRO). So when I tell people one of my goals in my position at the Economic Development Council (EDC) is to connect the two, I get looked at kind of funny. The way some people suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, social anxiety or oppositional defiance disorder, I suffer (more like celebrate), “I think I’m right all of the time” disorder. Where this gets me in trouble is when I have to convince most everyone why it makes perfect sense to create a symbiotic relationship between two attractions with 63 miles between them. Longview downtown could use more community support. Mount St. Helens could use more community support. Mount St. Helens brings more than 300,000 seasonal tourists to the area between May and October. Trying to figure out how Cowlitz County can capture a small amount of those visitors is my objective, and I believe it can be accomplished by bringing our attractions to the mountain and vice versa. The EDC and Longview Downtown Partnership (LDP) are

working with local businesses to get name recognition up at the mountain. Here’s where we are starting: Ashtown Brewery, The Broadway Art Gallery and a guide for community events being posted at JRO. Ashtown will be providing beer for the Music on the Mountain (MOTM) and also will sell their beer at The Fire Mountain Grill. The Broadway Art Gallery will be assisting the EDC and U.S. Forest Service with a countywide student art show at Coldwater Science and Learning Center. This past summer for MOTM we posted a huge wall adhesive featuring the concert season. This next summer we will feature the same thing, but add another sign that will highlight Squirrel Fest, Kalama Blues Festival, Highlander Festival, The Tulip Festival, Mountain Mania and any other events that Cowlitz County has to offer those 300,000 tourists. Longview Downtown Whoop! Whoop! Business: Catalina’s Cache, located at 1248 Commerce Ave. This shop is great and offers a wide variety of furniture, antiques, home décor and they even carry nice purses! Go check it out! % 20 OFFIDE STOREW

Facilitating Growth Through Leadership and Action

We are a membership based not-for-profit organization. Join us today! Resources • Access • Partnerships

Take your relaxation seriously. Authorized Lazyboy Dealer

1452 Hudson St. • US Bank Building Suite 208 • Longview, WA 360.423.9921


1413 Commerce Ave.



Hosted by:

Enjoy an evening of networking with fellow Chamber members and explore the facility and services of Estetica Day Spa just in time for Valentine’s Day! Purchase a $100 gift card to Estetica at the event, and receive a free $25 AVEDA gift card.

Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 Location: Estetica Day Spa (1146 Commerce Ave.) Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Cost: $15 advance/$20 at door Register at:

Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014

Welcome New Members

Chamber membership has its privileges Celebrate new Chamber members with us *The Red Hat Society * J.T.’s Steakhouse * Boy Scouts of America, Cascade Pacific Council

* Applied Applications Business Association with opportunities to promote trade through Chamber socials, special events and committee participation. • Annual Meeting and Banquet • Networking Events • Committee Participation • Business Contacts • Quarterly Membership Meetings • Civic Representation • Monthly Business After Hours Business Services include marketing for your business, referrals and access to Chamber publications and research data. • Mailing Labels

* Pacific Screen Printers * Diamond Residential Mortgage * Guild Mortgage * The American Legion-Post 155

• Membership Window Decals • Member Referrals • Ribbon Cutting • Web Site Links • Member to Member Discounts • Membership Directory • Tax Deduction • Newsletter • Business Card Display • Use of Chamber Logo Representation through action committees, Candidate Forums and up-todate Action Alerts. • Legislative Representation • Issues Tracking and Information • Task Forces

• Candidate Forums • Legislative Update Breakfast • Demographics Publication


Basic Membership Package – $275 or $26 per month. Bronze Membership Package – $500 or $46.66 per month. Silver Membership Package – $1,000 or $86.33 per month. Gold Membership Package – $2,500 or $211.33 per month. Platinum Membership Package – $5,000 or $416.66 per month. Diamond Club Membership Package – $10,000 or $834 per month.

Join today! Call 360-423-8400 Trusted.

Since 1982, Cowlitz County Title has been the company the community turns to when buying, selling or refinancing a property. Whether you need title, escrow or property search information, come in for our exceptional service. Leave with the confidence that your real estate investment is properly insured and protected.

Bianca Lemmons Vice President/Manager

1159 14th Avenue, Longview, WA 98632 Phone: 360.423.5330 ■


Feel the pain, you’ll like it!

Race as an individual or as a team - Misery loves company! Hot sh

w ow ava ill be ers ilab le

Event information and registration can be found online This is a chip timed event

Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014

Ribbon Cuttings

Cancer Center Chamber Ambassadors along with Mr. and Mrs. Kearney were on hand for the January 16 ribbon cutting for the newly renovated and expanded Kearney Breast Cancer Center at PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center.

Can-do Canoe Chamber Ambassadors and Red Canoe staff celebrate the grand re-opening of the Red Canoe Credit Union branch at 2266 30th Ave., with a ribbon cutting January 30.


Kelso Longview Business Connection

February 2014

Council of Governments

Survey will assist CWCOG in developing goals and objectives By Scott Patterson Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments Executive Director Survey available through February 14 – One of the primary work goals for the Southwest Washington Economic Development Commission (SWEDC) this year will be the completion of the 2014-2018 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). In order to get as much input as possible, the following survey (link below) has been developed and will be open through February 14. Please take the time to complete it as this will assist the SWEDC in developing the goals and objectives and to assist in prioritizing projects and planning efforts for the 2014-2018 CEDS report. Project Homeless Connect a Success – The second annual Project Homeless Connect took place January 23. The event was at The First Baptist Church of Longview with more than 100 volunteers and 50 vendors. The event helped 127 individuals, which included 20 families, of which 48 individuals were literally “homeless” by definition. There were approximately 50 individuals including some families staying with family and friends; and several more that were at-risk of becoming homeless. The event was organized and hosted by the Project Homeless Connect Planning Committee which consists of representatives from local agencies and community members. The CWCOG has been involved as part of its “10 Year End Homelessness” contract with Cowlitz County. I would also like to recognize CWCOG’s new project assistant, Rachelle Nugent, who did an amazing job handling so many of the details for this year’s event. What’s happening in Olympia? – That’s a good question. There isn’t a whole lot to report at this point. In my Weekly Reader recently I mentioned two bills, SB 6119 and SB 6113,


both sponsored by Senator Don Benton from Vancouver, that dealt specifically with governance and funding for Regional Transportation Planning Organizations (RTPOs ). As of today, neither bill has been scheduled for a hearing in the transportation committee. Aside from these bills, there have been numerous other bills introduced dealing with nearly every subject you may think of. For those of you interested, the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce has begun its weekly Monday morning Legislative Briefing at the Red Lion Hotel in Kelso, and breakfast will be available for $10. Congratulations to the Port of Kalama – It’s not every day you pick up the paper and read about a new employer coming to our area that will bring with it the largest private capital investment in the history of the Lower Columbia River region. Developments like this just don’t happen; rather it takes an amazing effort on the part of many, and the result here will be a major benefit throughout the region. Again, congratulations Port of Kalama! For more information on the project see The Daily News story on Page 6 or follow this link: http://tdn. com/news/local/china-backed-company-envisions-majormethanol-export-plants-at-kalama/article_8545041c-832011e3-b1d7-0019bb2963f4.html Out and About – Below is a recap of some of my meetings and activities this week: • Attended the CWCOG Board meeting • Attended the Lewis Cou­­ nty EDC Annual Banquet in Chehalis • Attended the Workplace-Education Task Force (WET) meeting • Visited the Project Homeless Connect event • Met with Kelso officials to discuss the Consolidated Plan update

Klc february 2014  

Newsletter of the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

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