June 2022 Business Connection

Page 1

Business Connection Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

It was a full house for our latest Boot Camp series

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Julie Rinard

Project Manager

k June 2022

Volume 14 • Issue 6 Business Connection is published monthly by the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce 105 N. Minor Road • Kelso, WA 98626


Bill Marcum, CEO Julie Rinard, Project Manager Pam Fierst, Bookkeeper

We're glad you asked...


ere we are, halfway through 2022 and the most common question I hear is, “What’s coming up for the rest of 2022?” We’re so glad you asked!

Business After Hours continues year-round on the second Tuesday of every month. This is your best opportunity for networking. This newsletter includes the schedule for 2022. Hosts are scheduled well into 2023. Please contact me if you are interested in bringing Business After Hours to your business. Small Business Boot Camp is held in the fall, winter and spring. Each series runs Friday mornings for six weeks. The cost is only $100, and you may include up to four members of your organization. There are two more sessions in Leadership Series 2.0. Contact us to enroll in the last sessions for just $25 each (for up to four attendees per session). Boot Camp will take a summer break and return Sept. 9. Watch for details about the next series, including profiles of the presenters and their topics.


360-423-8400 kelsolongviewchamber.org To advertise, call Bill Marcum 360-423-8400 or bmarcum@kelsolongviewchamber.org Ad Deadline 20th of Each Month

Our annual Golf Classic is so well supported, when we asked for early team reservations, we sold out! This year’s Golf Classic will be June 20 at Three Rivers Golf Course. It’s not too late to get involved. Are you interested in volunteering or donating a raffle item? Contact us and we’ll make it happen. Quarterly membership luncheons are held throughout the year. Speakers present topics relevant to business. On June 24 we will welcome Eliot Wajskol, professional Entreprenuerial Operating System (EOS) implementor and business adviser. His theme is Get a Grip on Your Organization. See page 3 for all the details. Register at kelsolongviewchamber.org. The next quarterly membership luncheon will be Sept. 16. Looking for some tropical fun this summer? Our Island Bingo will be held at the Kelso Longview Elks Lodge No. 1482 Aug. 26. There are many ways to get involved. Sponsor, For more Happenings, see page 2

Happenings from page 1

donate a prize, volunteer, bring your family and friends to play bingo and possibly win BIG! The Career Exploration Fair will be held at the Cowlitz County Event Center on Oct. 20. This event will bring 100 businesses and thousands of students together. Students from all over the region will explore the types of jobs that are available here in our community and what it will take to prepare for these jobs. The event will be followed by job shadowing, which students may sign up for at the fair. The concept is for employers to engage the interest of students long before their senior year so they can explore the possibilities here and plan for their future.

There are many ways to be informed about what’s coming up in 2022. •

Chamber Happenings and Around the Chamber email every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Let us know if there are others within your organization who should receive these emails.

Your Chamber Connection radio show on KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM Wednesdays at 6 p.m.

December will bring two traditional holiday events that you won’t want to miss. Jingle All the Way is our 5K fun run at the Longview Civic Circle, to be held Dec. 9. This event attracts teams of all ages, businesses and families within a light-hearted and festive holiday theme.

Follow us on Facebook. Like, share and post on our page.

Visit kelsolongviewchamber.org to see event details and

The Holiday Mixer carries out the tradition of a special holiday themed Business After Hours on Dec. 13 at the Kelso Longview Elks Lodge No. 1482. Great food and beverages, abundant raffle prizes and networking promise to make this another memorable event.

Thank you for your great questions about what’s coming up

register online. throughout the rest of the year. We appreciate your interest and involvement as well as the many ways our members encourage each other to participate in Chamber happenings.

let’s reconnect Give yourself peace about your health.


2 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022

Join us for our June

QUARTERLY LUNCHEON Friday, June 24 • 11:45 am 1:30 pm

featuring Get A Grip On Your Organization Real. Simple. Results Eliot Wajskol helps entrepreneurs tackle business-related frustrations, get what they want from their businesses, and live their ideal lives. In just 60 minutes, he will help you break through your toughest problems and transform your business. Participants in this dynamic, intense, hands-on workshop will: · Understand the six keys to building a truly great organization · Roll up their sleeves and confront organizational issues head-on · Learn how to get everyone focused on achieving a clear company vision · Begin to instill discipline and accountability throughout their organization. Eliot delivers engaging and actionable content that’s tailor-made for busy leaders. His events energize entrepreneurs who are driven to improve their businesses and the quality of their lives. Eliot Wajskol, Professional EOS Implementer and Business Advisor Eliot brings over 20 years of global executive leadership experience. He leverages real world lessons and EOS to help his clients quickly achieve high-impact results. As a Professional EOS Implementer®, Eliot is passionate about helping leaders run their business, drive growth, and live a balanced life. For more information, visit https://eosworldwide.com/eliot-wajskol

Kelso Longview Elks, 900 Ash St., Kelso

Friday, June 24, 2022 • 11:45a.m. -1:30 p.m. $25 advance/$35 at door Register today at www.kelsolongviewchamber.org

Presented by:


February 15: Peoples Injury Network Northwest March 8: CCRC—The Mediation Center April 12: Cowlitz Indian Tribe May 10: Kelso Longview Elks Lodge #1482 June 14: Canterbury Park July 12: Fidelity National Title August 9: The Jewelers Bench, Inc. September 13: Lower Columbia Longshoremen’s Federal Credit Union October 11: Frontier Rehabilitation & Extended Care Center November 8: Stewart Title December 13 Holiday Mixer: Kelso Longview Elks Lodge #1482 Interested in hosting Business After Hours? Contact the Chamber at 360-423-8400 or email jrinard@kelsolongviewchamber.org

Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce Bill Marcum CEO

Lisa Straughan, President Express Employment Professionals Marlene Johanson, President Elect Heritage Bank Marc Silva, Vice President Columbia Bank Neil Zick, Treasurer Twin City Bank Chris Roewe, Past President Woodford Commercial Real Estate Michael Claxton, Legal Counsel Walstead Mertsching David Cuddihy The Daily News Duane Dalgleish Cowlitz PUD Jason Gentemann Foster Farms Rich Gushman Gibbs & Olson Keenan Harvey City Council, Kelso Nick Lemiere Edward Jones Cherelle Montanye St. John/PeaceHealth John Paul KUKN-KLOG-101.5 The Blitz Bruce Pollock Bicoastal Media Ted Sprague Cowlitz Economic Development Council Michael Vorse Minuteman Press John Jabusch Cowlitz County Commissioner

Golf Classic sponsor PUD brings attention to program


ell, it is June, month six of the 2022 year. I am always amazed at how fast the year seems to travel these days. Seems like only a month ago we were squatching it at sQuatch Fest and in reality, it was five months ago...

June is a fun month for me as the Chamber Golf Classic happens on June 20 at Three Rivers Golf Course. We have a new primary sponsor this year, the Cowlitz PUD and their Warm Neighbor Corporate Program. A huge thank you to Stirling Honda and Scott Persin for supporting the Chamber and the Golf Classic as the primary sponsor for more than 12 years. With over 30 businesses sponsoring teams and another 40 businesses sponsoring the event – from hole sponsor to driving range sponsor – what a great way for the PUD to bring attention to the Warm Neighbor Corporate Program, which assists those locally who are having difficulty paying their utility bills. We are sold out – 30 teams. In the past 11 Chamber Golf Classics we have never been sold out before May 31. So, thank you to those who sponsored teams, got them to me early and secured a spot. The tournament will be a noon, shotgun start this year – moved from the traditional 1 p.m. time to see if we can get players, volunteers and staff from the Elks, Three Rivers and Chamber home a little earlier in the evening. Foster Farms and Pacific Office Automation are providing the tee prizes for every player. The Shamrock Grill will be providing lunch again and the Elks will barbecue the steaks for dinner – all sponsored by Elam’s Home Furnishings and Twin City Bank. We anticipate 120 golfers, 40 sponsors and 30 volunteers for golf, dining, prizes and a fun day for everyone. Hard to believe we must wait 20 days to enjoy it. The past few years it has been over 85 degrees with a high of 98 one year. Really too warm? By June 1, I start looking at the weather forecast for the day of the tournament. I know. I know. They can’t predict the weather 24 hours in advance let alone 20 days. But the first prediction I’ve seen is 70 with cloud cover. Sounds like a great day for golf, doesn’t it? Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022 | 5

Workforce Southwest Washington Darcy Hoffman

Director of Business Services

Data and recommendations to support construction’s current and future workforce


ith more than 77,000 jobs and a payroll of $6.8 billion, construction accounts for nearly 7 percent of the southwest Washington-Portland metro area’s private-sector employment and 7 percent of payroll. The sector contributed approximately $7.9 billion to the area’s Gross Domestic Product in 2020.

What do we do about it? 1.

Construction is one of four key industries supported by the local public workforce system and the workforce development board, Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW), which recently released an updated Construction Labor Market Report.

To reach the next generation of workers, contractors can connect directly to high school career and technical education (CTE) programs or work with high schools to connect with students who aren’t yet on a career path and introduce them to the construction trades.


Contractors can begin to use online job boards, their websites, social media, and the vast array of communitybased organizations that are connected to the applicants they seek to attract.


Proceed to the next section on worker demographics for critically important recruitment and retention strategies.

A few highlights from the new report: Company Size The region is home to roughly 9,600 construction establishments. The average size of a construction firm is slightly smaller than for all firms: 10 employees per company versus 15 overall. Approximately 64 percent of the region’s construction employment is in companies with fewer than 20 people.

Worker Demographics Current and future building trends, both public and private, are rapidly increasing the demand for skilled tradespeople. While the construction workforce is slightly younger than the total workforce, nearly one-fifth of the region’s construction workers are age 55 or older and nearing retirement. Although the number of people completing apprenticeship programs in construction occupations like electricians, laborers and carpenters has steadily increase over the past decade, the numbers remain well below what is needed to satisfy industry demand.

In my experience, many contractors find new workers by word of mouth and employee referrals. Anecdotally speaking, the construction industry, does not advertise job openings via the popular online job boards or through community-based organizations at the same rate as other industries. Job candidates who might be new to the industry do not have a place to go to make those professional connections unless they are fortunate enough to know someone who works in the field. That cycle is a reason getting into the construction industry can be challenging for job applicants from historically-excluded populations – the very people many contractors want to attract. 6 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022

The construction sector is overwhelmingly male with 95 percent of the workforce compared to 52 percent for all other industries.

For more WSW, see page 7

WSW from page 6

welcome, train and support a more diverse workforce. Education Nearly eight out of every 10 construction jobs do not require education beyond a high school diploma. Thirty-two construction trades, accounting for 55 percent of construction jobs in the region, are accessible by completion of a registered apprenticeship. Only 15 percent of construction jobs call for an associate’s degree or higher; a significantly smaller proportion than for all other industries (30 percent).

Workers who identify as white are 74 percent of both the total workforce and the construction workforce in the southwest Washington-Portland region. Workers who identify as Hispanic comprise a greater share of the workforce compared to all other industries, while workers who identify as Black, African American and Asian are underrepresented in construction. Recognizing the historic underrepresentation of people of color and women, the construction industry has adopted and is committed to increasing diversity as a primary goal as outlined in the 2021-23 Construction Workforce Plan.

For more WSW, see page 8

The plan’s strategies include: •

Create trusted relationships that promote success for diverse workers in construction

Develop robust marketing strategies highlighting diversity

Allocate resources for pre-apprenticeship, training, screening capacity, and support for women and people of color

Incorporate best practices that institutionalize diversity

If you are interested in joining this shared table to advance these equity strategies, please reach out to me. It is imperative that the construction sector is prepared to

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WSW from page 7

Wages In Washington, 50 percent of construction workers earn $34 per hour or more. I probably don’t need to state the obvious, but I will anyway – what a recruiting tool! Bring your high school diploma/equivalent and come work in an industry that provides paid on-the-job training and advancement opportunities!

strategy to attract, train and retain a qualified and skilled workforce that is ready to fill your open positions now and in the future. Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW), a nonprofit organization, is the Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB) designated by federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) legislation to oversee the public workforce system in Cowlitz, Wahkiakum and Clark counties. Darcy Hoffman is the director of business services at Workforce Southwest Washington. Reach her at dhoffman@ workforcesw.org or 360-608-4949.

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COVID Aftermath Construction experienced a slight dip during the COVID-19 recession but was less impacted and recovered more quickly than other sectors. The industry is expected to add more than 13,200 jobs over the next decade, a growth rate of 17 percent. Resources for Businesses To meet the region’s construction needs, companies must attract more workers, especially women, people from historically underrepresented communities and younger workers. To ensure workforce development strategies adapt as the industry and its needs change, WSW and its regional partners meet with construction and related-industry firms quarterly. If you would like to participate, lend your voice, be involved and learn about grant funds and other resources, contact me or visit the construction page of WSW’s website for dates. WSW and the workforce system have numerous resources available to help construction and related companies. I am here to support you and would be happy to review opportunities with you and help your organization craft a 8 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022

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is my main source for finding qualified, skilled people so I can continue to grow my business!

Thank you Julie and your fantastic staff!

Da n

Dan of Mountain View Contracting

Our Mission

1145 14th Avenue ~ Longview


Positively impacting people and our community by placing motivated and qualified individuals at great places to work. https://www.americanworkforcegroup.net

Business Toolbox Jerry D. Petrick

Certified Business Adviser

Midyear tidbits to improve your business


elcome to the last month of the first half of the year! As a student of business (SOB), I tend to read a variety of publications and follow many sources of business/economic insights. Periodically, I pull materials together to share with you – both to inform and expose you to various voices on the subject of “small business”. Below is a collection of recent items to take you on a bit of a tour across the landscape of all things small business. I think you will find ideas and connections that will help you manage and lead your business better. Reduced-order frequency and a smaller monthly active user base are driving a decrease in delivery order volume. The downturn stood out most as delivery-related sales in April fell almost 6 percent year over year. Conversely, the pickup segment saw sales dip less than 3 percent from a year ago. Currently, consumers appear more concerned about the impact of inflation than contracting COVID-19. In analyzing responses from March and April 2022 related to a monthly active user’s most recent online order, a survey found that mass retail customers were 34 percent more likely than supermarket customers to cite cost — i.e. not paying more than necessary — as the top factor in deciding where to buy groceries online. Read the full article, “Falloff in Delivery Pulls down April Online Grocery sales, Curbside Pickup still Popular.” ••• Some businesses have learned that exporting can diversify markets — and become the key to growing your business. Please join the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) and the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA) to explore resources available to exporters of agricultural products, food, and beverages. In this free webinar, you’ll learn: •

Why your company should be exporting, no matter how small the business

How to protect against payment default when selling to buyers worldwide

How to obtain the cash flow needed to fulfill international sales orders

If your product is farmed, fished, or forested, EXIM and WUSATA can help you export to the international marketplace to meet the rising global demand for high-quality U.S. food and agricultural products.

are going back to basics with direct mail. Understanding the fundamentals is important to success, so we’re sharing an article from Brand United reviewing some of the most important direct mail design elements. •

The form chosen for your campaigns can determine if your mail gets opened or dropped into the recycling bin

Envelopes have power – the envelope should not be an afterthought

What you communicate should resonate with your audience and motivate them to act

Above all, always remember to whom you’re speaking and what you want them to do. The needs and wants of your target audience will help guide you and these design tips can help you succeed. ••• Planning on selling your business? The recent rise in interest rates could present a challenge for a business buyer. For a typical seven-year business loan, each 1 percent increase in interest rates means a $50/month increase in monthly payments for every $100,000 borrowed. If rates increase 2 percent, the monthly payment on a $500,000 business loan will increase by $500, or $6,000 per year! In these inflationary times, the three keys to a successful business sale are planning, preparation and participation. Learn more about the process with our insightful video series on stewarding a successful business sale. ••• Based on a recent study, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has found that immigrants to the United Sates are about 80 percent more likely to start businesses when compared to nativeborn Americans. This study looked at businesses started in the U.S. between the years 2005 and 2010, totaling 1.02 million businesses. Additional resources were analyzed including the U.S. Census Bureau’s survey of business owners and the 2017 Fortune 500, expanding the scope of the survey beyond 2005 to 2010. Read the complete article here. ••• Is excess inventory threatening your store’s survival? Here are 10 tips from an article from The Retail Owners Institute to turn your inventory into cash – quickly! Sometimes retailing doesn’t quite turn out as you had planned.

Register now and if you can’t attend, the webinar recording will be sent to all registrants.

Did last year fail to live up to what you predicted—and budgeted for?


Did you overestimate the popularity of your generous order

As consumer behavior continues to shift, some businesses 10 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022

For more Petrick see page 11


Petrick from page 10

of a particular product? •

Are there areas of your inventory brimming with overstock?

Relax! There is a way out of this mess. You still can whip your inventory back into shape before it devours your profits. If you find yourself long on inventory and short on profits, whether from overbuying, expanding lines too quickly, or overestimating sales, don’t panic. But, if you think the only way to reduce your inventory is to run a sale or declare a buying embargo, guess again.

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Here are less drastic ways to get your inventory under control again. Use a combination of the following 10 strategies to help you bring your inventory back to a more manageable level. 1. Dam the River Look at every open order you have that you know hasn’t been shipped yet. Cancel or cut back on the orders that don’t presently represent a critical need. This doesn’t mean you should hack away at your orders with a cleaver. Instead, selectively cut out optional merchandise. Ask yourself if you can delay adding a new line for three or four months. Cut out marginal items. This isn’t the time to introduce a new product line. Some of your suppliers may not let you cancel orders. Try explaining to them that by protecting your financial stability today, you’ll be better equipped to make future orders. Chances are, they’ll be more likely to make concessions if they think it will keep you as a stable customer. 2. Take It Back Sometimes you can persuade a supplier to let you return merchandise you’ve already received. This option doesn’t come without some drawbacks, however. At the very least, you’ll get stuck paying the freight both ways, and you may not get full credit for the returned merchandise. But this is an option to consider if your condition is critical. 3. Accelerate Chargebacks Do you have defective merchandise for which you haven’t yet requested return authorization? Get on the horn to those suppliers and ship it back! At the same time, check for substitutions you could have legitimately refused. You can get return authorization for substitutions more easily than you can for merchandise you’ve ordered. 4. Slash Internal Processing Time Obviously, the quicker your merchandise hits the floor, the quicker it will move. Look for jams in your processing system that may be unnecessarily tying up merchandise. Work together with your staff to find ways to cut your processing time by 50 percent or more. 5. Sell to Other Retailers. Or, Use an Online Site for Clearance If you know a retailer in another community who can use For more Petrick see page 12 Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022 | 11

Petrick from page 11

some of your overstock, make him an offer. In order to make this work, you’ll have to offer him either quicker delivery than he can get from the supplier, a lower price or both. But if he pays you in cash, you’ll come out ahead. One thing to remember: Make sure you sell outside of your trade area. If you sell to a nearby retailer, you’ll be trading wholesale sales for retail sales. Another option is to use a separate online marketplace to sell off clearance goods. It may even have a totally separate identity from your established operation. 6. Pair Up the Old with the New Your customers will naturally gravitate toward new merchandise. Take advantage of that tendency by pairing your older merchandise with your new arrivals. Price the older items near cost. Remember, the idea is to get cash quickly. With every dollar of markup, you move away from that goal. 7. Move Merchandise Around Watch customer traffic patterns for a couple of days. If you find one section of your store being visited more frequently than another, do some rearranging. Shift your high-draw merchandise to another part of the store. Also, check your lighting and signage to make sure you haven’t created barriers to traffic flow with dark, foreboding corners. 8. Involve Your Staff Now is the time to give your salespeople strong incentives to sell both basic merchandise and add-on items. Set up a contest running two to four weeks. Offer prizes for categories such as: highest total sales, highest sales per hour, highest average sale, highest single sale, most items on a single sale, highest sales in one day, highest sales in one week and largest increase over the previous period. Above all, make the contests fun! 9. Move Up Your Markdowns The time to do markdowns is just before the sales peak, not just after. All merchandise, particularly seasonal goods, will hit peak value just before hitting peak sales. If you’ve been slow with the markdown pencil, it may be slowing your turnover and tying up your cash. How do you know when an item is about to peak? Past sales records will tell you, as will the wholesale market. When your suppliers start offering deals, it’s time to start cutting prices. It’s still true that the first markdown should be the biggest. When you decide to discount an item, make it a good one. Anything less than a 30 percent discount barely stirs customers anymore. You may want to go straight to 40 percent, especially, if your cash needs are getting critcal. 10. Make the Most of Tax Deductions Sometimes even drastic markdowns aren’t enough to move particularly stubborn merchandise. If you’re holding goods you’ve marked down two or three times without any action, give them to your favorite charity. You’ll save a lot of carrying costs, and you can take a full-value deduction on your next tax return. The tax savings will free cash for you to reinvest in new merchandise. Once you have your inventory pared down, you’ll free more 12 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022

assets, increasing profitability. Think of it this way—better a dollar in your pocket than gathering dust as unsold merchandise! These tips and strategies are great ways to keep your cash flow healthy and inventory investment manageable, especially during tough sales periods. Once you have your inventory pared down, you’ll free more assets, increasing profitability. Think of it this way—better a dollar in your pocket than gathering dust as unsold merchandise! These tips and strategies are great ways to keep your cash flow healthy and inventory investment manageable, especially during tough sales periods. ••• The Entrepreneur of the Year award is IFundWomen’s biggest annual funding program. It is intended to reward and celebrate extraordinary women entrepreneurs who have demonstrated a meaningful impact through their business operations. The grand prize winner will receive a $100,000 equity investment in their company plus one year of education services and resources. Additionally, a winner for each of the six business categories will receive a $5,000 cash grant plus one year of educational services and resources. Business categories: •



Community Impact

Health and Wellness

Business Services

Food & Beverages

Art, Media and Entertainment

More information can be found here. ••• Chargeback prevention tips: A chargeback is a payment transaction that is subsequently disputed. If the credit card issuer considers the dispute valid, the merchant is required to refund the amount of the transaction plus a chargeback fee to their payment processor for repayment to the card issuer. Chargeback Best Practices •

Make sure your return policy is clear and simple to understand

Focus on fighting the most valuable chargebacks

Fight the chargebacks that you can win

For card-absent transactions, use tools such as CVV2 to reduce fraud

While many customer chargebacks are legitimate, fraudsters are opportunistic. The exposure your business has to eCommerce fraud depends on your business policies and the type of goods or For more Petrick see page 13

Petrick from page 12

services you provide. Chargeback Red Flags •

Bulk orders with a higher-than-average dollar value

Multiple orders from one customer in a short time frame

Expedited shipping to an address that differs from the billing address

Purchases made with numerous attempts signifying the card may not be on hand

Problems supplying personal information •••

The Washington Department of Commerce has launched its new Creatives Academy, the third in a series of self-directed educational academies for small business owners. Designed to teach the essential skills needed to turn a creative pursuit into a successful small business, the academy contains 11 tracks. Lessons range from developing a business mindset and accessing capital to finding customers, creating winning pitches, and negotiating terms. The Creatives Academy lessons are available at MyStartup365.

com. It joins two other academies on the state’s small business resource site, the Entrepreneur Academy and Restart Academy. A smaller series covers Mastering Financials. All of the training materials are free of charge and do not require registration. Learn more here. ••• Customer lifetime value: Most businesses understand the importance of customer relationships, but many have not quantified the impact of those relationships on bottom-line results. The lifetime value of a customer is a valuable tool for measuring the contribution a customer makes to the bottom line and a useful basis for developing marketing strategies that effectively target the most attractive customers. Read the full article here. This information was gathered from several sources and provided by Jerry Petrick, senior certified business advisoer with the Washington Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) serving southwest Washington. We provide confidential business advisory services at no cost to the business. To schedule an appointment email: jerry.petrick@wsbdc.org

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There’s a Difference. Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022 | 13

Cowlitz Economic Development Council Lindsey Cope

Vice President; also Longview Downtowners and Kelso Business and Community Association President

Downtowners, KBCA announce board


n May 26, the Longview Downtowners held our 2022 annual meeting to elect our Board of Directors for 202223. The following board members will continue their

term: Lindsey Cope, Cowlitz Ecomonic Development Council (CEDC), president; Marc Silva, Columbia Bank, vice president;

of J Squared Barrel House, Wendy Kosloski of Teague’s Interiors and Lorie Blain of Heritage Bank. Also, of course, to our longtime friend and advocate Lonnie Knowles. June 16 will be our next Longview Downtowners meeting

Ashley Eckert, Ash and Elm, secretary; Michelle Philbrook, Posh

at 3 p.m. upstairs a Mill City Grill. Anyone interested in the

on Commerce, board member; Josh Carter, KUKN, KLOG, The

promotion, preservation, and development of downtown

Blitz, board member; Karen Sisson, community volunteer and

Longview are welcome. We will be discussing events for the next

consultant, board member ; Pat Palmer, Copies Today Speedy


Litho, board member.

June 25 is Shop Local Saturday downtown Longview. Join us for

Our new board members are: Andy Busack, Antidote Tap House

a fun day of shopping and enjoying our lovely downtown! You can

and Busack Electric; Ariel Large, Offbeat Antiques and Oddities,

find specific information and specials on our Facebook page at

LDAC, Broadstrokes Project; Pamela Hayes-Kong, Hopscotch

www.facebook.com/downtownlongviewwa under “events”.

Toys in the Merk.

Don’t forget to eat local, drink local, shop local, shop downtown

A very special thank you to exiting board members Janel Kolbo

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If you are interested in the economic and community development of Kelso, we hope that you will join us on the fourth Thursday of the month as we discuss initiatives to bring new life to our beloved Kelso. This spring we are registering to participate in the Growing Vibrant Communities program within the America in Bloom program. The development of this program over the next year will allow us to pursue the full America in Bloom program like our northern neighbors in Castle Rock. Meeting information can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kelsobca.

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Lower Columbia College Chris Bailey President

LCC is bringing an international flavor to our community


hen I arrived at Lower Columbia College (LCC) 11 years ago, I was determined to create an international program. At that time, the college had only one

international student, and no international program was developed, even though Longview is a major port city and the entire area is largely supported by international trade. Having been associated with the international program at Centralia College, I was aware of the benefits such a program could bring to a college campus and to the community. First, the program would bring additional revenue to the college and that revenue would benefit all the students on the campus. But more importantly, the program would bring greater diversity and world

Service is the difference!


view to our local students. While students from other countries come here to be educated in the United States, we also learn from them. Our local students need to be culturally aware and the best way to get that awareness is to encounter individuals from other countries directly. Our initial efforts involved recruitment into areas where our local ports traded. Our initial focus was on two major trading partners, Japan and China. LCC is now also doing significant recruiting into another major trading partner country, South Korea. By fall 2021, the Lower Columbia College international program had grown to 30 students, representing 11 countries: Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. LCC has partnerships with Wako international High School, Atomi University in Japan, and, via a connection with Three Rivers Christian School, a new partnership with a network of Christian schools in South Korea. LCC developed an “English and American Culture” short-term (two

Glenda Beam

Amy Hoyer

Escrow Officer

Escrow Officer

Leah White

Escrow Assistant

Carrie Staggs

Escrow Assistant

Steve Quaife

County Manager

week) program with Atomi University that LCC offers twice per year where students from that university come to our campus. In addition, Lower Columbia College has developed fully online English learning courses that currently benefit students

Megan Howerton Title Typist

Theresa Campbell

Pam McCormick

Bookkeeper/Recorder Order Desk/Receptionist

Melinda Gottfryd

Policy Typist

Breshae Brunette Title Plant Admin

from Japan and from South Korea. LCC has also developed opportunities for our faculty to teach abroad and for our students to have the ability to study abroad. The best part of the Lower Columbia College international

Jason Hanson Title Officer

Darren Plank Title Officer

Leah Stanley Title Officer

Most in-depth title plant in the county. Accurate Reliable Timely Locally Owned 1159 14th Avenue , Longview, WA 98632 360.423.5330 www.cowlitztitle.com 16 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022

program is the wonderful students who have come from all over the world to be part of the LCC family. The connections will last a lifetime, and will not only have a positive influence on the foreign students who come to study, but also on our local students and the entire community.



Large land site perfect for lodging/hospitality, retail, etc.

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Kelso Public Schools

Longview Public Schools

Mary Beth Tack

Dan Zorn



Recognizing community partners

Graduation, summer school top the slate

he popular saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” can also be applied to educating our youth. For our students to be as successful as possible, it takes the involvement of schools, teachers, parents, and the surrounding community.

n the Longview Public Schools, we are very excited that spring is here. There is a lot of activity this time of year as our teachers are working with students to finish out the year, spring sports are wrapping up, seniors are preparing to graduate, and summer school plans are being finalized.


In May, we had the privilege and honor of recognizing three of the many amazing community partners we have in Kelso at the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) awards ceremony held at Educational Service District 112. This year, we recognized: Bob James For over five decades, Bob James has faithfully served the Kelso School District staff, students, and families. For 35 years, he worked as a sixth-grade teacher and started our Outdoor School. Since retirement, and for the past 22 years, Bob builds treasure boxes every year for each of our six elementary schools to give to students and staff. Bob has hand-built and delivered over 3,500 treasure boxes in Kelso. At 89 years old, he continues to inspire those around him through service above self. The love and dedication he continuously demonstrates by building one treasure box a day is extraordinary. In addition to his passion for schools and students, he is the lead pitcher for an 80 and older softball team in our region. Kelso/Longview Windermere Kelso Longview Windermere Foundation is an amazing support for Kelso School District’s Family Community Resource Center (FCRC). Kevin Campbell, the owner, and his agents check with our FCRC coordinator three or four times a month to see what she needs. They donated to our McKinney Vento angel tree at Christmas, filling 25 angel tags for Kelso kids, and provided meals. The agents (and their spouses) drop by with clothing, bikes, laundry supplies, feminine products, and even small appliances for our families living in motels. Their year-round support and generosity has made a vital difference for our families in need. Columbia River Maritime Museum The Columbia River Maritime Museum is partnering with Wallace Elementary this year on a miniboat project giving fifth graders an experience they’ll never forget. Facilitated by Nate Sandel, museum education director, the class is designing, building, launching, and tracking a seaworthy, GPS-equipped miniboat and setting it on a journey across the Pacific Ocean. Students also communicate with their counterparts in Japan, facilitating international exchange and cultural learning. The project is student driven. Students take on roles on project teams, each assuming different responsibilities to work together For more Kelso schools see page 21 18 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022


We are very pleased to return to our traditional graduation ceremonies on June 11 at Memorial Stadium. R.A. Long seniors graduate at 10 a.m. and Mark Morris at 2 p.m. Discovery High School graduation ceremonies will occur on June 9 at 6 p.m. at Father’s Place Church. The Longview Virtual Academy graduation ceremonies will occur on June 9, at 8 p.m. also at Father’s Place Church. For the fifth consecutive year, our high school graduation rates exceeded the state average. We expect the 2022 graduation rate will also be higher than the state average. While there is much work to be done to recover from the effects of the pandemic, we are proud that our high school seniors are getting the job done and graduating at exceedingly high rates. Finally, to help recover lost learning from the pandemic, Longview Public Schools is focusing our summer school efforts on helping our first and second grade students who need additional support in acquiring the needed literacy skills to be successful readers. This program is taking place at Kessler Elementary School during the month of July. Middle school students will attend summer school at Monticello Middle School. Both programs will be full days and will be engaging and fun with plenty of outdoor time. The middle school program will include half-day Discovery Camps through the parks and recreation department. As a part of our ongoing efforts to improve the literacy levels of our students, we recently adopted new reading curriculum materials that will be used in each of our elementary school classrooms. We are excited about the potential this holds for continuing to improve the reading instruction provided our students. We are also anxious to begin our Kinder Bridge program in November 2022. This new early learning program will serve four year olds who otherwise may not have access to other early learning opportunities. In the coming years we will continue pushing forward to an always improving school system as we focus on assuring our students are provided a quality educational experience. We are getting our students back on track and in a positive, upward trajectory. Thank you again for your support.

We look forward to meeting you!



Chamber Ambassadors ~ The Red Coats Chamber Ambassadors, or as we refer to them “The Red Coats,” are an integral part of the Chamber of Commerce. Ambassadors are the mainstay of Chamber volunteers. They juggle busy professional careers while making time to assist the Chamber at a variety of events year long. Easily identified by their red blazers, you will find them meeting and greeting at our numerous events, welcoming new members at ribbon cuttings, assisting with community programs and having a great time. To become an Ambassador, you must be an active Chamber member and be able to make what often amounts to a significant time commitment.

Heather Carter Heritage Bank

Elisha Jolma

Sho'me Real Estate

Josh Carter

Ambassador of the Year – 2019 KLOG/KUKN/The BLITZ

Kate Keaton

Realty One Group Pacifica

Bailey Roberts

Fibre Federal Credit Union

Diane Craft

Crystal Garrison

Joy Klein

Nick Lemiere

Marc Silva

Pam Whittle

Koelsch Communities

Columbia Bank

Columbia Bank

Fibre Federal Credit Union

Board Liaison Edward Jones

Realty One Group Pacifica

Kelly Godden Specialty Rents

Eric McCrandall

Ambassador of the Year – 2015/2022 Family Health Center

Kerri Guitteau

Cowlitz Black Bears

Carrie Medack

Ambassador of the Year – 2013/2016 Diamond Residential Mortgage

Teedara Wolf

Ambassador of the Year – 2017 Cowlitz PUD

105 Minor Rd, Kelso



City of Longview

City of Kelso

MaryAlice Wallis

Mike Karnofski


Keeping Longview on D.C.'s radar


his month has been another blur of activity. My, how fast the year has already gone.

I’ve been reflecting on this past week’s travels with Public Works Director Ken Hash and Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Wallin to Washington, D.C., on behalf of the City of Longview to visit our federal congressional delegation, Sen. Maria Cantwell, Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. One of the blessings our municipality enjoys is the relationship with our federal and state lobbyists. State lobbyists Josh Weiss and Annika Vaughn, from Gordon Thomas Honeywell, and federal lobbyists Joel Rubin and Samantha Lostia, from CFM Advocates, have been equally essential in helping our city make the necessary connections with our state and federal legislators to help advance our city’s legislative agenda. How does that translate for the citizens of Longview? These lobbyists essentially work directly with our state and federal legislators to communicate our city’s needs to improve safety, infrastructure, transportation, mobility, beautification, and all the things that will keep our city strong for the future. Keeping this communication channel open and active often yields substantial state and federal funding for our community projects that would otherwise not be available through the city budget alone. I have been asked many times lately, “What is the greatest take-away from your trip to D.C.?” I can’t state it clearer – that communication and the intent to share our city’s gratitude for the allocation of funds already received is one of the key factors for partnering with our representatives to support our community. Yes – the value of sharing a personal and professional “thank you for looking out for Longview, WA” with our legislators was a huge part of the trip. Our most recent “thank you” was for the allocation of $290,000 for the Crisis Intervention Team. These funds will be used immediately in hiring two additional mental health specialists to help with our behavioral health unit, a team that works directly with our Longview Police Department for individuals experiencing mental health and substance abuse addictive behaviors. The 2022 federal legislative agenda includes the following: •

Columbia Heights Road Safety Improvement Project: This project will improve the one-mile section of Columbia Heights Road between Cascade Drive and Fishers Lane and would include new sidewalks for safe pedestrian access and a walking route for students attending Cascade Middle School and Columbia Heights Elementary School.

For more Longview see page 21 20 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022


Council completes strategic plan


he Kelso City Council completed its 2022 strategic plan at a special council meeting on May 17. The Council was very consistent in the priority ranking for six major categories: •

Water System Improvement

Roads and Streets Improvement

Staffing – Recruitment and Retention

Downtown/West Main Area, Create a Vision/Sense of Place

Parks/Recrecation Amenities and Facilities

City Facilities

The water system improvement was the top priority for every councilor. The consultant’s evaluation of the present system should be presented to the Council in June. The pavement management proposal from public works will be a key factor in determining how road and street repair and maintenance funds will be spent. The Council felt it would be difficult to complete the priorities without improving staff recruitment and retention. Full staffing of the police department is a given priority as well as full staffing of public works and adding two engineering positions and one position in public works. Creating a vision and sense of place for both downtown and the West Main areas was key for continued economic development in our retail/commercial areas. There was good discussion around beautification, branding, code updates, food trucks and improvement of buildings especially the American Legion building. The City would like to work with Legion members on this project. A food truck court in West Kelso also was an exciting prospect for some potential high traffic locations. A water recycle system for the Spray Park was the number one priority for the park/recreation facilities. Presently the Spray Park uses more than 2 million gallons of water during the summer season. The City has requested federal funds to assist in purchasing a system. Working with our sister city program Babe Ruth baseball and girls softball, members of the Council are attempting to bring teams from Japan for international games this summer. This would be a great opportunity for local youth. One new facility that the City has begun working on is a kayak launch area. And as with all other public entities, facility repair and maintenance must be done on a regular basis. Developing and sticking to scheduled maintenance will be the priority item for this area. As usual, developing strategic plans is a valuable activity. Completion of the plans is a much more valuable activity.

Longview from page 20

Downtown Streetscape Project: This project would complete the final block of improvements to Commerce Avenue. The improvements of street, sidewalk, lighting and pedestrian friendly improvements will attract more visitors, customers and businesses benefitting Longview’s downtown district. Clark Creek Master Pump Station: This project will replace the five aging booster stations with a master pump station and eliminate the need for expensive maintenance of the five booster stations and water lifts, and will increase water quality, water turnover and chlorine residuals. Making these changes now could save $2 million in construction costs and $40 million in maintenance and operations over the 100year life of the system. De-escalation Police Training Simulator: With the continuing increase in violent incidents involving individuals experiencing mental health conditions and substance use disorders within the community, it has

become necessary for officers to be trained in de-escalation. This training tool will help officers gain experience in a safe training environment, which results in reinforcing good tactics and decision-making in volatile conditions. •

Southwest Washington Airport Fuel Rank and Taxiway/ Apron Rehabilitation: Longview is the largest city that shares our regional airport, and it is necessary currently to advocate for funding to support and replace an old fuel tank and rehabilitate the taxiway/apron of the airport. Upgrading the airport’s aging infrastructure will ensure continued air travel for life support and multiple commercial and private businesses within our community.

Sharing in this experience to meet with our federal partners representing our state and city has been a pleasure. My motherin–law always used to say, “Can’t hurt, might help.” For me, it is fair to say that the privilege of sharing gratitude for continued support was worth the trip.

Kelso Schools from page 18

for the common goal of setting sail their seaworthy vessel.

in the program.

While more than 1,700 students on both sides of the Pacific Ocean have been involved in the launch of 31 miniboats, this class at Wallace Elementary is the first in Cowlitz County to participate

We are fortunate to have a strong, proud, and engaged community in Kelso. Our public schools—and the education of our students—are so much the better for it.

Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022 | 21

Cowlitz County Commissioners Dennis Weber

County Commissioner, District 2

Races set for fall general election


s of May 20, candidates for the fall general election have filed. We know who have been elected or re-elected because no one filed against them. This will be an historic

election on two counts: 1) Democrats failed to offer any candidates for county office for the first time since at least 1932; and 2) A record number of county officials have filed as Independents, including three who were previously elected as Democrats. Other interesting numbers include 17 opponents opposing veteran U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, running for her seventh six-year term; eight who oppose six-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler;

Both County Clerk Staci Myklebust and County Treasurer Debra Gardner changed their filing status from Democrat to Independent. Myklebust is seeking a third term while Gardner is seeking her second. They joined fellow Independents County Assessor Emily Wilcox, who has filed for her second term, and County Prosecuting Attorney Ryan Jurvakainen, who has yet to file for his third term. None of these candidates have any opponents this year. District Court Judges Jaime Imboden and John Hays are running unopposed for re-election, while Kevin Blodin is running

and seven candidates opposed to Secretary of State Steve Hobbs,

unopposed to succeed incumbent District Judge Debra Burchett,

who was appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee last year. State Court of

who did not file. Finally, incumbent PUD Commissioner David

Appeals Judge Ann Cruser, a former Cowlitz County superior

Quinn is also running unopposed for re-election.

court judge, is unopposed for re-election.

Appointed District 3 Commissioner John Jabusch also filed as an Independent in his bid to win his first election to succeed former Independent Commissioner Joe Gardner, who resigned in September. (Jabusch was appointed by Inslee in December.) But Jabusch, a motorsports businessman, faces challenges from two Republican activists Christie Masters from Rose Valley and Rick Dahl from Castle Rock. Contests for other county offices are shaping up, as well. Republican Sheriff Brad Thurman is also facing a challenge from fellow Republican Ron Gibbs from Woodland and Toutle Independent Ronald James Ludine in his bid for a second term.

“If something comes up, I just call my banker and we can figure it out.”

- Tracy Fisher, Business Diversity Institute

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Equal Housing Lender | Member FDIC

22 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022

Coroner Tim Davidson is a former Democrat filed this year as an Independent, but he is being challenged by Republican Dana Turner, a Cowlitz County resident who works as deputy coroner for Lewis County. Legislative candidates running unopposed are Republican State Reps. Peter Abbarno (20th, Chehalis) and Ed Orcutt (20th, Kalama), while fellow incumbent Republican State Reps. Joel McEntire (19th, Cathlamet) and Jim Walsh (19th, Aberdeen) drew opponents. Walsh is opposed by Ilwaco’s Kelli Hughes-Ham. McEntire will face Progressive Democrat Jon-Erik Hegstad of Longview and Democrat Cara Cusack from Lewis County.

Business Connection Advertising Rates Effective January, 2022

Kelso-Longview Business Connection monthly newsletter is published the first of each month, posted electronically on our website and emailed to over 7,000 local business professionals, city and county officials. To be included in this monthly email, call the Chamber office at 360-423-8400. Size 1/16 Page 1/8 Page 1/4 Page 1/2 Page Full Page

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All ads include full color and any design work. Deadline is the 21st of the month prior to publication. Digital files: PDF is preferred. JPEG accepted at high resolution (at least 300 dpi). Non-Members of the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce, please add 30% to above rates. To advertise or request additional information, please call at 360-423-8400 or contact: CEO Bill Marcum bmarcum@kelsolongviewchamber.org Project Manager Julie Rinard jrinard@kelsolongviewchamber.org

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Calendar JUNE

1 2 3 7 8 9 10 13 14 15 20 21 22 24 28 29 30

JULY Education Foundation, 8:30am, Zoom Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM Chamber Ambassadors, 7:30am, Columbia Bank Boot Camp Leadership 2.0 Series, 7:30am, American Workforce Group Ribbon Cutting, Shinju Dojo, 11am Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM Ribbon Cutting, Scythe Brewing Co., 11am Boot Camp Leadership 2.0 Series, 7:30am, American Workforce Group Ribbon Cutting, Mint Valley Elementary School, 1:45pm Chamber Executive Board, Noon, Mill City Grill Business After Hours, Canterbury Park, 5:30pm Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM Chamber Annual Golf Classic, Three Rivers Golf Course Chamber and Visitor Center office closed Chamber Executive Board, Noon, Mill City Grill Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM Quarterly Membership Luncheon, Get a Grip on Your Organization, 11:45am, Kelso Longview Elks Chamber Board, Noon, Mill City Grill Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 9 Ribbon Cutting, Cowlitz Public Shooting Range, 11am

24 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022

4 6 7 12 13 14 19 20 27

Independence Day. Camber and Visitor Center offices closed. Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM Chamber Ambassadors, 7:30am, Columbia Bank Ribbon Cutting, Cafe Guse, 11am Chamber Executive Board, Noon, Mill City Grill Business After Hours and Ribbon Cutting, Fidelity National Title, 5:30pm Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM Ribbon Cutting, A & J Fencing Inc., 11am Chamber Board, Noon, Mill City Grill Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM

New Members Add your business to our growing membership. Call 360-423-8400 Today! Membership packages to fit your needs

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 • Membership Window Decals • Member Referrals • Ribbon Cutting • Website Links • Member to Member Discounts • Membership Directory • Tax Deduction • Newsletter • Business Card Display • Use of Chamber Logo

Look Who Joined in May Mt. St. Helens Bass Masters

Phil Martin 173 Estes Road Castle Rock, WA 98611 360-987-4343 mtsthelensbassmasters@gmail.com

Lower Columbia Transportation Association Phil Martin PO Box 1064 Longview, WA 98632 360-957-4343 martin@fosterfarms.com


Alexandria Haslam 345 Park Avenue San Jose, CA 95110 502-530-0418 cit46532@adobe.com

Strum Homes

Kyle Strum 1322 Commerce Ave. Longview, WA 98632 425-443-9690 kyleandemily@strumhomesnw.com

Representation through action committees, candidate forums and up-to-date action alerts. • Legislative Representation • Issues Tracking and Information • Task Forces • Candidate Forums • Legislative Update Breakfast • Demographics Publication

Membership Packages Basic • $275 or $26 per month Bronze • $500 or $46.66 per month Silver • $1,000 or $86.33 per month Gold • $2,500 or $211.33 per month Platinum • $5,000 or $416.66 per month Diamond Club • $10,000 or $834 per month Nonprofit • $180 or $18 per month

Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022 | 25

News & Events

News and events come from our website, press releases, and public information shared with us. To see more visit kelsolongviewchamber.org

Consumers expected to spend 20 billion New 101.5 The Blitz announces lineup Solid Rock, the new 101.5 The Blitz, debuted its new lineup May on Father’s Day gifts From Inside Washington Retail, Washington Retail Association

According to a recent survey, consumers are expected to spend over $20 billion on Father’s Day gifts, about the same as last year despite mounting concerns about inflation. On average, consumers will spend just over $170 for Father’s Day gifts, 40 percent of which will be online. Nearly a third of those surveyed say they will look to retailers for gift inspiration.

Washington state continues to add jobs From Inside Washington Retail, Washington Retail Association

The Employment Security Department (ESD) recently reported that Washington added more than 12,000 jobs in April, with the vast majority of these jobs coming from private sector employers. ESD’s Economist Paul Turek commented, “Employers are continuing to hire at an impressively strong pace. The current pace of job growth is surprising given how tight the labor market is.” Washington’s unemployment rate has dipped to 4.1 percent, slightly higher than the national 3.6 percent unemployment rate. ESD also reported:

16. Rock radio veterans Marconi and Eddie Barella will headline with “Mood Killers” mornings 6-10 and Porkchop will anchor afternoons from 3-8.

Marconi is best known for his ratings success at KUFO and KNRK in Portland, Ore., as well as 107.7 The End in Seattle. Barella most recently hosted a show on Westwood One’s Rock 2.0 national format and worked at KBPI in Denver, Colo. Porkchop had success doing nights, then afternoons and mornings at KUFO. 101.5 The Blitz debuted Dec. 27 and focuses on iconic, massive rock songs from the 1970s to today with its core music set in the 1990s and early 2000s. isten to The Blitz at 101.5 FM and www.1015theblitz.com. 101.5 The Blitz also operates 100.7 KLOG, Cookin’ Country 105.5, KUKN, Cowlitz Digital and The Cowlitz Podcast Network. They are the only local radio group that is 100 percent locally programmed and owned with all the programming decisions made locally.

Fibre Family Wednesdays are back at Cowlitz Black Bear games

Spend a Wednesday with the minor league Cowlitz Black Bears baseball team and get $5 off admission when you show a Fibre Federal Credit Union card at the gate. Fibre Federal Credit Union and Cookin’ Country 105.5, KUKN, Hometeam 100-7 KLOG and 101.5 The Blitz are teaming up to make this event possible on June 8, June 15, June 22, July 13 and Aug. 3.

A further decline of more than 10,000 people from the unemployment insurance system, continuing the positive trend since the depths of the COVID pandemic. There are about 44,000 people collecting unemployment insurance benefits today.

Three industry sectors have led the gain in year over year employment: Leisure and hospitality (+57,600 jobs), Professional and business services (+40,200 jobs), and Education and health services (+18,100 jobs)

Also returning for the Black Bear’s 2022 season – $3 Tuesdays. Enjoy general admission tickets, hot dogs, nachos and domestic beer all for just $3.

Employment in retail trade is up by 7,500 over the past year.

SONIC Drive-In donates to local school for Teacher Appreciation Month

This month, SONIC Drive-In donated $1.5 million to help fund local education needs through DonorsChoose, a national nonprofit that allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom requests submitted by teachers.

1157 3rd Avenue, Suite 218

1157 Longview, 3rd Avenue, WA Suite 98632 218 1157 3rd360.952.3100 Avenue, Suite 218 Longview, WA 98632 Longview, WA 98632 www.amadaseniorcare.com 360.952.3100 360.952.3100 www.amadaseniorcare.com www.amadaseniorcare.com 26 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022

As part of SONIC’s ongoing Limeades for Learning initiative, the brand matched 50 percent of each donation made to teacher requests on DonorsChoose for Teacher Appreciation Day May 3, donating a total of $1.5 million. With this donation, SONIC helped fully fund more than 9,000 projects from teachers across the country including a special teacher – Terri Mickelson at Mint Valley Elementary For more News see page 27

News from page 26

School, who received special funding the Owl Pellets for Life Science project.

NW Voices presents author Alan E. Rose

“Limeades for Learning is an initiative that SONIC holds dear, and we’re proud to partner with DonorsChoose on this important work,” said Lori Abou Habib, SONIC chief marketing officer. “Drink purchases at SONIC bring joy to

Join the Longview Public Library June 16 at 7 p.m. in the Magazine Reading Room for an evening with author Alan Rose as he discusses his book, “As If Death Summoned,” which is the powerful story of one man’s journey through the AIDS epidemic, and finding the courage to bring oneself back from the dead.

SONIC donates a portion of drink proceeds to support local public schools through Limeades for Learning, in partnership with education nonprofit, DonorsChoose. SONIC has donated more than $20 million to directly fund local education programs since 2009.

Hailed by Foreword Reviews for being “as heartwarming and hope-giving as it is heartbreaking,” the novel takes place in 1995, when more than 300,000 Americans had already died of AIDS, most of them gay men. In a foreword, the author discusses the similarities and differences between that national health crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.

our guests while supporting students and teachers in the classroom.”

For those wishing to make an additional donation to a classroom project in their local community, visit DonorsChoose.org and donate to one or more of the thousands of public school teacher requests seeking support to provide students with educational resources.

All events are free and open to the public. Northwest Voices is funded by the Longview Public Library and Lower Columbia College, Friends of the Longview Library, Longview, Library Foundation, and the LCC Foundation.

Columbia Theatre



13 13 to to 1 1 Year Year Olds! Olds!

Directed by Susan Donahue Music and Lyrics by Mark Hollmann

Immerse yourself in the world of acting this summer with the Columbia Theatre's Teen Summer Camp production of URINETOWN THE MUSICAL! Where: Columbia Theatre, 1231 Vandercook Way, Longview

Book and Lyrics by Greg Kotis

In Urinetown, a long-standing drought has led to a terrible water shortage. Citizens struggle with the government-imposed ban on private toilets and strict restrictions on where and when folks can go. One malevolent company holds the keys to the only option for relief, but not everyone is willing to pay the price anymore. As the people fight for their rights, a hero will rise and bring forth an uprising to lead them all to freedom. This irreverent story brings perspective and comedic flair to the story of a young man who gives all he has for his right to stand for what he believes.


students age 13-18


Auditions June 20th 6pm-8pm Call Backs June 21st 6pm-9pm Rehearsals June 27th thru August 11th


$300 tuition due after casting Limited scholarships available

Sign up online for more information!

Columbia Theatre Longview Box Office: 360.575.8499/ www.columbiatheatre.com Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022 | 27

Chantel Anderson, Total Employment & Management

Marc Silva, Columbia Bank, and Erik Skreen, Scythe Brewing Co.

Cathie Groesbeck and Vanessa Westmoreland, The Gifted Kitchen

Tabitha Beneke, Keys Plus Locksmiths

Your Chamber Connection Radio Show Wednesdays at 6 pm KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM

Steve Nelson, Cowlitz Public Shooting Range

Contact Julie Rinard at 360-423-8400 or jrinard@kelsolongviewchamber.org to schedule your interview

José Fagoaga, Foster Farms

Jim Stonier, Cowlitz Veterans Service Center

Katie Keaton, Realty One Group Pacifica

Gherid Smick, Work Source, and Carey Mackey, Red Canoe Credit Union

28 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022

Joseph Govednik and Danielle Robbins, Cowlitz County Historical Museum

The Foster Farms team supports Business After Hours every month

Business After Hours

Hosted by Kelso Longview Elks Lodge No. 1482

Ambassadors Heather Carter, Heritage Bank, and Joy Klein, Columbia Bank, welcome guests

Chamber Ambassador Kelly Godden, Specialty Rents, presents prize winner Renee Hernandez, Foster Farms, with a sQuatch Fest basket

30 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022

Kelso Longview Elks Lodge No. 1482 hosted a great Business After Hours in May. Networking, delicious food, great drinks...and prizes! Enjoy these photos and watch for announcements about more networking opportunities coming up.

Rob Dahl and Butch Reynolds, Kelso Longview Elks Lodge No. 1482 board members

Business After Hours Kelso Longview Elks Lodge No.1482

The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce would like to THANK the following loyal members for renewing their partnership with us this month. Columbia Theatre Association for the Performing Arts Dahl McVicker Funeral Homes Entek Corporation Life Mortgage Noelle A. McLean, Attorney at Law Papé Machinery

Guests enjoyed the networking opportunities

PNE Construction Red Canoe Credit Union – 15th Ave Red Canoe Credit Union – 30th Ave Safway Services, Inc Searing Electric & Plumbing Steele Chapel at Longview Memorial Park The Fidelity National Title team enjoyed the evening and look forward to July when they host Business After Hours at their new location

The Dog Zone Umpqua Bank

Keenan Harvey, Kelso City Council; Stacy Dalgarno, 100 Women Who Care Lower Columbia; Robin Gosney, Kelso Longview Elks Lodge No. 1482 exhaulted ruler; Ginger LaFrenz-James, Kelso Longview Elks Lodge No. 1482

Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022 | 31

Ribbon Cuttings

Thank you to these Ambassadors who participated in ribbon cutting celebrations during May! Josh Carter KLOG-KUKN-The Blitz Crystal Garrison Fibre Federal Credit Union Kelly Godden Speciality Rents and Events Kerri Guitteau Cowlitz Black Bears Nick Lemiere Edward Jones

Congratulations 40th Anniversary Keys Plus Locksmiths

Carrie Medack Diamond Residential Mortgage Eric McCrandall Family Health Center Bailey Roberts Fibre Federal Credit Union Marc Silva Columbia Bank Teedara Wolf Cowlitz PUD

Welcome New Member The Gifted Kitchen

32 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | June 2022

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