MAY 1, 2009
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Photo courtesy of Brien Mitsubishi Brien Motors, which opened its Ford dealership in Everett in 1970, has added a Mitsubishi dealership to its Evergreen Way location, according to President Rock Peterson. He said partnering with Mitsubishi adds a broader lineup of vehicles for customers, including Ford cars and trucks.

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Photo courtesy of Snohomish County Tourism Bureau The Evergreen Arboretum & Gardens, on the West side of Legion Park in North Everett, was improperly identified in SCBJ’s April issue as the Everett Arboretum. Although the Snohomish County Master Gardeners were credited with its upkeep, they maintain only a small area of this public garden. The area is designed, landscaped and maintained by an all-volunteer nonprofit group with a board of volunteer directors and a dedicated group of community volunteers who spend more than 5,000 volunteer hours a year beautifying the grounds. Evergreen Arboretum recently launched a capital campaign to complete its ADA-approved access paths. Open daily free of charge from dawn to 10 p.m. (8 p.m. in winter), the gardens offer docent-led tours every Saturday at 10 a.m., May through September or by appointment. More information is available at it www.evergreenarboretum.com.

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Photo courtesy of SSCCC SCBJ General Manager Gary Hauff accepted a recent Excellence In Business award for the Snohomish County Business Journal from the South Snohomish County Chamber of Commerce. With Hauff are Board Chair Barbara Earl and Chamber President Jean Hales.
 
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John Wolcott, Editor
jwolcott@scbj.com
Dave Clark, Assistant Editor
dclark@scbj.com
Published: Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Business Briefs May 2009

VOA expands recreation programs for developmentally disabled at Sultan Camp

Volunteers of America Western Washington, based in Everett, is expanding its recreation services programs for developmentally disabled people, as well as changing how VOA uses its current Sky Valley facilities, including Camp Volasuca.

Due to growing demand for VOA’s services in the Sultan/Sky Valley area of east Snohomish County, VOA is changing the use of the Camp Volasuca portion of its property from a summer camp program to a facility that offers more year-around recreation opportunities for the Sky Valley community.

VOA currently operates a preschool for low income children (ECEAP), an alternative high school, and transitional and permanent housing and services for homeless individuals at their facility in Sultan.

Having access to the adjacent Camp Volasuca acreage gives VOA the opportunity to think about new ways to use their Sultan facilities.

“We have expanded and evolved as an agency over the years … we are excited about these new opportunities to better serve the developmentally disabled and our Sultan/Sky Valley community. This is truly a win-win,” said VOA President/CEO Phil Smith. For more information, visit www.voaww.org.

Home-cooking approved for Edmonds Conference Center

Adjusting for current economic conditions, the Edmonds Conference Center, 201 Fourth Avenue N., is saving their guests money by allowing them to cut back on catering costs.

The center now permits self-catering of parties, reunions, award ceremonies, wedding receptions, or other events held at its facility.

For those who don’t hire a licensed caterer, the center will provide a kitchen monitor with a food worker’s permit to ensure the safe preparation, storage, and serving of home-cooked food for a nominal fee. There will be no food service charge for those who bring commercially prepared foods that require no assembly or warming for their event.

For more information, call 425.640.1808 or go to www.edmondsconferencecenter.com.

Everett Clinic adds new outreach services at Stanwood facility

The Everett Clinic has added two new services for The Everett Clinic at Stanwood. Beginning in mid-April, specialists in gastroenterology and surgical services will be offering consultation services, saving patients from traveling to the Everett facility. Surgery patients are able to receive specialty consultation appointments regarding adult as well as pediatric surgical operations.

The new specialty services are in addition to heart and vascular consultations available in Stanwood.

Evergreen State Fair finds new sponsors in tight economy

Snohomish County’s Evergreen State Fair, which runs from Aug. 27 through Sept. 7, has two major new sponsors. Unique Beverages of Everett, which produces “Wired” and “Cascade Ice” products, and Smith Brothers Farms of Kent, a Washington dairy producer since 1920.

“Wired” and “Cascade Ice” have been named the Official Energy Drink and the Official Water of the fair, while Smith Brothers Farms will help promote the annual event on more than 1.2 million milk cartons weekly beginning the last week of July.

Both companies will have on-site presence during the 12-day event, which is ranked as the nation’s 25th largest fair. Also, the two sponsors will provide product support to the more than 75 food-and-beverage locations at the fairgrounds.

The Evergreen State Fairgrounds works with more than 130 sponsors annually to help produce the event, said Fairgrounds Manager Mark Campbell, who noted vendor interest also has been high, with 125 applications received to date for 275 locations.

The Evergreen State Fair has been a Snohomish County family and tourism attraction for more than 100 years., with more than 800,000 visitors annually.

For information on sponsorships or vendor opportunities, contact Mark Campbell at 360-805-6704 or by email at mark.campbell@snoco.org.

UW Bothell nursing program receives federal funding

The Nursing Program at the University of Washington - Bothell will receive $330,000 as part of the federal Omnibus Appropriations Bill to fund the second year of its program to train nursing faculty through a consortium of 14 colleges, including Everett Community College.

Program director Mary Baroni said the first year’s funds allowed the program to expand its Masters in Nursing degree enrollment, allocate $140,000 in scholarship support and increase much needed nursing faculty in the community colleges.

“With this additional funding,” she said, “we will be able to plan and implement selected strategies that emerged from this first faculty consortium in addition to continuing to provide scholarship support to UW Bothell students who are interested in teaching at one of our partner schools.”

For additional information on the consortium, its sponsoring grant or the nursing program, please contact uwbnursing@uwb.edu.

Construction begins on 24 CT Swift bus stations

Community Transit has begun construction on nine of its 24 transit stations for its new Swift bus rapid transit system. The new service starts this fall between Everett Station and the Aurora Shopping Center on Highway 99 in Shoreline. King County’s Metro Transit is building stations from that point into downtown Seattle.

High-speed Swift buses will stop at each transit station every 10 minutes, providing quick and frequent express service designed to attract motorists to public transit.

Twenty-four stations are being built for Swift along the 17-mile corridor between Everett Station and Aurora Village in Shoreline. Swift will provide a fast, frequent one-seat ride along Highway 99, with buses serving each station about every 10 minutes on weekdays. In addition to the 24 Swift stations, terminals will be built at Everett Station and the Aurora Village Transit Center.

Providence Regional Medical Center among 100 top hospitals

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett has been named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare.

The award recognizes hospitals that have achieved excellence in clinical outcomes, patient safety, patient satisfaction, financial performance, and operational efficiency. This is the fifth year that the hospital has been recognized with this honor. It’s the only hospital in Washington state to be named to the national list for 2008.

“The study analyzed data from 3,000 hospitals. Being named in the top 100 puts us in the top three percent of hospitals nationwide,” said CEO Dave Brooks, who noted the facility also was named a Distinguished Hospital by the Healthgrades organization in February.

Whidbey Island Bank still among Top 5-Star banks

Whidbey Island Bank, with branches in Stanwood and at Smokey Point, has earned a national 5-Star Superior rating for financial strength and stability.

Bauerfinancial, the nation’s bank rating firm, has been analyzing and reporting on America’s banks for over 25 years. Its 5-Star rating is based on the overall financial picture of the bank.

The award ranks Whidbey Island Bank of Oak Harbor, as one of the strongest banks in the nation. This is the 23rd consecutive quarter that Whidbey Island Bank has earned this highest honor.

“The number of 5-Star rated banks is diminishing”, comments Karen L. Dorway, president of Bauerfinancial, “but Whidbey Island Bank is an excellent example of traditional, conservative banking.”

Established in 1961, the bank has 18 offices in five counties and can also be found on the internet at www.wibank.com.

Out of the Blue Aviation begins passenger, freight flights

Out of the Blue Aviation recently received its Air Carrier Certificate from the FAA, authorizing them to provide passenger and cargo flights out of Arlington Airport.

“With road traffic delays, and ferry lines, and long waits at SeaTac, we think local people will be thrilled to know they have another option to get to their favorite destinations,” said Cathy Mighell, president of Out of the Blue. “Places like the San Juan Islands, and Canada and Eastern Washington are time consuming to get to via car, but fast and easy via airplane.”

Out of the Blue Aviation has new, state-of-the-art aircraft to provide passengers with comfort and convenience in their travels. In addition, their planes can land at nearly every airport, small or large.

Some examples of the time savings with small aircraft include trips to Friday Harbor, 30 minutes compared to more than three hours by ferry; Lake Chelan, one hour by flying and three hours or more by car and Seaside, Ore., 1.5 hours in the air compared to six hours on the road.

“With today’s busy schedules, flying out of your local airport directly to your destination is the way to go,” Mighell said. For more information and rates, please contact Out of the Blue Aviation at 360-474-1060 or visit www.outoftheblueaviation.com.

WDCSC opens Lynnwood WorkSource Aerospace Center

Workforce Development Council Snohomish County (WDCSC) and Edmonds Community College are pleased to announce the opening of the WorkSource Aerospace Center, targeted at assisting workers who are dislocated from local jobs in Snohomish County’s aerospace industry.

The WSAC opened Apr. 24, one of the first tangible results of federal ARRA stimulus money for workforce development in Snohomish County.

“We feel fortunate to be receiving federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds to assist workers who are dislocated from aerospace industry jobs,” explained Sue Ambler, CEO of WDCSC. “The Aerospace Center is a perfect example of community partnership and the leveraging of resources that will get ARRA dollars out the door to help our workforce immediately.”

Almost 35,000 people work in Snohomish County’s manufacturing cluster, of which the aerospace sector is a major portion.

The Aerospace Center, located at 7020 196th Street in Lynnwood, is on the North Campus of Edmonds Community College, who has been awarded a contract with WDCSC to run the Center.

Edmonds Community College offers a number of degree and certificate programs available for skills upgrades in aerospace manufacturing, including the Associate of Applied Science transfer degrees in Materials Science Technology and Aerospace Manufacturing.

Services at the WorkSource Aerospace Center include: job search assistance, resume writing workshops, and skills upgrade and training opportunities.

Amgen cuts workforce in Bothell

Amgen Inc. is cutting 100 jobs at its clinical drug manufacturing site in Bothell, according to spokeswoman Carol Pawlak. Worldwide the biotechnology company has 17,000 employees, including 900 in Washington state. The reductions leave about 70 workers at Amgen’s Bothell plant.

Workforce Development Council has computer-training vouchers

The Snohomish County Workforce Development Council will receive 1,750 vouchers from Microsoft Corp. to help unemployed residents get new computer skills. The vouchers will entitle people to take computer classes for free either in person or online. And they’ll also be able to take free Microsoft certification exams.

To learn more about the program, choose a learning plan or register for a voucher, visit www.wdcsc.org/elevateamerica. Microsoft is offering 30,000 of the vouchers in Washington as part of a national program.

Providence hospital employees raise donations for PGF, UW

At Providence General Foundation, donations by Providence employees to the foundation and to the hospital’s employee fund drive for United Way have set records for the 2009 campaigns compared to 2008..

For the internal fund-raising for PGF in 2009, employees donated $182,000, up 98.5 percent over 2008, while employee pledges to the United Way campaign were up 141 percent, from $25,126 to $60,500.

Gifts in the campaign averaged $394 for 2009 compared to $348 in 2008, according to hospital spokesperson Cheri Russum. Also, she said, physician groups have given “unprecedented gifts,” including The Everett Clinic’s contribution of $1.75 milliion.

Analyst predicts Boeing could move 787 out of state

Scott Hamilton, an aviation industry expert speaking to the Snohomish County Economic Development Council’s quarterly business meeting at the Mill Creek Country Club Apr. 22, predicted Boeing might locate a possible second 787 production line outside Washington state – and even take the existing first line with it.

Hamilton said if Washington’s governor and legislators don’t take significant action quickly to create a friendlier business climate, the state may see Boeing gradually move to right-to-work states or areas that do more to provide a flow of trained engineers and technical college graduates.

He also strongly urged launching a high-quality four-year technical college in the Puget Sound area, inviting a top-level aerospace and engineering school such as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to come to the Northwest and promoting develoment of commercial air service at Paine Field as ways to have any chance at all of interesting Boeing in standing in the state.

Hamilton, with Leeham Co., told county business leaders, county council members and county executive Aaron Reardon: “For you stakeholders in keeping the 787 in Everett, the clock is already ticking.” Earlier in April, a state study reported that Washington still lags behind others in business competitiveness.

Hamilton predicted Boeing will make a decision on where to locate a second line by the end of 2009 or early 2010. If the second line is built elsewhere, he believes Boeing may close the Everett 787 line in 2013 or 2014. Once that trend begins, he expects Boeing would also build its multi-billion dollar replacements for the 737 and 777 out-of-state.

PUD moving ahead in search for productive tidal energy site

A potential site for developing tidal power has been found off Whidbey Island, according to Snohomish County Public Utility District officials who say a tidal-powered generator could be in place by 2011.

A search of open water between the island and the Olympic Peninsula found a potential site near the Keystone Ferry Terminal in Admiralty Inlet. The area has fast currents, flat sea bottom and few fish in an area that could be ideal for producing tidal power. Researchers will be revisiting the site and crunching numbers as part of a $100,000 effort funded by the Department of Energy.

The U.S. Navy is planning a nearby tidal installation of its own, off Marrowstone Island, that could be installed by2010, government officials have said.

When its site is selected, the PUD plans to drop a specially-built turbine built by OpenHydro, an Irish company that has installed some tidal turbines off the coast of Scotland. The single turbine at maximum capacity could power roughly 700 homes when it is connected to the grid, according to the PUD.

If the trial is successful, a turbine farm, with many tidal turbines, could be used to generate a lot of renewable energy for the Pacific Northwest, officials said.

Cascade Bank posts 90-day loss of $4.8 million in 2009

Everett-based Cascade Bank posted a $4.8 million loss for the first three months of 2009 as it increased the money set aside for potentially bad loans to nearly $14 million.

Cascade Chief Executive Carol Nelson said the bank’s basic performance was strong; loans and checking deposits are growing and revenues are up, but so are its nonperforming loans.

The bank noted that bad loans amounted to $17 million a year ago, or 1.5 percent of the total loans; $40 million the previous quarter, or 3.2 percent; and $51 million during the three-month period ending March 31, or 4.05 percent of all loans. Nelson said the bank looked at its real estate loans and the homes used as collateral and ultimately had to write off $5.3 million in charge-offs. As a result of mortgage defaults, the bank now owns $9 million in real estate.

Emergency rooms being added, expanded in county

Stevens Hospital in Edmonds and Seattle’s Swedish Medical Center are talking about the possibility of building three new emergency rooms in the county to meet growing demand.

In Everett, Regional Medical Center Everett will open a new emergency department
double the size of its present one in 2011 as part of its new $600 million medical tower.

Also, Arlington Hospital’s expansion, due to be completed this year, will include an enlarged emergency room. Valley General Hospital in Monroe has just finished expanding and upgrading its emergency center.

All of those efforts are to keep pace with the county’s growth from 280,000 to nearly 700,000 people over the last three decades, medical officials report.

Lynnwood’s Compusave moves to larger offices Apr. 28

To better serve core customers in business, government and educational sectors, Compusave has moved to a bigger location at 19210 33rd Ave. W., Ste. B, in Lynnwood.

The company will no longer have a retail store front, allowing more room instead to expand its capabilities for product sourcing, procurement, IT services and solutions for its commercial and public sector customers.

Products and services provided at the new location include IT hardware/software sourcing, procurement and distribution; limited over-the-counter sales, system integration, IT services and solutions, computer diagnostics and repair, plus warranty services.

For more information, call 425-712-7073 or visit www.compusaveinc.net.

PSCTLT computer training moving to Lynnwood offices

The Puget Sound Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (PSCTLT) relocated its offices in April, moving from the Canyon Park Business Center to new offices in Lynnwood at 19020 33rd Ave W, Suite 210. The new phone number is 425-977-4741.

The new location has a computer training lab to continue the center’s tradition of providing high quality professional development for teachers and other clients.
While PSCTLT programs have flourished at the Bothell location, the new office supports a broader commitment to a flexible work environment and provides easier access to transit options. Visit the group’s Web site at www.psctlt for a map and program information.

Also, the center is partnering on a new Bioinformatics Education program funded by the National Science Foundation.

And, CEO Karen Peterson is serving as Co-Principal Investigator for a new ITEST (Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers) program, being funded by a $1.3 million grant to Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR) to further bioinformatics information.

Evergreen Autoworks certified for collision VIP programs

Mill Creek-based Evergreen Autoworks has become certified for Assured Performance Collision Care’s VIP program. Created by Assured Performance Collision Care, a consumer advocacy organization. APC qualifies and identifies quality collision repair businesses.

The VIP program offers offers consumers “white glove” treatment, special services that include nation-wide lifetime repair and refinish warranty, valet pick-up and delivery service to and from work and express VIP service.

Evergreen Autoworks, 18204 Bothell-Everett Highway, has served its customers for more than 40 years. For more information call 425-485-0508 or visit www.evergreenautoworks.net.

Fluke buys Hawk IR

Fluke Corp. of Everett, the global leader in portable electronic test and measurement technology, has acquired Hawk IR International Ltd. of North Yorkshire, U.K. Hawk IR will continue to operate as Hawk IR International under the Fluke Electronics Industrial Division. The acquisition represents a significant global opportunity for Hawk IR International. Under Fluke ownership, Hawk IR will have access to resources, business systems and channels to market that will expand its ability to deliver products that improve the safety and efficiency of thermal imaging.

Customers of both Fluke and Hawk IR will benefit from a coordinated offering of thermal imagers and peripheral equipment.

Conaway Motors, GP Automotive, Jeff’s Auto Repair earn AAA “Top Shop” awards

AAA of Washington has awarded its “Top Shop” awards to Conaway Motors and GP Automotive in Everett and to Jeff’s Auto Repair in Lynnwood.

Measured by customer satisfaction surveys and feedback, the “best of the best” auto service firms earn a AAA Top Shop Award each year.

Facilities that earn this honor typically have received customer satisfaction rates close to 100% during the last calendar year, as well as meeting AAA service standards.

Qualifying businesses guarantee service or repairs for 12 months or 12,000 miles; offer written estimates; return replaced parts; obtain pre-work approvals; provide complimentary vehicle inspections to AAA members and allow AAA to arbitrate service disputes.




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