The Voice for Industry
October 8, 2009
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Green Expo Oct. 9
Ride the Roadster

An electric Tesla Roadster can go from zero to 60 in less than four seconds and four lucky people will get to experience that green horsepower Friday, October 9, at the Green Industrial Business and Career Expo at the Puget Sound Industrial Excellence Center in Georgetown.

A 2010 Roadster is part of an expo exhibit about electric cars and trucks. The Roadster is owned by Chad Schwitters, a software developer who will provide the rides to people who will be chosen through a drawing. The drawing will be held at 12:30 pm following the expo lunch and just before the keynote address by Randy Dorn, the new state Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The expo will include exhibits about new solar, wind and geothermal power systems as well as biodiesel displays and a car that is being equipped at Ingraham High School to run on a biodiesel fuel based on Pollock oil from the Bering Sea. The expo also includes workshops about new national curriculum for high school and middle school construction and manufacturing programs.

The expo is open to the public, with a focus on teachers. Registration and details are available at More than 100 educators from throughout western Washington are registered to attend. About 200 people are expected.

Co-sponsors include the Manufacturing Industrial Council of Seattle, South Seattle Community College, the Puget Sound Industrial Excellence Center, the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development, The Boeing Company, Nucor Steel Seattle, the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee, the King County and Washington State Building and Construction Trades Councils, Aerospace Machinists 751, the Cement Masons and Plasterers of Washington, the ML King County Labor Council and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Meet Randy Dorn

Just seven days after taking office last January, Randy Dorn announced he was terminating the controversial Washington Assessment of Student Learning. That kept a promise he made to replace the WASL during his campaign last fall for state Superintendent of Public Instruction. Dorn says he will replace the WASL with a new statewide test that will take less time, be more practical and, hopefully, save money.

As Superintendent, Dorn's priorities also include a re-emphasis on technical education. Dorn believes such programs are successful vehicles to teach applied math and science. Research also shows technical programs reduce dropout rates and improve grades while introducing kids to career paths that can lead to family-wage jobs in services, retail and industry.

Dorn will be available to answer audience questions after he delivers the keynote address at the Green Industrial Business and Career Expo Friday.

If you or your business would like to meet Dorn at the Expo, RSVP to the Manufacturing Industrial Council at 206-7672-2470.

Local public school districts in Washington are governed by local school boards, but the state superintendent controls state enhancement dollars that support local schools. Dorn's staff also establishes curriculum frameworks that must be followed by local schools accessing state funds.

Dorn and his staff are working with Seattle industrial companies, the Seattle Community College District, local apprenticeship programs, labor organizations and the City of Seattle to help reinvigorate technical education in our community.

The partnership includes the Puget Sound Skill Center, a technical high school in Burien that offers construction, engineering, automotive science, marine science, welding and other programs to 800 to 900 students from the Highline, Tukwila, Tahoma and Federal Way Public Schools. The skill center is one of two pilot schools in the state that are implementing a new national curriculum that will introduce students to careers in construction, engineering and architecture. That project will includes teachers from the Pipefitters and Plumbers training program in Renton and it is based on rigorous applied math as well as tools and basic work skills.

The partnership is also supporting an effort to create a "green tech" skill certificate program in the Seattle Public Schools. Students in that program would take classes culminating in a hands-on project based on some aspect of manufacturing, construction or transportation. Curriculum for that program is still under development.

If you, your company or your organization would like to engage in these activities, email Dave Gering at or Marilyn Young Skogland at Opportunities are available for companies willing to host work site tours for teachers and students, provide guest speakers for classes, offer input into curriculum, or support internships and other work-based learning experiences.

Gov't Releases Swine Flu Preparedness Guide for Small Businesses

MIC members, Evergreen Safety Council, maintains a health & safety related news blog on their website. This is an excerpt from their Sep 18, blog. Visit for the original, very informative, posting.

To follow up on our September 9th Swine Flu and You posting. Government officials this week released a guide (.pdf file) designed to help small businesses prepare for the H1N1 influenza virus.

The guide includes tools small businesses can use to plan for a flu outbreak, which may cause increases in absenteeism, restricted service capabilities or supply chain disruptions.

"This guide will help America's small businesses maintain continuity of operations and resiliency as the fall flu season approaches," Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said in a press release.

In related news, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new H1N1 flu vaccine. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said the vaccine should be widely available to the public by mid-October.

Southbound I-405 between Oakesdale Avenue SW and SR 181 in Renton and Tukwila
Crews will close the right lane on southbound I-405 between Oakesdale Avenue SW and SR 181 around the clock from 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9 to 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 12 to replace damaged concrete panels. The carpool lane will be open to all traffic in the work zone during the closure.

MORE INFORMATION: Check the Renton Stage 1 Project Web site for maps of alternate routes at:

Next Alaskan Viaduct Inspection Closure Scheduled for Oct. 24-25

We continue to keep a close eye on the Alaskan Way Viaduct's condition, to ensure it remains safe for drivers. Twice a year, crews close the viaduct for a weekend to inspect the structure and complete maintenance work. This fall, the semiannual inspection is scheduled for Oct. 24 and 25.

Both decks of the Alaskan Way Viaduct will be closed between Spokane Street in the south through the Battery Street Tunnel in the north. The closure is scheduled from: 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24 and
6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25.

In recent years members of the public have been invited to join us during these closures for a tour of the structure. Unfortunately, a public tour will not be possible during the October inspection, due to limited daylight hours to complete the necessary maintenance and the decision to reopen the viaduct earlier than normal to accommodate traffic for the Oct. 24 Sounders game.

Huskies & Seahawks home this weekend
Both the University of Washington Huskies and the Seattle Seahawks host football games this weekend, and Metro is a great way to tackle traffic to get to the game.

On Saturday, Oct. 10, the Arizona Wildcats invade Husky Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Remember, this year the Huskies are offering free bus service to the stadium from nine park-and-ride lots. Also, any bus trip on Metro to the stadium is free when you show your game ticket. To read more.

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