Score one for Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. The two Congressional fixtures for Washington state were key in rolling back some of the job erosion seen recently at Spokane's Mine Research Laboratory.
A story in Tuesday's SR summarized how that happened, noting that 12 jobs will be coming back to the lab, which is part of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Another part of the solution, not mentioned in that story, is the role played by Greater Spokane Incorporated.
As an aide to Sen. Murray noted to us in an email, Rich Hadley and GSI were the point group that followed up after learning that NIOSH was losing jobs, starting about three years ago. The Northwest Mining Association contacted GSI and then GSI, formerly the Spokane chamber of commerce, began visiting Murray, McMorris Rodgers and other legislators, sounding the alarm.
It worked. While the lab has lost more than 50 jobs in the past nine years, getting 12 new ones will help soften that blow.