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Letters to the Editor

Thu., June 20, 2013, midnight

Retraining imperiled

It has been a grueling recession for many unemployed or under-employed citizens of Washington. Until now, many workers have learned new skills and found jobs through state-funded worker retraining programs. Retraining has proven critical to boosting our economy by providing our businesses with the workforce they need to succeed.

Yet, if the Senate Republicans refuse to compromise, a potential government shutdown looms ahead. This would mean delayed training for new jobs, financial risk to families and increasing costs to the state. Instead, we need to enhance the future of high-profile, statewide industries such as aerospace. This is critical in Spokane and Everett, where the state has already invested in aerospace training centers. These centers provide retraining in manufacturing, avionics and composites that meet the fast-paced needs of the aerospace industry, but they can only do so if the funding exists.

The Republican-led Senate majority needs to change course immediately and help avoid a disaster that could cause worker retraining programs to stop running as of July 1. Without access to affordable retraining programs, we will be kicking the middle class off the ladder to the opportunity.

Rep. Marcus Riccelli, 3rd District

Rep. Mike Sells, 38th District

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