Both Democrat and Republican lawmakers in Olympia are trying to boost employment and education opportunism across the Evergreen State.


“Rural Washington, whether in farm country or timber country, we’re open for business," said Port Angeles Democrat Mike Chapman.  "We’ll train the workforce; we’re going to work with you to convince you to bring jobs to our area.”


Chapman has both farm and forests lands in his district and he says he’s seen his rural area lag behind economically while the I-5 corridor prospers.  Chapman in his first term says the key to bringing good jobs to rural areas is offering employers an educated workforce.  He and another first-year lawmaker, Chelan Republican Mike Steele, want the state to pay for a year of college or trade school in rural counties plagued by high unemployment and low wages.


“As we’re training the workforce, whether it’s in welding or computer science, or whatever someone’s passion is, as they’re being trained, we’re also hoping to attract those medium or small businesses that may be stuck in the I-5 corridor," Chapman.  "It’s becoming so gridlocked over there that they’ll begin to look to rural Washington and say, ‘you know what, they’re training the workforce that we need.”


Chapman said one or more years of post-high school education can be the key to landing today’s and tomorrow’s good jobs.



If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail

More From PNW Ag Network