Greater Grays Harbor Inc. Annual Legislative Sendoff – good food with good people

Business leaders throughout Grays Harbor had lunch with state legislators at the annual Legislative Send-Off luncheon held in Aberdeen yesterday by Greater Grays Harbor, Inc.  VP of Operations at Imperium Renewables John Gillespie said things are looking up at the Port. “We’re excited about our future at Grays Harbor, with organizations like Greater Grays Harbor [Inc.] who can foster continued growth by attracting business, and providing a conduit to policy makers – basically this event is an example of that. 
His company has expanded to 39 employees in the 5 years there, investing over 2 million in capitol improvements in the past year.
As they head to Olympia to convene for the state’s regular session that begins on January 13, State Senator Jim Hargrove noted recent strides in cost cutting. “Over the last 5 years, through the great recession we have resized government. We have cut 12 billion dollars out of carry-forward government in this state. Like we eliminated the General Assistance Unemployment Cash Program, that’s probably why you see so many people pan handling out here because there’s no cash available for some of those people that are unemployable. We’ve cut the TANF or the welfare program -the grants, and put a hard 5 year time limit on it, so that’s definitely affecting people, budget savings.
Hargrove also said they’ll be discussing ways to keep businesses in Washington, noting the recent Boeing contract extension with Machinists in Washington.
Representative Steve Tharinger (D-Dungeness) speaks to business leaders in Aberdeen.
Representative Steve Tharinger (D-Dungeness) speaks to business leaders in Aberdeen.

Larry Kahl introduced guest speaker John Gillespie, VP of Operations at Imperium Renewables

Former House Speaker Lynn Kessler emceed the event