This week in business news

Women are critical to addressing workforce shortage in the home building industry, driving down housing prices

According to labor force statistics from the Current Population Survey and analyzed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the share of women in the construction industry is currently at 9.86%, although women make up almost half – 47% – of the total working population. While female construction employment increased to 1.1 million in 2018 – almost reaching the pre-recession high – the housing industry is still facing a major labor shortage.

In recognition of Professional Women in Building (PWB) Week Sept. 14-18, members of the Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA) are calling for an increase in workforce development opportunities for women to help address the ongoing labor shortage that is severely impacting the home building industry and limiting housing affordability efforts.

“As the home building industry continues to struggle with a labor shortage, now more than ever is the time for our industry to not only increase our recruitment efforts, but to also change the way we talk about careers in home building to show women this industry has so much to offer them,” said Avaly Scarpelli, executive director for the BIA. “We need to help the public, guidance counselors and parents understand that the industry provides a high income, significant work values, job security and a sense of accomplishment.”

Fostering a diverse and inclusive construction workforce is critical to ensuring the industry thrives and housing prices stabilize. Supporting women in construction opens a new world of talent, innovation and viewpoints. All members of the industry should dedicate efforts to increasing the participation of women in the trades, whether it be through internships or through actively promoting women to leadership positions. Jerai Laird, Design Studio Manager for New Tradition Homes expands by stating, “empower women and minorities within your organization, encourage them to contribute, and take their concerns and feedback seriously.”

“Homebuilding needs women. Know that and have the confidence in your skills and what you can bring to the table. If you are struggling with confidence, find a strong mentor and work with them. Getting connected to the BIA could be a great resource if you are looking for a strong female mentor,” said Melissa Galland, director of marketing for Adair Homes.

Members of the BIA of Clark County will be recognized all week long on the BIA’s social media accounts. If you or someone you know is interested in a career in construction, please explore at

CCHM announces reopening – new business days and safety measures in effect

After temporarily closing its doors in March to support community efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Clark County Historical Museum announced it officially reopens with a special Members and Donors Only Days Sept. 24-26. The Museum opens to the general public Thursdays through Saturdays beginning Oct. 1.

Following Gov. Jay Inslee’s guidance, CCHM will operate at limited capacity while enacting new safety measures, including mask requirements, one-way paths through the galleries, and enhanced sanitizing and cleaning protocols. To help ensure public safety and prevent crowds, staggered entry will be implemented. Opening hours remain 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., however, the museum will only be open Thursday thru Saturday.

“Since temporarily closing our doors in March for the safety of our community, the team has worked hard to continue providing programs and events virtually while planning for an eventual reopening,” said CCHM Executive Director Brad Richardson. “This has forced us to rethink how we fulfill our mission to gather, save, and share the diverse stories of our community. I believe our team has risen to the challenge and I’m proud of what we have accomplished during this unprecedented time. While visitors will notice necessary changes to ensure a safe reopening, it is our goal to provide the same quality experience in a safe, accessible way.”

Throughout the initial phase of reopening, indoor exhibits will be available with controlled attendance to allow for social distance between visitors. In each gallery, guests will arrive through one entrance and follow a guided path. Most interactive exhibits have been restructured to allow touchless operation with a few removed that could not be modified.

Enhanced cleaning has been implemented throughout the Museum, including increased frequency of disinfecting high-traffic surfaces. Hand sanitizer stations will also be available across the building. In accordance with state health mandates, staff and all visitors, will be required to wear face coverings. As recommended by public health officials, seniors and people with serious medical conditions, including those unable to wear a mask, should delay their visit or contact the museum prior to their visit to discuss reasonable accommodation options.

Group tours will not be permitted and events remain virtual through at least the end of the year. The Research Library and Brautigan Library will be available by reservation only. Reservations must be made no less than two weeks in advance by contacting the museum.

Visitors can find the most up-to-date information about CCHM’s COVID response at For more information, contact the CCHM at 360-993-5679 or by email at

YWCA Clark County’s 25th annual Empower Luncheon goes virtual in 2020

For a quarter of a century, YWCA supporters gathered together to celebrate YWCA Clark County’s Empower Luncheon. This year, supporters are in for a new experience. The 2020 Empower Luncheon presented by Columbia Credit Union will be broadcast virtually.

The “luncheon,” which goes live at noon on Sept. 24, is yet another adaptation to the world pandemic. The luncheon will be the midpoint of Give More 24, Southwest Washington’s day of fundraising. The 2020 Empower luncheon diverges from the previous 24 luncheons in many ways.

The usual pre-luncheon mingling will be online only, beginning at 11:30 a.m. There will be no featured speaker, no auction items, and, of course, no catered meal. Attendees are encouraged to brown-bag it to recreate the shared meal experience.

YWCA’s Independent Living Skills (ILS) program will be highlighted through stories and videos. As with other Empower events, there will be a special appeal and virtual “paddle raise” so that supporters can show their appreciation for the unique contribution YWCA programs make to the Clark County community.

To add a bit of excitement to the virtual event, this year’s Empower Luncheon features a related Drag Queen Bingo Happy Hour event later in the day. Donors who give a minimum donation of $100 may attend the event.

Please visit the luncheon registration page for details.

City seeks volunteers to serve on Civil Service Commission

The City of Vancouver is seeking applicants interested in filling two newly created seats on its volunteer Civil Service Commission. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m., Oct. 18.

The Civil Service Commission is responsible for adopting rules for regulation of classified service, appointing a secretary/chief examiner, maintaining meeting minutes, providing for competitive testing to prepare civil service eligible candidate lists for the Vancouver Police and Fire departments, hearing and determining appeals, and investigating and reporting on matters relating to enforcement of civil service matters.

In order to serve on the Civil Service Commission, applicants must be a citizen of the United States and a registered voter of Clark County. One of the newly created seats must be filled by a union representative. All applicants must also be available for an interview with Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle Nov. 6.

Commissioners serve six-year terms with no term maximum. The commission typically meets monthly on the third Wednesday of each month at 8 a.m. Currently, meetings are held on a remote online platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications may be submitted online at To request a printed application or for further information, contact Shannon Ripp at Vancouver City Hall, P.O. Box 1995, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995, by email at or by calling 360-487-8600.

Visit to learn more about the Civil Service Commission, including links to past meeting minutes and agendas.

Building Industry Group announces General Election endorsements

The Building Industry Group (BIG), a non-partisan Political Action Committee of the Building Industry Association (BIA) of Clark County, has announced endorsements for the upcoming general election:

Primary Endorsements (previously announced endorsements):

  1. U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (3rd Congressional District)
  2. State Representative Vicki Kraft (17th Legislative District, Position 1)
  3. State Senator Lynda Wilson (17th Legislative District)
  4. State Senator Ann Rivers (18th Legislative District)
  5. State Representative Paul Harris (17th Legislative District, Position 2)
  6. State Representative Brandon Vick (18th Legislative District, Position 1)
  7. State Representative Larry Hoff (18th Legislative District, Position 2)

General Election Endorsements (new endorsements):

  1. Senator Annette Cleveland (49th Legislative District)
  2. Candidate Karen Bowerman – Clark County Council (District 3)
  3. Councilor Gary Medvigy – Clark County Council (District 4)

The BIG believes Senator Cleveland and Councilor Medvigy were strong advocates for the industry in supporting the request to designate home construction as an essential industry. After meeting with Karen Bowerman, the BIG believes she will bring the same level of understanding and advocacy to the Clark County Council. These individuals will be integral in efforts to address housing affordability at the state and local levels.

Free beast health screenings at PeaceHealth Kearney Breast Center

The Kearney Breast Center at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, Wash., will host two free breast health screening events for uninsured women on Saturday, Oct. 17 and Saturday, Oct. 24 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Kearney Breast Center is located on the PeaceHealth Southwest campus at 200 NE Mother Joseph Place, Suite 420. Annual mammograms are key to the early detection of breast cancer.

To protect attendees and staff, COVID-19 safety guidelines are in place. All interested participants must pre-enroll and have a scheduled appointment. This year no unscheduled walk-in appointments can be accommodated. To register or learn about eligibility requirements, call 360-514-1663 (choose option 1 or 2). Interpreters will be available. For language assistance, call 1-888-202-3301.

The Kearney Breast Center team is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the free screening event, in collaboration with the Breast, Cervical and Colon Health Program, which serves the uninsured and underinsured population across southwest Washington. For additional information visit

Patients at Salmon Creek chiropractic office may have been exposed to COVID-19

Nearly 300 patients who visited a Salmon Creek chiropractic office last week may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should quarantine immediately.

An employee at Chiro One Wellness Center Salmon Creek, 13800 NE 20th Ave., tested positive for COVID-19 this week. The employee worked while potentially contagious and may have exposed nearly 300 patients who visited the office over four days last week. The employee also exposed the 14 other employees at the wellness center.

All patients who visited the office Sept. 8, Sept. 9, Sept. 10 and Sept. 11 are considered close contacts who are at risk of contracting COVID-19. Patients who visited the Salmon Creek office on other days, or visited other Chiro One locations, were not exposed and do not need to quarantine.

Chiro One Wellness Center provided Public Health with the names and contact information for all affected patients. Public Health will call each patient to notify them of their exposure and provide additional information about quarantine. Notifying nearly 300 individuals may take several days. Patients who were in the Chiro One Wellness Center in Salmon Creek anytime Sept. 8-11 should quarantine immediately and not wait for a call from Public Health.

Patients should quarantine for 14 days from their most recent visit to the wellness center during that Sept. 8-11 timeframe. Individuals in quarantine should stay home and avoid all contact with anyone who isn’t a household member. They should not go to work, attend church or visit any public places, such as grocery stores.

Public Health will call all affected patients over the next several days to provide additional information about quarantine and available support services. Anyone who has questions prior to being contacted by Public Health can call 360-386-2140.

Public Health recommends all close contacts call their health care providers and request testing for COVID-19, even if they do not have symptoms. Close contacts should quarantine for 14 days, regardless of the test result. Anyone who develops symptoms during the 14-day quarantine, even if they tested negative earlier, should be tested for COVID-19.

COVID-19 symptoms can develop two to 14 days after exposure and may include cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills or repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.

Everyone should take steps to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect themselves and others from getting sick. Face coverings should be worn in all public places and anytime people are gathering with others from outside of their household. Individuals should practice physical distancing whenever they’re around others and keep gatherings to no more than five people.

Remember to wash hands frequently, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available, cover coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces and stay home when sick.

City seeks volunteers to serve on Downtown Redevelopment Authority Board

The City of Vancouver is seeking applicants for two vacancies on the Downtown Redevelopment Authority (DRA) Board of Directors. Completed applications must be received by 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18.

The DRA is a public corporation chartered by the city. It owns the Vancouver Hilton Hotel and Convention Center and is responsible for overseeing its operations, finances and promotion.

The DRA has no employees. It contracts with an asset management firm specializing in lodging, restaurant and convention facilities to monitor the ongoing operations of the hotel and convention center and advise the board on operational, financial and budget issues. The city’s chief financial officer serves as the executive director of the DRA, with financial, administrative and legal support provided by city staff.

Candidates with broad business experience are encouraged to apply. Ideal candidates will have experience in property management, project financing, financial management and contracts. Additionally, experience in the lodging and restaurant fields would be helpful. There is no city residency requirement to serve on the board. Applicants must be available for an interview with city councilmembers Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Board members serve four-year terms and may be eligible for reappointment. The two open positions are currently held by individuals whose terms are expiring and these individuals may or may not reapply for their positions. Per Vancouver City Council policy, all incumbents who wish to reapply for their positions will be re-interviewed along with any other qualifying applicants.

Regular DRA meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month beginning at 12 p.m. Additional special meetings are advertised and held as needed, typically once or twice per year.

Applications may be submitted online at For a printed application or for further information, contact the Boards and Commission Coordinator in the City Manager’s Office at P.O. Box 1995, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995,, or by calling 360-487-8600.

For more information about the DRA, including links to current and past meeting agendas and minutes, please visit

Joanna Yorke-Payne
Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start

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