Patty in the News

Two days after a memorial service for the seven workers killed in an explosion at an Anacortes oil refinery, the head of the federal agency that oversees worker safety said Washington state has a solid program for inspecting dangerous workplaces. But David Michaels, the assistant labor secretary who head the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, admitted during a congressional hearing Tuesday that there are gaps in federal law that needed to be closed. Under questioning from Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Michaels said no one is keeping track of the safety records of companies that operate refineries in multiple states… “Nothing we can do can bring back your loved ones,” Murray said, calling the Anacortes refinery blast a “terrible tragedy.

The News Tribune
As many as one in five veterans who come home from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan can't find a job. That's an unemployment rate nearly twice as high as the general population, despite proven technical skills and leadership experience. To address that, Washington Senator Patty Murray has introduced a comprehensive new Veterans Employment Act.

Sen. Patty Murray on Tuesday introduced what she said was the nation's first comprehensive legislation to address disproportionately high joblessness among veterans, whose military credentials they say can be an impediment to employment.

Seattle Times
On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., introduced a bill aimed at helping veterans like Ledgett find work. More than 21 percent of veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan can't find work, Murray said in a conference call with Ledgett and other veterans. "How can these heroes, who have performed under such tremendous pressure ... be struggling so much when they come home?" Murray asked.

Longview Daily News
With more than one in five veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan unemployed, Sen. Patty Murray introduced legislation Tuesday that would provide expanded training, job placement and small business assistance to them, calling the current situation unacceptable.

Fairhaven Shipyard will use a $1.3 million federal grant to add a crane and other improvements to its floating drydock on the southside waterfront… The grant was announced Thursday, April 15, by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. The grants came through the Maritime Administration's Supplemental Grants for Assistance to Small Shipyards program. Murray is chairwoman of the Transportation and Housing Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing funding for the Department of Transportation and Maritime Administration. "Small shipyards in Washington state are a critical piece of our domestic maritime industry and our economy," Murray said in a press release. "Especially while families in Washington state continue to struggle, these grants are important to helping our domestic shipping industry stay strong and competitive."

Bellingham Herald - April 16, 2010
For months, Joe Legett seemed unable to catch a break. He would send out resume after resume, but in the past six months he only had two interviews. It may be because he is a member of the National Guard and may need to leave his job to serve overseas, something some employers are not willing to accept….U.S. Sen. Patty Murray listened to Legett and others during a roundtable discussion on the problems facing veterans trying to find civilian jobs last week at Monroe’s Damar Aerosystems. This week the Democrat plans to introduce legislation that creates a program to teach veterans business skills to start their own businesses. She also wants to increase skills training and apprenticeships for veterans. “I want to make sure veterans who want to open up a small business can do that,” Murray said.

- Snohomish County Tribune
The travails of troops over the past decade have been well-chronicled. Deployed to regions where unconventional warfare is conducted. Victims of “stop-loss” orders to extend tours of duty. A steady rise in the suicide rate. Increased need for mental health counseling…Some political leaders want to help. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., wants to expand the GI bill to cover more vocational and technical training. U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, has announced legislation that would do that.

Spokesman-Review - April 14, 2010
Ron Graham has invested his life serving his country as an Army sergeant in Iraq. Yet when he returned home, he couldn’t find an employer willing to invest in him. His story strikes a familiar chord among veterans returning from the rigors of war amid a grinding recession. Jobs are scarce, businesses choosy, soldiers are too often viewed as damaged and their military training and experience dismissed as irrelevant, Graham told U.S. Sen. Patty Murray during a forum Friday afternoon in Spokane.

Spokesman-Review - April 10, 2010
Six small business owners sat down with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray in Vancouver on Thursday to share a common woe: their inability to get credit to hire new workers, maintain inventory and expand their companies.

The Columbian - April 9, 2010