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(1) The legislature finds that:
(a) To perform in the emerging global marketplace, Washington manufacturers must master new technologies, production processes, and methods of work organization;
(b) Only through modernization can Washington manufacturers both compete successfully in the market of the future and pay good wages;
(c) Most small and midsize manufacturers cannot easily access the technical assistance and skills training needed to make them globally competitive;
(d) To be effective, any program to improve the capability of Washington small and midsize manufacturers must reflect the specific needs and capabilities of those firms.
(2) It is the intent of the legislature that the state increase its support for delivery of modernization services to small and midsize manufacturers and leverage federal and private resources devoted to such efforts. It is the further intent of the legislature that the state facilitate the delivery of modernization services and:
(a) Encourage small and midsize firms to aggregate their demand for training and other modernization services, thus driving down the cost to the individual firm and securing more effective services; and
(b) Encourage large firms to support training consortia among their suppliers and validate the importance of high performance work organization and workplace learning as desirable supplier practices.
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