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Everyone wants more high-wage jobs in this state. The biggest issue facing Dick Page is getting business, labor and environmental interests to agree on how to go about creating them.
Page is the new managing director of Forward Washington, a statewide coalition of business interests, economic development councils, local governments, colleges, technical schools and private industry councils.
Page, who has extensive experience with public policy, says his main goal is to broaden Forward Washington to include more representatives of labor and environmental groups.
The hope is that the diverse interests comprising Forward Washington can reach consensus on economic development issues and present a united front to the Legislature on measures to increase jobs and make this state a better place to live.
"A healthy economy is the key to everything else," Page says.
Or as Snohomish County Economic Development Council director John Thoresen says, "Economic development is the real social agenda."
"The best social program is a job," …