Gary Weeks, director of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), announced he is resigning to become executive director of the Washington Health Care Association.
Weeks’ last day at L&I will be Oct. 13. L&I manages the state workers’ compensation system, oversees workplace safety and health, and performs a variety of construction-related licensing and registration functions.
“Gary has served the people of Washington well and I am grateful to him for all his work to help Washington businesses become more competitive in this global economy,” said Gov. Chris Gregoire. “I’m sorry to see Gary leave and I wish him all the best as he moves into this exciting new chapter in his life.”
The governor commended Weeks for keeping workers’ compensation rates stable and predictable. Weeks recently proposed a 2 percent average reduction in premiums next year.
Gregoire also praised Weeks for his efforts to help small business, including creating a Small Business Liaison, for aggressively pursuing fraud, and for promoting a healthy balance between voluntary workplace-safety efforts and enforcement.
“I want to thank Governor Gregoire for the opportunity serve as director of L&I,” Weeks said. “I was a fan of the governor before I accepted this job, and I leave with even greater admiration for her and how she is moving Washington forward. I also leave with admiration and respect for the fine men and women at L&I and for all of the people and groups who are part of the L&I community.”
Don Brunell, president of the Association of Washington Business, said he is sorry to see Weeks leave L&I. “He has been an effective leader who brought together a good team to manage the agency,” Brunell said.
“Gary and I have had a good personal relationship, and I appreciate his openness and willingness to work with the labor community,” said Rick Bender, president of the Washington State Labor Council.
Weeks was appointed L&I director in April 2005, coming from Oregon, where he was director of the Oregon Department of Human Services. Before that, he was director of Government Operations. Weeks has worked in public service 32 years, under five governors in Oregon and Washington.
He is going to the Olympia-based Washington Health Care Association, a statewide organization representing more than 330 assisted-living and skilled-nursing facilities.
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