Ashley Gross

Business and Labor Reporter

Ashley Gross is KPLU's business and labor reporter, covering everything from Amazon.com and Boeing to garbage strikes. She joined the station in May 2012 after working for five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.

She studied history at Brown University and earned a master's in international affairs at Columbia University. She grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She lives in West Seattle with her husband and two sons.

One of Ashley's most memorable moments in radio happened several years ago in Northwest Alaska: "I was visiting an alcohol and drug rehab program in the tiny village of Selawik. It helps Alaska Natives recover by helping them get back in touch with their subsistence lifestyle. It was spring, which meant the river was still frozen - barely. We went out on snowmachines to go ice-fishing, but late in the day, as we headed back, the river had melted to the consistency of a Slurpee. It was a harrowing ride and a good lesson in trust - I rode with my eyes closed, clinging for dear life to the woman driving. A week later, three people drowned trying to ride a snowmachine over that river, and that's when I realized just how dangerous life in rural Alaska can be."

Pages

Business
8:26 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Boeing's 787 woes highlight deep ties to Japan

All Nippon Airways was the launch customer of the Boeing 787
Luke Lai

The grounding of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner has been a big blow to Japan – both its airlines and its aerospace industry. It’s a reflection of the strong ties between Boeing and Japan.

Japanese airlines have been very loyal to Boeing for decades. They have almost half of the 787 Dreamliners delivered so far. All Nippon Airways was the launch customer.

Read more
Business
9:10 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Starbucks profit, sales rise, boosted by Asian demand

Workers at a Starbucks in Wuhan, China
Scott Le Duc

Starbucks says profit in its most recent quarter climbed 13 percent as the coffee giant benefits from a big push into Asia.

Read more
Business
9:00 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Microsoft quarterly sales rose, but PC makers still waiting for a boost

People in line in New York for the Windows 8 launch in October 2012
Dell's Official Flickr Page

Microsoft says sales rose about 3 percent in its most recent quarter. But analysts say the company still has to contend with a slowing market for personal computers.

Read more
Business
8:41 am
Fri January 25, 2013

NTSB says investigation of burned Boeing 787 battery may take a while

The burned auxiliary power unit battery on the JAL 787 that is being investigated by the NTSB
NTSB

The head of the National Transportation Safety Board says the investigation into what went wrong with two batteries on Boeing 787s will still take a while to finish. 

Read more
Business
5:00 am
Fri January 18, 2013

How are employers observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day?

President Lyndon Johnson shakes hands with the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., after handing him one of the pens used in signing the Civil Rights Act of July 2, 1964 at the White House in Washington.
U.S. Embassy New Delhi

If you’re looking forward to a long weekend, you’re in the minority. The number of employers closing for business on Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been inching up in recent years, but it’s still only 32 percent.

Read more
Business
4:02 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Boeing raises its salary offer to engineers and technicians

Boeing has raised its salary offer to its engineers and technicians, but the union is still complaining that it doesn’t adequately compensate its members.

Federal mediators have been brokering talks this week between the company and the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, or SPEEA.

Read more
Business
9:00 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Pierce County economy to grow faster this year

Increased traffic at the Port of Tacoma is expected to help lift Pierce County's economy
Port of Tacoma

A team of economists at the University of Puget Sound say strength in military spending and port traffic will help lift Pierce County’s economy this year.

Read more
Business
2:45 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Forecast for the Puget Sound regional economy: Pretty sunny

787 production at the Everett Boeing plant is helping lift the Puget Sound region's economy
Ashley Gross KPLU

The national economy will continue to climb out of the recession this year, and the Puget Sound region is forecast to do even better. That’s the word from an economic forecast conference in Seattle. 

Read more
Business
5:00 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Did the Boeing engineers' strike of 2000 succeed in the long run?

SPEEA

When Boeing engineers and technicians walked off the job 13 years ago, they said it wasn’t just for more money. They wanted to improve the culture of the company and chart a new course for organized labor. Did they succeed?

At first blush, it looked like a resounding success. The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, or SPEEA, had won a contract with everything they had asked for. Executive Director Charlie Bofferding was triumphant in an interview with KING 5.

“We’re interacting now based on power and respect, and that’s where we want to be,” Bofferding said.

Read more
Business
5:00 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Boeing engineers' strike in 2000 casts shadow over current talks

Strikers march to Boeing headquarters
SPEEA

Boeing engineers and the company are supposed to meet with a federal mediator today – but union leaders say the two sides are still far apart. Looming over the negotiations is a memory that's 13 years old, but still fresh for many.

In early 2000, Boeing engineers and technicians did what nobody expected them to do – walk off the job and stay off.

Read more
Business
12:01 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Boeing likely back on top as #1 airplane maker

Boeing exceeded its 2012 delivery goals, partly by speeding production of the 787
Ashley Gross KPLU

Boeing appears to have reclaimed the crown from Airbus as the world’s top commercial airplane maker. 

Much of that stems from strong execution on the  787 Dreamliner, a plane that until recently was the butt of jokes for being three years late. Yair Reiner is an analyst with Oppenheimer & Co. in New York.

"For an industry that had grown really accustomed to having the 787 perpetually miss its targets, in 2012, it hit them," Reiner said.

Read more
Arts
5:00 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Seattle's Museum of History and Industry to host grand opening

touristguy87

Tomorrow is a big day for Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry. The museum is hosting a grand opening at its new location near South Lake Union in the former Naval Reserve Armory. The museum will be free all day, with special events like musical performances and craft activities.

Leonard Garfield, executive director of the museum known as MOHAI, says they’ve greatly expanded their collection.

Read more
Sports
5:00 am
Thu December 27, 2012

How do you cope with the dark days of winter?

Recipe for fighting the winter blues? Get outside in the snow
Mike Dole

We’ve made it past the psychological hurdle of solstice, so we can look forward to more daylight – eventually. But in the weeks before we really can notice a difference, how do you cope with the darkness?

Folks in downtown Seattle shared their tips, including:

"I don't care if it's raining or not, if I have to go out to run, I go out and run," said Kassonga Mwamba, who's originally from South Africa.

Read more
Business
5:00 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Seattle inventors create a more realistic souvenir: `RainGlobes'

The real Seattle RainGlobe (left) and the original prototype (right)
Ashley Gross KPLU

File this story under the category, "I should have thought of that." A team of Seattle entrepreneurs has created a souvenir that pokes fun at our soggy climate. Their invention? "RainGlobes" - that's their trademarked name.

Read more
Business
4:24 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Tacoma News Tribune joins other newspapers in charging for digital access

If you read a lot of articles on the Tacoma News Tribune web site, you’re going to have to start paying. The News-Tribune is joining the growing ranks of newspapers that are saying no more free lunch when it comes to reading online.

Read more

Pages