Voters chose to privatize liquor distribution and sales by passing Initiative 1183 last November, meaning the state distribution center and stores will close by June 1. The Liquor Control Board estimates that more than 900 of its employees will lose their jobs.
Some are already finding employment elsewhere. Between Jan. 1 and mid-March, about 75 employees left the agency. One of those was Steve Burnell, who gave up his marketing position with the liquor board to take a job with a private distributor in February.
"Rather than wait it out, I wanted to move over to a new position," Burnell said.
....Former state liquor workers are finding new jobs in the private sector and at other state agencies. Costco, which contributed more than $22 million to the initiative to create private liquor sales, is one of the companies interviewing state liquor employees.