KENNEWICK, Wash.-- The Tri-Cities Development Council, TRIDEC, is celebrating a big milestone this week. The organization is recognizing 50 years of service to the area.
The organization's rich history has played a big part in making the Tri-Cities what it is today.
When TRIDEC was created, it was one of the first economic development councils in the state and an innovator in making the Tri-Cities a great place to do business.
"How do we grow a market based economy here as opposed to one that's dependent on the federal government," said Carl Adrian, TRIDEC president.
That was the initial question the founders of TRIDEC asked when they formed the council.
It started in 1963 as an effort to promote nuclear industry and then in 1985 shifted it's focus to include all types of industries.
"TRIDEC has played an important role of being that one voice, particularly on economic matters and so it helps our broad community with the two counties, the multiple cities and other entities to sort of pull ourselves up to our full height as a very large metropolitan area," said Fran Forgette, former TRIDEC board chairman.
The founders saw TRIDEC as a way to unify the region and better advocate for its growth.
"Those leaders also recognized that the Tri-Cities really is a single economic unit. That the community needed to be represented as a region as opposed to individual communities," Adrian said.
The organization is now looking forward to an economy when Hanford clean-up is completed.
"TRIDEC helps businesses that are already here to grow and be successful. That's all part of maintaining this economy as we look out towards that post Hanford world that is coming," Forgette said.
Adrian said TRIDEC plans to ask the Department of Energy to release some land at Hanford for development that could draw other big employers to the region.
TRIDEC is studying ways to develop land on the Hanford site for newer industries and move the Tri-Cities economy into it's next era and another 50 years of achievements.