TRIDEC hired a consultant for a 'target industry study' that's meant to bring some changes to the local economy.
KENNEWICK, WA - TRIDEC hired a consultant for a 'target industry study' that's meant to bring some changes to the local economy.
This is the second time TRIDEC's commissioned a study like this one. For decades, Hanford has been the bright spot of the Tri-Cities economy. Even now, the local economist said Hanford wages make up 30% of income here. But TRIDEC's looking to bring some different companies to the Tri-Cities.
"Hanford is going to continue for years and years to be a very important part of the economy but I think we have seen, even in the last ten years, a diversification away from that dependence on Hanford and we want to continue that," said TRIDEC President Carl Adrian.
Some of that recent diversity is because this same study was done just six years ago. The consultant then named five sectors to focus recruitment efforts on: research and development, agriculture and food processing, manufacturing, customer service, and warehousing and distribution.
"I think it was successful in the sense that we've seen some growth in those sectors in the last five or six years. Obviously amazon.com, a Coinstar got a new location here," said Adrian.
"We added the Railex wine services location. 500,000 square feet of temperature controlled storage and distribution for our large wine customer service base and looking to expand that to other customer bases here in the upcoming year," said local Railex General Manager, Tory Brown.
The consultant now has interviewed leaders in the port districts, cities and the counties and said assets here include transportation, like what Railex offers, along with good location and skilled and available workers.
"It's likely that we may see, my crystal ball says, some of the same things come up. Maybe food processing, value added agriculture... Simply because we do have a cluster of that activity in the community and there's room for expansion," said Adrian.
The lead consultant in the study will be back in the Tri-Cities in the next few weeks to finish up about a dozen interviews. They'll be talking with WSU Tri-Cities and CBC.
TRIDEC expects to find out what industries they will target at their annual meeting in March.