Hanford Site Gets $2 Billion in Federal Money and Could Mean 11,000 New Jobs - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hanford Site Gets $2 Billion in Federal Money and Could Mean 11,000 New Jobs

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RICHLAND, Wash-- One of Washington's U.S. Senators comes to the Tri-Cities happy about federal money headed for Hanford.

Senator Maria Cantwell met with union workers in Richland to talk about the stimulus package the president recently signed into law. This bill gives Hanford $2 billion.

Cantwell predicts 11,000 jobs will be created in the Tri-Cities. She also believes by 2015 the range of contamination areas on the site will be down from over 500 square miles to only 75.

What better way to announce that the Hanford Cleanup Site is going to receive $2 billion, than to tell the people it will affect. Cantwell did just that in front of union leaders from all different contractors from the site and said what the money will mean.

"That means jobs right here in the Tri-Cities and it means that the funding, as was articulated earlier, will support about 4,000 direct cleanup jobs at Hanford over then next 3 years. Because of this the Washington State Economist estimates an additional 7,200 jobs will be created in the local economy," said Cantwell.

Cantwell believes this will help stabilize our economy and keep the already highly skilled workforce here in the tri-cities.

"I was calling my friends yesterday telling them to get there resumes ready because a lot of my personal friends have lost their jobs," said Rebecca Holland, from Washington River Protection.

"Well there's going to be more jobs in the economy and it's really going to benefit the Tri-Cities. It's neat to see they are going ahead with acceleration," said Chris Siegfried from Washington Closure Hanford.

Cantwell says this would not be possible without the help of other senators around the country, especially Senator Patty Murray.

"There was a lot of interest and a lot of understanding I think by senators that there were cleanup responsibilities that we need to meet, but there was a way to actually create stimulus by getting the work done in a faster fashion," said Cantwell.

With the money ready to come in, we should see jobs being created within this year.