Tri-City Development Council President Carl Adrian once again is traveling the globe to spread the word about everything the Tri-Cities has to offer.
Adrian is one of dozens of representatives of Washington business, agriculture, education and government who will accompany Gov. Chris Gregoire on a trade mission to Europe.
Gregoire plans stops in France, Germany and Spain to try to increase state exports, encourage foreign investment and promote Washington's network of colleges and universities.
"There is no greater job creator than face-to-face meetings with companies looking to do business in Washington state," Gregoire said in a written statement. "Our last trade mission is proof of that. In just over a week, we achieved more than $10 million in immediate new and forecast sales and contracts for Washington companies -- providing our companies with revenue and capital to succeed and grow."
The mission Gregoire cited was an 11-day trip to China and Vietnam that she said resulted in a 29 percent increase in food export sales to China and Hong Kong.
This time around, much of her focus is on promoting Washington's aerospace industry, including a stop at the 2011 Paris Air Show.
Adrian plans to spread the word about the Tri-Cities' renewable energy industry and hopes to attract more energy production as well as manufacturing that would bring jobs.
His costs for the trip are being paid by TRIDEC. He plans to attend a meeting arranged with Gregoire and the CEO of Areva, a company known locally for its nuclear fuel assembly plant in Richland.
But the company's website says it plans to expand its renewable energy division, and Adrian said he thinks the Tri-Cities is a great place for that.
"We think of Areva as being a nuclear company. The fact is they're a carbon-free energy company," Adrian said. "With our Mid-Columbia renewable energy initiative and the fact they're already here, it all kind of fits together."
Gregoire drew criticism in 2008 when a $2 billion uranium enrichment plant proposed by Areva went to Idaho instead of to the Tri-Cities.
Idaho launched a strong and very public campaign to win the plant, but Gregoire avoided an active recruiting role, even after she was warned Washington appeared to be running second.
The proposed plant would have employed at least 400 people with an annual payroll near $30 million.
Gregoire since has been supportive of Areva's operations in Washington, including for the company's Richland expansion in late 2009.
"Her involvement in this expansion project and (Commerce Director) Rogers Weed were instrumental in making the thing work because we were competing against Virginia," Adrian said.
The trade mission leaves for Europe on June 16. Adrian plans to make only the Paris stop.