2017 Progress Section

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City of Kennewick: Building momentum, sustaining growth

We are very fortunate to have had another incredible year of growth and opportunity. We have been in the headlines for new jobs, retail sales and growth in the housing market. So what are the keys to our success? Simply put, council vision and policies, strategic planning, community engagement, partnerships and investments we made yesterday are paying off today.

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Benton County Commission: Innovation shaping 2017

Benton County elected officials and employees have worked diligently for the past year to bring the county’s services and infrastructure into the 21st century. From updated transportation and election systems, to the implementation of social media, Benton County has upped its game in the technological realm.

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Franklin County Commission: Proud to serve our community

2017 has begun with snowstorms resulting in more snowfall than our area has seen in many years. While this precipitation will perhaps be more appreciated at harvest time, it has kept our county roads and facilities departments and traffic safety personnel busy ensuring the safety of our citizens, visitors and employees. While 2016 was less eventful weatherwise, there was indeed a significant amount of activity in Franklin County government.

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Trios Health: Answering the call for convenient healthcare access

We live in a time that prioritizes efficiency. We wear many hats, juggle many balls and try to fit more and different things into our lives to keep our own sense of balance. More than ever, we appreciate — even expect — the ability to handle many things in daily life more quickly and easily. Technology has and will continue to be something we rely on to enable and support our increasing penchant for multi-tasking, and it has permeated the marketplace across countless industries as we learn to automate and digitize more aspects of our lives and work.

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Tri-Cities Cancer Center: Improving community health

As I reflect back on 2016, I recognize it as being a year of “firsts” for the Tri-Cities Cancer Center. Last year we were the first cancer center in the nation to receive the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Accreditation for Excellence. Nationally recognized institutions like MD Anderson Cancer Center followed us in achieving this prestigious accreditation. 2016 also marked the first time our original clinic has been renovated and expanded.

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Washington State University Tri-Cities: Growing opportunities so more may succeed

Washington State University Tri-Cities is different from many universities across the nation. We serve a higher rate of students who identify as first-generation and those who identify as minorities compared with many others. As we’ve grown significantly in recent years, that continues to be on the forefront of our minds in our roles as educators so that we can meet the needs of all our students from throughout the region and state.

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Mid-Columbia Ballet: Ballet beyond the studio

Gage, age 11, was so excited on his first day of INCLUDE that before class even started he was already showing off his dance moves to class assistants. INCLUDE is part of a suite of new outreach programs being conducted by Mid-Columbia Ballet (MCB). Serving children ages 8 to 11 with special needs such as autism spectrum and related disorders, this workshop was developed as part of MCB’s efforts to reach out to new groups within our community who would benefit greatly from exposure to the arts and dance in particular.

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Mid-Columbia Libraries: Community engagement revolved around reading

The mission of Mid-Columbia Libraries is to enhance quality of life by providing excellence in books and services for our residents and communities. An intercounty rural library district, Mid-Columbia Libraries provides our resources and services to the residents of Benton, Franklin and Adams counties of eastern Washington. In 2016, we fulfilled our mission while continually striving to improve and grow our innovative programs and partnerships.

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Columbia Basin College Arts Center: Remaining strong and dedicated to our educational mission

Columbia Basin College Arts Center students — they are in our plays, our concerts, our gallery events and our debate tournaments. The students are the focus of the mission of the CBC Arts Center and the focal point of what we do. These same students are active as artists in our community; involved in community productions, playing at wineries and eating establishments and working with community partners. They are the CBC Arts Center and make our community a better place to live.

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Richland Players: Entertaining, inspiring and educating audiences

After 73 years, more than 2,900 performances and serving more than 8,000 patrons a season, all the Richland Players can say is thank you! Thank you for the thousands of volunteer hours you have donated each season to enrich our community. Thank you for the endless talents you have offered to make each production a work of art. Thank you to our patrons for supporting the arts – laughing, crying, solving mysteries and living life with us. It is because of each of your contributions that the Richland Players continue to achieve success.

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Camerata Musica: Bringing music to the masses

Fast forward to the fourth Saturday in September as 275 to 300 people gather in the Battelle Auditorium for the opening concert of Camerata Musica’s 49th season. We don’t know who the musicians will be, but everyone there is confident that it will be an exciting, enjoyable program. Afterwards, as musicians and audience mingle in the lobby, no one, except Camerata’s Board, will know how much work went into getting to that point.

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State Department of Agriculture: Growing export markets, facing environmental challenges on the agenda for 2017

Since joining the Washington State Department of Agriculture in 2015, I’ve been inspired by the dedication of the staff here at WSDA and the work they do to support agriculture and consumers. We work in partnership with a broad list of organizations that includes the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington State University, the Washington State Conservation Commission, 23 commodity commissions and other agricultural support organizations.

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Washington Apple Commission: Leading the way for apple production

2017 promises to be another exciting year filled with challenges and opportunities for the Washington apple industry. Technological advances in the orchard and the packing house continue to help Washington stay at the forefront of the apple category for consumers in the U.S. and beyond. New varieties continue to be introduced, giving consumers more choices than ever.

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Washington Dairy Commission: Rhythm of farm life continues amid changes

The rhythm of life on our family’s dairy farm is much the same as it was when our grandfather first milked cows on it in 1918. We still milk the cows twice each day, feed and care for the cows and calves, plant crops in the spring and harvest alfalfa in the summer and silage in the fall. But the challenges facing the dairy industry are much more complex than in the past.

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State Potato Commission: Washington Grown showcases Washington ag

When you ask the average person in Washington state about what industries or companies are most important to our economy, you will hear a variety of responses. Many would say the aerospace industry, or you will also certainly hear some people refer to the technology sector and the economic impact those leading global companies have in Washington and beyond.

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Kennewick Irrigation District turns 100

Kennewick Irrigation District turns 100 years old this year. In our long history, KID has always been serious about risk management and protecting our irrigation water supply. Here are some ways we are working towards those goals:

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Columbia Irrigation District: Making improvements to local canals

Columbia Irrigation District was organized under Title 87 of the Revised Code of Washington as a quasi-municipal corporation in 1917 and obtained all interests of the Northern Pacific Irrigation Co. in 1918. It exists primarily to deliver irrigation water to more than 7,000 parcels and approximately 11,000 acres in an efficient manner at the lowest possible cost. To date the CID operates with one of the oldest water rights from the Yakima River.

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Port of Benton projects on the horizon

At the November 2016 Commission meeting the Port of Benton commissioners passed the largest budget in the port’s history: $14.7 million, with $10.7 million dedicated to capital projects. The following are the major projects planned in 2017:

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DOE Richland Operations Office: Hanford cleanup moves forward thanks to engaged, motivated workers

Thanks to the dedication and hard work of federal and contractor employees, we have continued to significantly advance the cleanup of the Hanford Site. The work is very complex and hazardous. Yet site employees continue to set records for safety, and our contractors are industry leaders in safety, as recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Voluntary Protection Program. These are good signs of a strong safety culture, one that is reinforced and strengthened even more by the training employees receive at the Volpentest HAMMER Training Center.

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CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company: Hanford cleanup — Reducing risk across the site

This year marks a return home for me. While my time at the Savannah River Site provided wonderful experiences and memories, nothing beats the Tri-Cities area. I’m proud to be back, leading the CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CH2M) team. We have a history of significantly reducing risk and advancing cleanup on the Hanford Site for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Richland Operations Office. Despite performing some of the most hazardous work across the DOE complex, safe performance remains our strongest commitment, which is a testament to our workers who forward our mission daily.

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Mission Support Alliance: Connecting communities through our mission

At Mission Support Alliance (MSA), we connect communities through our mission, people and innovation. As the Hanford Site integrator, we streamline services and find new and better ways to support the Hanford cleanup mission for the Department of Energy. Ensuring a culture of safety and security for our workers, our Hanford customers, our community and our environment is key to our success, as we demonstrated this past year.

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DOE Office of River Protection: Maintaining momentum in 2017

After a busy and productive 2016 at the Department of Energy’s Office of River Protection, I expect more of the same in 2017 as we continue making steady progress on our critical cleanup missions to safeguard the Columbia River and safely process 56 million gallons of waste in Hanford’s 177 underground tanks, a legacy of more than 40 years of plutonium production during World War II and the Cold War.

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Washington River Protection Solutions: Tank farms team overcomes challenges while safely working and making progress

As the Tank Operations Contractor for the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of River Protection, Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) manages one of the nation’s most challenging environmental projects: 177 underground tanks in 18 “farms” containing 56 million gallons of radioactive and chemical waste from nuclear defense production during World War II and the Cold War.

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Bechtel National – Waste Treatment Plant Project: Investing in Tri-Cities’ future

It’s an exciting time for the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP), or Vit Plant. Bechtel and the Department of Energy recently completed a new contract modification that formalizes work we began in 2014 on a new sequenced approach called Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW). The significant progress we’ve made the past few years, and the new contract, position us to begin vitrification of low-activity waste as soon as 2022.

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Pacific Northwest Site Office: Creating collaboration with campus modernization

As we transition to a new administration, the federal staff at the Pacific Northwest Site Office is working with Battelle to ensure that the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) continues to operate smoothly and efficiently. Advancing the many endeavors that PNNL has initiated over the last few years, our efforts remain focused on preparing to meet the needs of the future, ensuring an enduring legacy of this national asset.

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Areva: Pursuing innovation

Tucked away on Horn Rapids Road, AREVA’s nuclear fuel facility has quietly been manufacturing nuclear fuel and fuel-related products for customers throughout the world for almost 50 years now.

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Fluor: New opportunities, new challenges

The word “new” is used to describe many things, from books, to ideas, to eras. Yet saying that 2017 is a “new year” is definitely an understatement. A new president, new secretary of energy, new management in DOE’s Forrestal Building and new vision for our country combined with a new procurement strategy for Hanford, all promise burgeoning new opportunities, especially for the Tri-Cities.

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Energy Northwest: Safe, reliable power generation

On Jan. 31, 1957, the Washington state director of Conservation and Development signed the order that created the Washington Public Power Supply System, now Energy Northwest. The primary mission of the state agency would be to meet the needs and aggregate the resources of public utilities statewide and, through cooperative action, build and operate electrical generating and transmission facilities.

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Visit Tri-Cities: Future looks bright for Tri-Cities

Tourism is a significant contributor to the Tri-Cities’ regional economy. Every year more visitors come to our community to attend conventions, sports tournaments and events, and to conduct business and explore local attractions, spending $432.9 million annually in Benton and Franklin counties.

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Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce: Engaging, building, leading our community

The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives recently released the Horizon Initiative, a bold report outlining eight influences affecting chambers in the next 10 years. Considering the world’s accelerating pace of change, the report emphasized the need for chambers to adapt to oncoming pressures, evolve with the times and ultimately thrive in a world shaped by these eight influences.

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Toyota Center: A gathering place for our region

The Three Rivers Campus has become a premier destination for conferences, conventions and events throughout the Pacific Northwest due to the quality of our facilities, staff and our community. The Tri-Cities have become a destination, and it is becoming easier to attract events due in large part to the natural and commercial offerings of our region.

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TerraGraphics Environmental Engineering: Expanding engineering, environmental capabilities

At TerraGraphics Environmental Engineering, Inc. (TerraGraphics), we are proud of our history and excited about our future. We are pleased to say a huge part of that future is centered in the Tri-Cities. In fact, this year we have relocated TerraGraphics business operations to our Pasco office, which is right next door to the Franklin County Historical Society and Museum. We plan to open an additional office in the area early in 2017.

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Dade Moeller: Now an NV5 company

Last year, we made a bold move that we believe will have a positive, long-lasting impact on the progress of our local community. In May 2016, Dade Moeller joined a national publicly-owned engineering firm, NV5 Global, Inc., as its primary safety and health provider. We are now NV5, and we are very pleased to share what this change will mean for the Tri-Cities.

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Employment Security Department: Local economy shows stability, growth and expansion

Looking at the Tri-City economy and population change, one is to ask: How do we measure economic progress in any given geographic area? This tends to be a debatable question and you might not get an easy answer, but you sure will get many different perspectives. Taking a look at the business and population segments in one geographic area and comparing that to the same or higher geographic levels is one perspective.

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Home Builders Association: New home permits surge in 2016

If you’ve been thinking about building or purchasing a new home the Tri-Cities, you’re not alone. In 2016, new single family home permits surged up 25 percent over the prior year with the majority of growth in Pasco and Kennewick. Pasco dominated the trend with a 65 percent increase in new home starts.

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Goodwill Industries: There’s more behind the store

In November of 2015, Stacy’s family was homeless, the result of losing her job, a major medical issue, and a neighbor’s apartment catching fire which spread to her apartment. Her family had lost everything except for the clothes on their backs and a few items in their car.