The Tri-City Development Council is anticipating a brighter 2016 with positive growth in manufacturing, agribusiness, health care and education in the Tri-City region. As the lead economic development organization for Benton and Franklin counties, we are pleased to see the community continuing to grow and outperform the state averages in year over year employment growth.
In 2016, we hope for continued success in the recruitment and growth of the food and beverage industry. TRIDEC will be giving much effort to the food and beverage industry as a key component of our industrial portfolio.
Gary White, director of business retention, will represent TRIDEC at multiple food and beverage trade shows throughout 2016 for three main reasons: one, to promote the Columbia Basin as a globally recognized food and beverage region; two, to promote our new food and beverage trade show, FABREO Expo, which is planned June 15-16, to potential exhibitors, attendees and sponsors; and three, to recruit food and beverage companies that are interested in expanding or relocating to the West Coast, preferably the Mid-Columbia region.
The events TRIDEC will be participating in include the Northwest Food & Beverage Manufacturers Expo & Conference, the 41st Winter Fancy Food Show, which boasts more than 80,000 products and 1,500 exhibitors, and the Natural Products Expo West with more than 2,700 exhibitors featuring clean label, natural, non-genetically modified foods.
Last year’s TRIDEC FABREO Expo paved the way for future partnerships and growth opportunities with the signing of memorandums of understanding (MOUs) for the promotion of trade and development with the Hong Kong Development Council and Inner Mongolia. These MOUs are promising trade opportunities to link the Mid-Columbia region and the Asian markets to our region’s food and beverage industry.
The largest new development project, a distribution center of approximately 450,000 square feet, will break ground in Pasco this spring. TRIDEC played an integral role in the site selection of this project during 2015 and is pleased that AutoZone chose the Tri-Cities as the preferred location for this new facility that will employ more than 200.
TRIDEC continues to support and advocate for Tri-City business issues, including agriculture, education, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Hanford Site, land conveyance and transportation. Building on the success of the 2015 DOE Hanford land conveyance of 1,641 acres to the Tri-City community, TRIDEC is supporting a group led by retired Congressman Doc Hastings and former Kennewick Mayor Brad Fisher to release the Columbia River Shoreline managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Evaluation of the land conveyance pros and cons for the future of development in the community will be considered as TRIDEC supports Hastings and Fisher’s efforts.
A focused effort to market the Tri-Cities will continue to be a priority. This effort includes membership and attendance at the Industrial Asset Management Council’s meetings, which is an organization of corporate site selection consultants. In support of our local cities, counties and ports in their retail recruitment efforts, TRIDEC will join them in participating in the International Council of Shopping Centers Trade Show. To top off TRIDEC’s marketing tool chest, Zoom Prospector, a GIS real estate tool, was implemented in 2015 and is gaining use and participation.
As part of our work force growth initiatives, TRIDEC continues to lead the Young Professionals of Tri-Cities (YPTC), an organization dedicated to offering networking and professional development events throughout the year to all area young professionals as a place to connect and engage with each other and the community.
This year will be a year of excitement as progress is made on the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, the new AutoZone distribution center in Pasco and the opportunities to strategically market the available industrial sites and buildings throughout the Tri-Cities.
We’re building a better, brighter Tri-Cities!
For up-to-date information on TRIDEC and our work in the region, go to www.tridec.org, like us on Facebook @TRIDEC — Tri-City Development Council or call our office at 509-735-1000 to subscribe to our e-newsletter.