Progress Edition

TRIDEC: Providing vital support for region’s business community

The Tri-City Development Council’s (TRIDEC) mission is to facilitate job creation and capital investment in Benton and Franklin counties. TRIDEC is the only local organization that focuses solely on the economic health and well-being of the region. We believe that addressing economic development on the regional level is also the most cost-effective and efficient model, one that has a long record of success.

In addition to our economic development role, TRIDEC is the primary community advocate for federal funding for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Hanford. TRIDEC also champions community initiatives.

The Tri-City economy remained strong throughout 2018. Over 15,000 new jobs were created in the last five years. During 2018, local employment grew by 3.5 percent, with manufacturing employment specifically increasing by 4 percent. Growth in manufacturing is a key measure of economic health. Businesses in this sector sell goods and services outside the area and import money back to the community. This creates a multiplier effect, resulting in as many as four new jobs for each new manufacturing job they create.

Here are a few highlights from TRIDEC’s 2018 efforts.

▪  TRIDEC’s National Marketing

TRIDEC acts as the clearinghouse for the region’s response to economic development opportunities, whether received by TRIDEC directly or through the Washington State Department of Commerce.

Our proactive marketing is focused on target industries such as food processing, advanced manufacturing and energy-related companies. In 2018, we attended several trade shows and networking events with industry leaders in these target industries. We also supported our local jurisdictions in their efforts to recruit new retail businesses at the International Council of Shopping Centers Show. During 2019, we will attend trade shows focused on natural products, energy and direct foreign investment.

▪  Air Service

For nearly two decades TRIDEC has worked closely with the Tri-Cities Airport to improve existing commercial air service and attract new carriers and service. TRIDEC has played a role in all new routes from the Tri-Cities as far back as United Airlines’ service to Denver. United’s announcement in late 2018 that they would begin direct daily service to LAX is a huge win for the Tri-Cities. We are proud to have partnered with Tri-Cities Airport in this effort.

▪  FABREO/Business Retention & Expansion (BRE)

TRIDEC’s Food and Beverage Retention & Expansion Opportunities (FABREO) program held its fourth trade show event last June. The Boot Camp event held in conjunction with the Expo featured topics of interest to local manufacturers and was particularly popular.

TRIDEC’s 2019 BRE program will evaluate the needs of local food and beverage industries and actively connect with local manufacturers.

▪  Federal Programs

Approximately 14,000 people go to work every day at the Hanford Site or PNNL. These Department of Energy missions address important national priorities while serving as a significant driver for the local economy.

TRIDEC continues to support Hanford and PNNL by advocating on numerous funding and policy priorities. The 2019 fiscal year Hanford cleanup budget is $2.438 billion, which is $341.2 million more than the administration’s proposed budget. For the first time in over a decade, the DOE budget was approved before the beginning of the fiscal year, and the budget enacted for almost all of PNNL’s programs equaled or exceeded the amount requested by TRIDEC.

As a champion for community initiatives, TRIDEC will continue advocating for the Columbia Rivershore to be returned from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to the local communities. We will also continue supporting the Snake River dams, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park and the MyTri2030 visioning project.

TRIDEC has a 56-year history advocating for business and progress. We look forward to continuing that role in 2019.