One year ago, we introduced TerraGraphics Environmental Engineering to the Tri-City community in this edition of the newspaper. We were relative newcomers to the Tri-Cities and Hanford work, but had just completed our first year as a protégé firm under Washington River Protection Solutions’ (WRPS) mentorship. As a company, we wanted to successfully incorporate our vision of “Exceptional People Improving the Environment” into this new Department of Energy (DOE) work.
Some of our other work encompasses providing city civil engineering support, remediating contaminated residential properties in the Silver Valley of Idaho, helping children affected by lead and mercury poisoning in Nigeria through remediation, transforming Brownfields properties into usable land, and restoring streams to help fish and wildlife habitats. Some of our infrastructure work in cities resulted in neighbors thanking us for replacing 100 year old systems, and other work like our rails-to-trails project in the Coeur d’Alene Basin resulted in winning an award for our efforts. Much of the work at Hanford, however, is a long-term commitment rather than months or years. Our concerns going into this were: Would this work translate to our vision? Can our culture be maintained? How do our employees view this type of work?
A year later, we’re finding that although some of the technical work is different, people have similar goals: to leave the environment better than we found it.
Our success this past year of integrating our old business with our new business was facilitated by our employees’ dedication to our vision and the opportunities presented by our mentor, WRPS. We couldn’t have grown the way we did in the DOE arena without the key support of WRPS and the other Hanford prime contractors. We are truly grateful to those companies for the opportunity to work with them. WRPS helped us stay focused in the areas we are passionate about, rather than spreading ourselves too thin with pursuing lots of additional ventures just because the opportunity presented itself. Keeping ourselves centered on our core values gave TerraGraphics a solid base while we were growing.
With a commitment to helping HUBZone communities, TerraGraphics moved our Tri-City office to Pasco, where there are many HUBZone neighborhoods.
It appears to have worked. Today, with the addition of new partners who made a career working at Hanford, we feel part of the Hanford team.
TerraGraphics is certified by the Small Business Administration as a HUBZone (Historically Underutilized) business because of where we work and where our employees live. This program provides access to federal procurement opportunities for firms that operate in and employ people from these underutilized business zones. The HUBZone program is achieving the mission of stimulating jobs within the communities where we live and work.
With a commitment to helping HUBZone communities, TerraGraphics moved our Tri-City office to Pasco, where there are many HUBZone neighborhoods. We pride ourselves on maintaining this status, as it embodies our philosophy and how we were successful as a company long before there was such a designation.
We have always felt ourselves as community-based, and giving back to the community has been a source of pride for our company. In addition to hiring people living in HUBZones, our Pasco office partners were able to bless four local families in need this past holiday season.
Our decades of experience working to improve the environment really is applicable for DOE sites, not just technically but philosophically. Everyone has the same goal of finding the best people and methods to improve our environment. We are lucky that our company’s work can and does have a positive impact on people’s lives. In the end, we all want to show our grandchildren how we made their world a better place. Looking back at this past year, I’d say we’re making pretty good headway.