If you just look at the logo or glance at the main headline on the Herald's series on Hanford layoffs, you might think the worse.
"The ripple effect" sounds scary.
And for some workers who find themselves newly out of work, it no doubt is a time of uncertainty.
However, if you read the stories the news is largely positive.
We've come a long way from the days when a downturn at Hanford automatically meant a screeching halt (or least a turbulent drop) in our economy.
In December 1994, cleanup jobs peaked at 18,500. The next year, the numbers were down by almost one-third.
Prior to 1994, the growth and ebb of Tri-City population figures, real estate sales and average income levels mirrored what was happening at the Hanford site.
Since then, however, the indicators have steadily risen, regardless of what happens at Hanford -- which is always in flux.
Those who recently were hired with stimulus money had to know their jobs were temporary. Others, especially those who were employed by contractors, may not have seen their positions being eliminated.
Brion Godsil, formerly employed by CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co., spoke well when he told a Herald reporter, "We all wanted to be out at the area, ironically because it seemed to be stable."
In Godsil's case, he is using this layoff to switch careers. It's exactly the example the community needs to follow, only on a bigger scale.
But, the truth is, we're already doing a pretty good job.
By and large, the community has been able to diversify much of its growth. We are a strong community with interests in education, agriculture, energy and tourism, among other areas.
All around, it's a great place to live.
In looking back, we've made a lot of progress.
But we can't stop now. We have to keep looking, and working, toward the future.
The future of the Tri-Cities will require even more economic diversification than we have now.
More layoffs will come. More jobs will be lost. TRIDEC's Gary Petersen reassures us that "long-term, Hanford is not going away." But he expects the next two years to be a little bumpy.
This latest round of layoffs should serve as a reminder to continue efforts to diversify the Mid-Columbia's economy.
The seeds of our future growth are already planted -- the proposed energy park at Hanford, tourism, agriculture, transportation, health care and more.
With the community's continued backing, all can thrive.