Articles by Elsie Puig

Elsie Puig is a freelance writer and web designer. She has a strong background in digital marketing communications, copywriting, and social media. Her passion is using web technology and strong messaging to help small businesses meet their goals. She is currently pursuing her online MA in Web Design and Online Communications from the University of Florida. She lives in Richland with her husband and two children.
Katie Banks, professor of political science at Washington State University Tri-Cities, and Zachary Harper, president of the Associated Students of WSU Tri-Cities, raise the pride flag at the Richland campus in October. The branch campus’ Office of Student Affairs partnered with the Associated Students group for the pride flag-raising ceremony to kick off a series of events in recognition of “Outober,” an event which aims to raise awareness of issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer and other underrepresented communities. (Courtesy WSU Tri-Cities)

Tri-City leaders offer tips to foster workplace LGBTQIA+ inclusivity

PFLAG’s Benton-Franklin chapter offers several training sessions every month for employers Janie Romine remembers the time she was counseled by administrators against openly talking about her gay son with her colleagues. It taught her a valuable lesson: the workplace is not inclusive and supportive by default. “That was a glaring example of discrimination of just…

Ken Williams stands inside his new 28,000-square-foot Plastic Injection Molding manufacturing plant at 2695 Battelle Blvd. in north Richland. The new plant will allow the company to bring new capabilities, including new robotics technology.

Richland company adds new manufacturing plant, robotic automation

Plastic Injection Molding expansion allows for improved capacity, speed A north Richland company is poised for growth with the addition of a new 28,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in the back of its existing building that includes a 4,000-square-foot mezzanine. Plastic Injection Molding Inc. manufactures filter body parts for agricultural irrigation, special parts for medical diagnostic equipment,…

With an increase in patient volume from last year, Grace Clinic is seeing a greater need to expand its dental services. It hopes to adopt a new volunteer model to offer dental services more days of the week. (Courtesy Andrea Starr, PNNL)

Tri-City’s only free medical clinic sees rise in patient volumes, visits

Grace Clinic — the only free medical clinic in the Tri-Cities — is seeing a greater volume of patients, pointing to a greater need for volunteers and services. In 2018, patient volume increased by 35 percent and there was a 25 percent increase in new patients over the previous year. Last year, the Kennewick clinic…

Stephen, left, and John Worlund of Anasazi Builders moved their business from North Dakota to the Tri-Cities in November. The father and son said they relocated to be closer to family and to tap into a bigger labor work force.

Longtime builders move to Tri-Cities after 22 years in North Dakota

A longtime custom home-building company with a successful operation in North Dakota has moved to the Tri-Cities. The father-and-son team of John and Stephen Worlund decided to move Anasazi Builders after almost 22 years to be closer to family. “We had to turn down 21 homes. We finished the last two homes in North Dakota.…

Sarah Bray, left, and Sara Quinn, editor-in-chief of Tumbleweird, show off the December issue. Bray and Adam Brault recently became publishers and owners of the two-year-old “positively weird” monthly publication.

‘Weirdo’ publication gets new owners, publishers as it enters third year

The Tri-Cities’ self-proclaimed “local liberal rag” has new owners and publishers dedicated to keeping the scrappy two-year-old independent paper in print. Adam Brault, owner of &yet, and Sarah Bray, &yet’s chief of strategy, bought Tumbleweird — an eclectic alternative community zine (that’s short for “magazine”) in October. The 10-year-old Richland-based &yet is a design and…

David Phongsa poses with a bahn mi sandwich outside of the walk-up window at the Pasco Specialty Kitchen in downtown Pasco.

Restaurateurs take baby steps toward brick-and-mortar ventures

Notice more food trucks opening brick-and-mortar locations? It’s a growing trend in the Tri-City food scene, accelerated in part by incubators like the Pasco Specialty Kitchen. Once mobile food vendors like Fresh Out  The Box, Hot Tamales, Foodies and Mercy’s Pizza Taco have graduated from food truck to sit-down restaurants. And more hope to follow…

Silvia Lugo, communications and outreach consultant with the state Employment Security Department spoke at a recent Ask The Experts panel about the state’s paid family and medical leave insurance program. The panel was hosted by the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce .

Employers preparing for state’s new paid family, medical leave program

In January, employers will begin collecting premiums for the state’s paid family and medical leave insurance program passed into law last year. Although benefits won’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2020, this statewide benefits program will allow workers to take up to 12 weeks of guaranteed paid time off — 18 weeks in limited special…

Steve Simmons, owner of CG Public House in Kennewick, said the proposed Labor and Industries rules for salaried employees could negatively affect service businesses like his restaurant, especially if tied to the minimum wage.

Washington L&I considers salary revision for exempt employees

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries could soon be proposing new wage requirements for salaried executive, administrative and professional employees. The wage requirements would be tied to the state’s minimum wage, which is set to go up $1.50 every year through 2020 with the passage of Initiative 1433. The current proposal would increase…

Eric Pearson, left, CEO of Community First bank, and Jim Arneson, president of Community First Bank, show off the bank’s new logo.

Community First Bank launches rebrand, new website

Community First Bank recently underwent a rebranding to modernize its curb appeal and to unify its different business lines, which now include wealth management, trust services and home mortgages. Formed in 1997, Community First Bank, headquartered in Kennewick with branches in Richland, Pasco and Connell, is the longest running community bank in the area, according…

Danielle Andre teaches a class of ballet dancers at the new Today’s Generation Dance Co. in Pasco. The studio opened in October at the Broadmoor Park Outlet Mall.

Award-winning Moses Lake dance studio expands to Pasco

When Danielle Andre opened Today’s Generation Dance Co. in Pasco, she hoped to continue a legacy of award-winning dance instruction that her mother Lori Baker and co-founders Peggy Earl and Janet Bergeson started 19 years ago in Moses Lake. Andre and her husband moved around the U.S. while he finished his medical degree. This allowed…

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