Education & Training

Apprentices from the Joint Apprenticeship Training Community, or JATC, which receives support from both the Local 112 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractors Association, receive about $1,500 per year for books, fees and tuition for five years and finish the program with a six-figure salary and a Columbia Basin College certificate. (Courtesy JATC)

Trade apprenticeships offer path to lucrative careers

By Andrew Kirk Those who graduated from college or a university this year could expect to make on average about $50,000 for their first year of work, according to several independent national surveys. They could also expect, on average, to have about that much in student debt. Those working in the construction trades shake their…

Q&A with Rebekah S. Woods

President of Columbia Basin College Number of employees you oversee: The college employs approximately 700 regular employees, not including adjuncts, part-time hourly and student workers. Brief background about your college: Columbia Basin College is a public community college serving the Tri-Cities and surrounding communities since 1955. Our mission is to inspire, educate and support all…

Goose Ridge Estate Vineyards and Winery President Bill Monson, left, talks on Sept. 11 with Hilary Franz, the state commissioner of public lands, while touring Goose Ridge’s vineyard in Richland, a piece of Department of Natural Resources state trust land now being utilized more optimally to generate dollars for school construction. (Courtesy state Department of Natural Resources)

DNR repurposing land to make more money for schools

By Andrew Kirk At statehood, the federal government granted Washington millions of acres of land to be managed for the support of public schools, including universities. Today, it, along with other lands dedicated to different state needs, is managed by the state Department of Natural Resources. A portion of the 1 million acres of state…

Teacher salary

Tri-City teacher salaries closing in on state average

New state standardized salary schedule responsible for pay discrepancies Kennewick teachers walked out of their classrooms, delaying the start of school by four days this year amid salary concerns. The move resulted in an 8 percent raise for educators in the Tri-Cities’ biggest school district, putting their salaries more in line with neighboring districts. But…

(Courtesy Benton-Franklin Trends)

More education needed to foster a Tri-City knowledge economy

By D. Patrick Jones To what degree will the Tri-Cities participate in the knowledge economy well underway this century?  First, a quick definition: a knowledge economy is one where a large number of jobs exploit brainpower. We need to look no further than King County to see what this kind of economy looks like. In the economists’ taxonomy of jobs, where there’s a large concentration…

Sexual harassment prevention training continues in wake of #MeToo movement

Nearly a year into the #MeToo movement, the awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace has prompted many large and small business owners to take a closer look at their own policies and procedures. John Heaton, president of Pay Plus Benefits in Kennewick, believes there’s been cyclical attention to the issue over the years. “This…

Columbia Basin College President Rebekah Woods, left, and Washington State University Tri-Cities Chancellor Sandra Haynes stand near the Small Business Development Center office at the Tri-City Development Council in Kennewick. The two colleges have teamed up with TRIDEC to bring the business consulting resource back.

Small Business Development Center returning to Kennewick

New businesses are opening up left and right in Tri-Cities, while existing ones continue to grow and expand, with new development opportunities like the Vista Field overhaul and other, smaller scale projects on the horizon. But there’s a lot of nuance inherent in starting a new business or expanding an existing one. And the region’s…

Paulina Valdez has worked as the site coordinator for Communities in Schools at River’s Edge High School in Richland for almost four years. She said she believes the program has helped reduce dropouts at the school.

Dropout prevention program expands reach in Tri-City area schools

By Arielle Dreher What causes a kid or teen to drop out of school? The answer to that question can be vast — and attributed to myriad factors, from housing to economic status to food and transportation. Enter Paulina Valdez, who works for Communities in Schools, or CIS, and has a portable on the River’s…

Chemists are developing the processes they’ll need to analyze radioactive tank waste before it’s turned into glass. These vit plant chemists are working inside a 3,300-square-foot laboratory at Columbia Basin College in Pasco. (Courtesy Bechtel)

Columbia Basin College offers space to train vit plant lab workers

The U.S. Department of Energy and Bechtel National Inc. are collaborating with Columbia Basin College in Pasco to help prepare chemists for their work at the Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant’s analytical laboratory. The 3,300-square-foot laboratory at CBC will be used to prepare the analytical laboratory’s future staff for work at the vit plant…

Training props at HAMMER include several for firefighters, including the fuel truck burn prop. (Courtesy MSA)

Richland-based HAMMER facility provides training for thousands annually

By Lori Araujo The Department of Energy’s Volpentest HAMMER Federal Training Center is a critical resource for worker health and safety at the Hanford site. The facility north of Richland features an 88-acre campus comprised of numerous classrooms, specialty training areas and props that create a variety of hazardous material and emergency response scenarios. Annually,…

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