A drone manufacturing shop in Tri-Tech Skills Center’s newest building is adjacent to a classroom where students will learn flight simulation and aviation.

Tri-Tech to offer high school training for in-demand drone careers

Tri-Tech Skills Center officials hope a new program that includes drone-making will show students the sky’s the limit when it comes to job opportunities and careers in the unmanned flight and manufacturing industry. The new program launches this fall in a building recently constructed on the school’s Tri-Tech East campus in Kennewick. The building also…

Workers who operate a potato processing line at Lamb Weston are employed in non-durable manufacturing, an industry that saw little growth in the past year locally. (Courtesy Lamb Weston)

Benton, Franklin counties’ manufacturing job growth slows

Jobs in manufacturing have slowed down progressively during the last year across Benton and Franklin counties. The region appears to finally be catching up with the state growth rate for manufacturing jobs, which has been minimal. The most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics for April 2018 show manufacturing jobs have decreased…

John Boyd Jr. of The Boyd Company, from left, Terry Thompson, Adams County commissioner, who previously served as a Port of Othello commissioner for 10 years, and Chris Faix, executive director for the Port of Othello, stand in front of the Beta Seed facility that opened last fall at the port’s Bruce Industrial Park, about five miles east of the city of Othello. (Courtesy Stephen McFadden)

Adams County to build waste treatment plant to lure food processors

Tri-Cities’ northern neighbor, Adams County, is moving forward with plans for infrastructure to support the growth of its food processing and distribution sectors, based on positive projections for the area’s potential as a low-cost hub for these industries. Results from two recent site selection studies conducted by The Boyd Company, a New Jersey-based consulting service,…

CEO Q&A with Jeanne Dillner

Brief background of business: SIGN Fracture Care International is a humanitarian organization based in Richland. Our mission is to give the injured poor in developing countries access to affordable orthopaedic surgery. We accomplish this by providing surgeons in these countries with orthopaedic education along with implants and instruments designed for use in austere operating rooms.…

D. Patrick Jones is the executive director for Eastern Washington University’s Institute for Public Policy & Economic Analysis.

Tri-City manufacturing tilts toward agriculture, toward growth

By D. Patrick Jones The Tri-Cities prides itself on being a bit different from the rest of Eastern Washington. So is its manufacturing sector. Unlike most metro areas this side of the state, manufacturing here doesn’t loom among the top five sectors by employment. As Benton Franklin Trends indicator 3.3.4 shows, the largest employing sectors…

(Courtesy Meheen Manufacturing Inc.)

Pasco manufacturing company Meheen moves to Colorado

For more than 26 years, employees of Meheen Manufacturing Inc. have churned out bottle upon bottle of beer, soda and juice in the Tri-Cities. But that ended last month, as Meheen moved its equipment and operations from 325 N. Oregon Ave. in Pasco to Colorado. As part of a combined business with Wild Goose Canning…

(Courtesy Four Feathers Wine Estates)

Manufacturing great wine takes good grapes, technology

By David Forsyth Making a wine is an active process. A winery is a functional factory, like any other production facility. The factors are the raw materials, in this case grapes, and the available technology to blend them. The process begins with growing the grapes, then harvesting the grapes and crushing or pressing the fruit,…

Juan Murillo stands with two wheels recently spray-painted at American Wheel Specialist in Kennewick. The company, which opened 15 years ago, recently acquired a Richland powder-coating business.

Kennewick company finds success in crafting specialty wheels, rims

Juan Murillo said business was slow at American Wheel Specialist on a recent Wednesday. But within the span of five minutes, two men in an old Army truck pulled up to the front door of the plant at 1010 East Bruneau Ave. in Kennewick looking for help on a wheel for the truck. [blockquote quote=”Juan…

Food processing

Food processing jobs lead local manufacturing boon

By Robin Wojtanik The Tri-Cities has seen the creation of thousands of new jobs in manufacturing, despite a loss of manufacturing jobs across the state. Jobs in food processing led the way for the region, with gains in non-durable manufacturing up 2.9 percent between March 2016 and March 2017, which translates to about 2,400 new…

An automated system at Columbia Basin Ice in Kennewick puffs a jet of air into the bags to open them up before the machine drops the pre-measured ice into a bag. It’s then sealed and sent along a conveyor belt to be stacked onto a pallet.

Ice makers expect to manufacture nine million bags of ice this year

Kennewick’s Columbia Basin Ice anticipates $7M in sales for 2017 Tri-Citians reaching into big store coolers to grab a bag of ice on their way to a picnic, party or boat this summer most likely will be chilling their food and drinks with ice manufactured by a growing Kennewick company. Columbia Basin Ice’s 15,000-square-foot manufacturing…

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