“Green” consciousness boon to economic development

Green jobs are a hot topic in Olympia today. Tri-City business leaders are on the bandwagon, spending a couple of days on the Capital campus promoting our region as a hotbed of green jobs.

Our strongest foray into the realm of greenness is the energy produced here: We’ve got hydro-electric, wind, solar and nuclear. We’re at the forefront of bio fuel technology, thanks to the Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

We can talk — and make — energy all day long. And good jobs come along with creating and transmitting energy, from construction to distribution. But when you’re really talking green, that’s about all we’ve got, not to minimize the impact and importance of our ability to harness wind, water and sun, but the image of the “green” utopia hardly pops to mind when thinking of the Tri-Cities.

We’ve got decades of work ahead as we continue to clean up Hanford, and nuclear wastes are what too many people outside the region envision when the Tri-Cities are mentioned. But we have a long way to go to develop a green reputation.

It’s great that community leaders are working to promote our area as a hotbed for green jobs.

We’ve got the industry and resources to create green jobs, and the Legislature, govenor’s office and state economic officials all need to be on board to ensure we take full advantage of that potential.

But we all need to walk the walk if we’re going to talk the talk. The time is right to brand the Tri-Cities as green-friendly. To that end, we need to make our area more marketable to the green industry.

Companies looking to locate a green business in a new city have to care about the environment in which they work and their employees reside. It’s part of the job.

Now we need to do ours and put programs into place that put a greener light on our region.

Tri-City Herald “Our Voice” opinion


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