I have never worked out at Hanford, nor has anyone in my family. I have friends, though, who have spent most of their working lives at Hanford, or for a subcontractor of the Hanford site. So, while I am certainly aware of its role as the lynch pin of our economic success here in the Tri-Cities, its impact still sometimes surprises me.
A new study brought it graphically home to me last week, though, when I learned that the Tri-Cities is ranked no. 1 in job growth in the nation!
You might be thinking, “So what, Cari, the recession is over. Of course there’s been an increase.” Here’s the exciting news – the increase in jobs is an increase measured from pre-recession levels!
In addition, we’ve seen an increase year over year (September ’09 through September ’10) and are the only market in the state of Washington to do so.
It’s due in large part to the federal stimulus money that goes to Hanford. Over 3,000 full-time jobs have been created as a direct result of stimulus money. Other fields – health care, manufacturing and food processing apparently also saw growth, but not to the extent Hanford experienced.