An Introduction to Kennewick

Industry and EconomyThe city of Kennewick is to be found in southeastern Washington. It lies along the bank of the Columbia River, just south of that river’s confluence with the Yakima river. It is situated in Benton County, and in a recent census, it was reported to number just over 61,000 citizens. That total makes Kennewick the most populous city in Benton County, as well as the largest city in the Tri-Cities collective of which it is a member. Other cities are included in the Tri-Cities area including Pasco and Richland. Often, a fourth city, West Richland, will be included in the Tri-Cities grouping. Kennewick comprises a total area of 63 square kilometers or 24 square miles.

Attractive Cultural and Recreational Offerings
The Tri-Cities area is characterized, apart from attractive cultural and recreational offerings, by a diverse blend of thriving local industries. Kennewick boasts the largest shopping center in the region, the Columbia Center Mall, from which a vast array of businesses tends their services and wares. The mall is a great draw to residents of the Tri-Cities and indeed all of southeastern Washington. The Columbia Center Mall has contributed significantly to the prestige and economic growth of the city of Kennewick. Besides such impressive retail facilities, however, Kennewick also has a prospering light industry sector. Further, substantial revenue is generated by Kennewick’s Toyota Center, which hosts all the home games of the Tri-Cities Fever, National Indoor Football League champs, as well as the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey league. Many other events, sporting or otherwise, are also staged at the Toyota Center.

Kennewick Agricultural Role in the Tri-City Economy
Traditionally, agriculture has played a very big role in the Tri-Cities economy. Irrigation is easily provided by the confluence of the nearby Columbia, Snake, and Yakima rivers. The region’s soil is also excellent, and the 300 or so days of sunshine afforded by the desert climate allow for great production. The most prolific cash crop grown in the region is wheat, although a great deal of corn, apples, and grapes are also farmed in the area. The Columbia Valley is famed as the second largest wine-producing region in America, behind California’s Napa Valley. There are over 100 wineries within a 60-mile area. The Columbia Valley happens to be located along the same latitude as the renowned Burgundy and Bordeaux wine-farming areas in France. Many award-winning wineries are found around Kennewick Real Estate and the Tri-Cities, ranging from the Kiona Vineyards which produces nearly half a million cases of wine per year, to small cottage industry producers. Not only does the export of wine contribute to the region’s prosperity, but so too does the resultant tourism generated by the attractive estates.

Kennewick Is Home to Several Major Employers
There are several major employers in the Tri-Cities, which contribute a great many jobs to the Kennewick area. Traditionally, the biggest employer has been the Hanford nuclear facility. With the specter of the Cold War dispelled, Tri-Cities citizens were relieved that the United States Department of Energy chose to retain the plant, albeit in a new, peacetime capacity. Other major employers who have either their headquarters or branches in the region include Amazon, Areva, the Battelle Memorial Institute, ConAgra Foods, Lockheed Martin, Reser's Fine Foods, Simplot, Twin City Foods, and Tyson Foods.

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