Hanford lab director retires, successor named
Don Hardy, Hanford’s contractor manager overseeing laboratory services, retired after 37 years working at the site.
Hardy has been replaced at Hanford Laboratory Management and Integration by Ray Geimer, who most recently served as project manager for 100K shutdown operations for another Hanford contractor, Central Plateau Cleanup Co.
Hardy joined the Hanford Cleanup in 1985 at Lab 222-S, which provides sampling and confirmation services. His career path has taken him to the Plutonium and Uranium Extraction Plant (PUREX), the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP), the Waste Sampling and Characterization Facility and the Tank farms.
He left where he started – overseeing Lab 222-S.
His successor brings nearly 40 years of work within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Environmental Management Complex to nuclear operations. Geimer received a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Idaho and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Clarkson University.
HLMI supports the 222-S laboratory in its work related to the vitrification of radioactive and chemical waste from the Hanford tanks. It is a joint venture of Navarro Research and Engineering Inc. and Advanced Technologies and Laboratories International.
State launches free business academy for creatives
The state Department of Commerce has launched its new Creatives Academy, the third in a series of self-directed educational academies for small business owners.
Designed to teach the essential skills needed to turn a creative activity into a successful small business, the academy contains 11 tracks.
Lessons range from developing an entrepreneurial spirit and accessing capital to finding clients, creating winning pitches and negotiating terms.
All training materials are free and do not require registration.
Classes are available at MyStartup365.com. The academy joins two others on the state’s small business resource site, the Entrepreneur Academy and the Restart Academy. A smaller series covers Mastering Financials.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are more than 250 specific creative occupations, including artists, performers, musicians, technicians, video game designers, 3D designers and modelers, projection mapping artists, and sound designers. .
To ensure the sector has the right resources, the state is hiring someone to oversee the development of a comprehensive strategic plan that will open up new opportunities in the industry, especially in rural and underserved areas of the state.
Companies team up to celebrate young recruits
The Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, Inland Northwest Associated General Contractors and Educational Services District 123 are piloting a Regional Career Signing Day for the Class of 2022.
Several local businesses, primarily in the trade and sales sectors, participate in the inaugural event, subsequently identifying and hiring candidates from area high schools and other non-traditional school backgrounds.
A celebratory ceremony is scheduled for June 16 to recognize graduating students who have successfully interviewed and accepted job offers from these employers.
Participating companies include: Tire Factory, Bruce Inc., Meyers Auto Tech, McCurley Integrity Dealerships, O’Brien Construction Co. Inc. and RDO Equipment.
If you are interested in participating, call Brooke Myrland, Workforce and Education Manager, at 509-491-3242.
Opening of a Bundt Cake bakery in Richland
Construction is underway to turn a former Thai restaurant into a cake factory in Richland.
Nothing Bundt Cake is planning $245,000 in improvements for tenants of the former Mezzo Thai restaurant at 110 Gage Blvd., Suite 200.
An opening in June is planned.
The new bakery is part of a Las Vegas-based franchise with more than 410 bakeries across the United States, including eight in Washington, according to its website. The closest of the Tri-Cities is in Spokane.
The bakery offers decorated and glazed Bundt cakes in a variety of sizes.
A wide selection of cakes, including a gluten-free option and a rotating signature flavor, will be available daily from the bakery with no pre-order necessary.
The franchise owners are Julie Dawes and Julie Zirker. The sisters-in-law are Tri-Citiennes for life.
Washington state burger chain icon dies at 78
Bob Kildall, founder of Lynden-based Bob’s Burgers & Brew, died April 20 of natural causes. He was 78 years old.
The company announced his death on its Facebook page.
Kildall grew up on a farm outside of Lynden, Washington, and joined a burger joint after serving in the military. He would buy the location, then buy and sell others in the 1970s.
He founded Bob’s Burgers & Brews in 1982 with a simple menu featuring gourmet burgers and an adult lounge — a popular offering from one of his previous operations.
The company he founded is second-generation run and includes a dozen family and franchise locations.
Bob’s has locations in Southridge in Kennewick and Queensgate in Richland.
Kildall is survived by his wife, Judy, three children and many grandchildren. Services were held in April in Lynden.
Richland holds hearings on two apartment projects
The Richland Hearings Examiner will hold two hearings into sensitive area apartment projects on June 13 in the council chambers of Richland City Hall.
The first is Willowbrook Place Apartments, Big Creek Land Co.’s plans for a 108-unit apartment complex on a 14-acre site west of Richland’s Claybell Park, near Broadmoor Street and John Court.
The second is for Cedar and Sage Apartments 1 LLC’s project for a 32-unit complex with underground parking at 470 Bradley Blvd., adjacent to Hampton Inn Richland.
Submit your written comments for both drafts by 5 p.m. May 25 to [email protected]
Army Corps updating McNary’s management plan
The Army Corps of Engineers is seeking public input on how it manages Lake Wallula, the stretch of the Columbia River behind McNary Dam, including along the Tri-Cities.
The Walla Walla District is updating the McNary Master Plan for the first time since 1982. Public comments are being accepted until June 2.
The body is preparing an environmental assessment to address possible environmental impacts associated with master plan revisions.
The plan guides how the corps manages the lands and serves as a high-level strategic document that outlines how it addresses recreational, natural and cultural resources. It does not address dam operations such as spills, fish passage or dam breaks.
Send your written comments to [email protected] or send your written comments to: Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, ATTN: McNary Master Plan, 201 N. Third Ave., Walla Walla, WA 99362-1876.
For information or to submit comments online, go to: bit.ly/McNaryMasterPlan.
Upcoming tourism developments at Mount St. Helens?
The Mount St. Helens Institute will begin planning for expanded educational, recreational and tourism facilities at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument after obtaining a 30-year operating permit from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
The agreement coincides with the 42nd anniversary of the May 18, 1981 eruption of the Cascades stratovolcano.
A visitor center built in 1993 closed in 2007, and the site remained inactive until 2011, when the institute began offering modest youth education programs and public events.
The institute said it wanted to develop the Coldwater Ridge site into a lodge, an education center with cabins, campsites and improved facilities. The program could accommodate up to 6,000 young people a year for outdoor school experiences, he said.
Hennebery Eddy Architects works with the institute on vision. The nonprofit institute is based in Amboy, Washington, and has an annual budget of about $1.1 million in 2020, according to its latest 990 report to the IRS.
Its stated mission is to advance understanding and stewardship of the earth through science, education, and exploration of volcanic landscapes.
To make a donation, go to: vcea.wsu.edu/give/building-success-campaign.
Captain Gray Elementary Playground gets a makeover
The outdoor playground at Captain Gray STEM Elementary School in Pasco is getting a makeover, thanks to a partnership between the school district and local contractors.
Elite Construction + Development in partnership with A Sharp Painter, Stripe Rite and Martinez Artes embellished the basketball court with public art. The project was initiated by school staff.
The artistic project ended at the end of April.
Construction job stands nationwide
National construction employment edged up by 2,000 jobs between March and April as contractors scrambled to find workers in an increasingly tight job market, according to analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America new government data.
Association leaders urged officials in Washington, D.C., to address short- and long-term labor shortages with expanded permits for foreign-born workers and support for job training. and education to enable more workers to acquire the skills needed for well-paying careers in construction.
“The pause in employment gains last month most likely signifies a shortage of skilled workers, rather than a slowdown in demand for projects,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “In fact, job openings in construction hit a record high at the end of March, while the industry’s unemployment rate was the lowest on record for April.”
The unemployment rate for job seekers with construction experience fell from 7.7% in April 2021 to 4.6% last month, the lowest April rate since the series began in 2000 .-year low for April.
Total construction employment nationwide rose by 2,000 employees to 7.6 million in April. Employment in residential construction increased by 3,800 workers, including 2,500 in multi-family home builders and general contractors and 1,300 in specialty residential contractors.