New carrot processing plant brings more jobs to Tri-Cities

PASCO, Wash. - KEPR is always keeping you in the loop when it comes to the job market. And for those of you looking, some more options are on the way. A new carrot processing plant could see 60 new jobs by the end of the year and hundreds in the future.

This will be the site of new employment. I learned that construction is underway for a new carrot processing plant right off Kahlotus Road in Pasco.

"It's huge, it's broad, and it reinforces our dominant nature in this particular industry," said CBC Economics teacher Dean Schau.

Grimmway farms spent nearly a million dollars on 50 acres of land.
The plant will go on the site. The project will be cut into three phases. With the first being completed by October. Local growers are excited.

"I think it's good for the economy, we grow a tremendous amount of things in this area, it's phenomenal," said Pasco Farmers Market Mike Somerville.

It's not only good for the area, but the unemployed. Grimmway officials tell me those 60 jobs will be created before the end of the year. Jobs will range from labor workers to administration roles.

"Any one job we bring to the community that helps move us away from a Hanford economy is a good thing," said Schau.

CBC Economics Professor Dean Schau says that this is a huge move, considering one in ten processing jobs in the state are in Tri-Cities.

"As you go into this awful recession, these are the industries that really help out," said Schau.

A start that, when complete in 2015, the company hopes to have more than several hundred local jobs.

"This state has not recovered the number of jobs it had in 2007, Seattle looks pretty good, unemployment at 5.5%, but any time you bring in a new job, a new opportunity, you are bringing in taxes, it's a good thing, and I'm glad it's coming here," said Schau.

And those hundreds of workers will be glad, too, when Grimmway farms opens its plant in Pasco.

The company is in the process of contacting local growers to bring their crops to the plant. Grimmway hired local construction companies to build the facility.