Yakima County Development Association - Presidents Pen Blog

Jonathan Smith

The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news. 

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Local Manufacturing Company Thermoforming Systems, LLC Expands To Meet Growing Market

Local Manufacturing Company Thermoforming Systems, LLC Expands To Meet Growing Market - December 09, 2016

Thermoforming Systems, LLC (TSL), established in 2002, is a plastics thermoforming equipment factory located in Union Gap, WA. The company manufactures the machines that are utilized by plastics manufacturers to produce cups, foodservice containers, and a variety of other disposable packaging used by food and beverage companies around the world. The growth in the food packaging industry has increased demand for the machines that TSL builds, and as result the company is currently expanding their ... Read More »


Growing a $1.7 Billion Industry

Growing a $1.7 Billion Industry - June 21, 2016

New Vision joined the City of Yakima at the International Council of Shopping Center's annual Retail Convention. While retail has not traditionally been on New Visions radar, the 200-acre mill site in north east Yakima has attracted significant interest from developers. During discussions about the potential for the mill site names like Bass Pro Shop, Nordstrom's Rack, and Apple came up as likely candidates for a retail development on the property. "Not all 200 acres will be built out in retail ... Read More »


New Vision Annual Meeting Huge Success

New Vision Annual Meeting Huge Success - April 19, 2016

"Raise your hand if you feel this way," directed Matt Whiat Partner at Barry-Wehmiller Leadership Institute, to the audience. "Does anyone in here like to be bossed around? Anybody in here like to be managed? What about supervised?" The room of close to 400 business leaders from throughout Yakima County was silent. No hands were in the air. "It's fascinating the language we use to describe the work of a leader, coach, mentor," Matt continued. "We call people bosses, managers, or supervisors and ... Read More »


Targeting New Industry Clusters for 2016

Targeting New Industry Clusters for 2016 - March 04, 2016

Moving into 2016, New Vision is leveraging technology, data and other resources to identify specific businesses that complement our existing demographics and business clusters. Towards this end, New Vision attended Medical Design Manufacturing Expo in Anaheim CA this month and met with over 20 companies. While at the show we were also able to meet with a variety of companies that were exhibiting at a plastics manufacturing expo being held in an adjacent location. Our objective is to meet with... Read More »


New Vision Takes Business Recruitment to the Next Level

New Vision Takes Business Recruitment to the Next Level - February 03, 2016

Economic developers seeking to recruit new business to their area face a host of challenges including how to identify and target potential companies. Questions that must be answered include: How many companies in our targeted industry are out there? How many of those companies need the resources we have available in our community? Where are those companies located and how do we reach them? Using a new online database that accesses information on over 14 million companies' worldwide, staff at ... Read More »


Officials Announce Plans for New Sunnyside Hospital

Officials Announce Plans for New Sunnyside Hospital - December 09, 2015

Sunnyside Hospital recently announced plans to build a new replacement hospital and medical office building on their newly purchased 50-acre proposed medical campus location off Interstate 82. The organization expects to break ground in 2016. During a press conference announcing the plans to build the new facility, John Gallagher, CEO, said "over the past three years the community, medical professionals, hospital staff and leadership have had one focus; to provide our community and the Valley ... Read More »


Economic Investment Supports Multimillion-Dollar Expansion

Economic Investment Supports Multimillion-Dollar Expansion - November 06, 2015

The Supporting Investments in Economic Diversity (SIED) Board recently gave its support to the City of Grandview's $518,250 funding request to make improvements to the Euclid and Wine Country Road intersection to accommodate growing truck traffic serving local businesses. The project will facilitate the $3-5 million expansion of FruitSmart Inc.'s processing facility, improve access to Smucker's and increase the marketability and access to the Port of Grandview's shovel-ready certified Wallace ... Read More »


Are You One of the 12 Percent Deciding the Future of Yakima County?

Are You One of the 12 Percent Deciding the Future of Yakima County? - November 02, 2015

In Yakima County, it took less than 20,000 votes to decide the winner on any given measure in the 2013 election. You read that right. In a county with more than 175,000 residents that are eligible voters, just less than 20,000 votes were needed to determine the outcome of the 2013 election. Only 12 percent of the people determined the future for everyone else. If you are a Yakima County voter, try this thought experiment to put your power and influence into perspective. Imagine every person you ... Read More »


Coming to Yakima

Coming to Yakima - October 28, 2015

It was late in the afternoon on Thursday August 6th. I was wrapping up loose ends at my office in Moses Lake when the phone rang. I did not know it at the time, but answering that phone call would set into motion a fast-paced chain of events that in less than three months would culminate in my writing this blog post today from my new office in Yakima. I won't go into all the details of the past few months but do want to focus on a question that I have been asked often: "Why are you moving to ... Read More »


Process Expo Marketing Trip a Success

Process Expo Marketing Trip a Success - October 06, 2015

Our team recently attended the Food Process Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago. The Expo-one of the largest global food processing exhibitions-is a biannual tradeshow promoting innovation in the food processing industry and runs concurrent with the combined InterBev (International Beverage) and International Dairy Processing tradeshows, which offered us the opportunity to meet with companies supplying the food processing industry and allowed us to pursue economic expansion prospects via a ... Read More »



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"One of the things I see as the most value is the retention of labor; people stay in the Valley and they want to work for a high-tech firm. " - Don Baumbach, Site Leader, GE Aviation