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Economic Development Office


Published: August 10, 2008

Food processing employment grows 86 percent: Mid-Columbia plants see 7-year increase

BASIN CITY, Wash. - Inside a plain, metal-sided warehouse in Basin City, about 70 workers clean, size and bunch freshly cut asparagus for Paradise Produce.

It's not an unpleasant job, but it's certainly not glamorous. And it's an increasingly larger segment of the Mid-Columbia's economy.

Food processing jobs like these provided $130 million in wages in Benton and Franklin counties last year - a 20 percent increase in three years.

In fact, while only about 3.5 percent of the state's population is in Benton and Franklin counties, the region has more than 10 percent of the food processing jobs statewide.

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