Thank you for your support and interest in the progress of the myTRI 2030 Regional Vision Project. Since our last major event in February - when all the myTRI Councils met together for the first time - the entire world has changed. While the pandemic instigated a global pause, it has not derailed myTRI progress. Rather, it has provided an opportunity for Councils to reflect and evaluate how to factor in the new changes and challenges to our community when prioritizing high level strategies and suggested ideas for our community.

Each of the myTRI Councils has provided a summary update of the progress that has been made in the last quarter:
By Gary Ballew, myTRI Agriculture Council Vice Chair

The Ag Council selected Pete Taggares, from Taggares Fruit Company to Chair the Ag Council and selected Gary Ballew, from the Port of Pasco as the Vice Chair. They arranged their first meeting for mid-March, just as COVID restrictions were starting to settle in. The Council cancelled that in-person meeting and arranged for a conference call two weeks later, when they felt there would be a lot more information on a return to normalcy. By the time the call was held at the end of March, we were just starting to see the enormity of what lay ahead. As many of the members of the committee are in essential industries, and were in the midst of identifying completely new ways to keep food on the shelves of America’s grocery stores, the group decided to pause our myTRI efforts and meet the challenge at hand.

As we now roll through the mid-year, the group is looking too come together (socially distanced and virtual of course) to jumpstart our myTRI efforts. The challenge is much greater now, as we look to rebuild a growing, processing and logistics system stressed by the past two months. We believe that myTRI 2030 will provide the roadmap for recovery and resiliency and as we move forward we will identify opportunities to increase prosperity across the Tri-Cities.
By Evangelina Galvan Shreeve, myTRI Education Council Chair

Evangelina Galvan Shreeve, serves as Chair of the Education Council, and is currently the Director of STEM Education at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Her interest in myTRI 2030 is to be part of a transformative community initiative that serves the Tri-Cities region. She specifically has interest in the Education opportunity area that focuses on stronger community collaboration and developing innovative educational experiences – all which is the foundation for preparing our future STEM workforce and economic prosperity for our region.

We have 13 very engaged community leaders on the Education Council. We have met twice thus far. The initial meeting consisted of introductions and providing an opportunity to share current thoughts of these unprecedented times. We have a unique forum as we have four of the major educational leaders on the Council. In a short time, we have made progress considering several projects with no challenges and unanimously decided to explore the Mid-Columbia Virtual Education Portal and Resource Mapping project. This project focuses on creating a virtual “one stop shop” for college and career exploration and resources to be utilized by students, families, educators and the community. Through the identification of existing websites and resources, the Council will work towards developing a strategy to connect these resources by way of a Portal and create awareness amongst the community. One of the key outcomes of this project is to equip the future Mid-Columbia workforce with the necessary tools and resources needed to be successful.
By Greg Cullen, myTRI Energy Council Chair

Following some transition in membership, in May the Energy Council elected a new chair: Greg Cullen, Energy Services and Development General Manager with Energy Northwest. The council also agreed to extend an offer for membership to two representatives from WSU Tri-Cities who have knowledge and experience in the energy field.

Despite these changes, the council has been working through the top ten ideas for energy and has made progress in understanding the relationships between the ideas and in identifying which items will move us the furthest towards the overall goals if we focus on them in the near term. We are also working to identify the specific projects and tasks that will be our priority.

We are excited about the opportunities for the Tri-Cities to be a key part of addressing the energy challenges and needs in the region and about the expertise and infrastructure we already possess in our community that positions us well to fulfill the vision.
By Bryan Moreno, myTRI Inclusion Council Chair

The Inclusion Council has made strides since our initial meeting. We’ve chosen co-chairs and have hit the ground running.

To date, members of the council have spent time building a strategic framework – establishing “rules of the road”, agreeing on a decision-making process, and developing a shared vision statements and mission statements that we are narrowing down through consensus.

Even with the shift to teleworking as a result of COVID-19, we have been able to maintain our monthly meetings via zoom. We collectively agreed that our work will need to be integrated with the other myTRI Councils’ efforts. In fact, we have already developed a framework for how the Inclusion Council might go about doing its work.

We believe that an excellent way to integrate the tenets of Inclusion throughout myTRI 2030 efforts is to assign Inclusion Council liaisons to work with each of the other myTRI Councils. Inclusion liaisons would work to understand how their assigned Council interprets the idea of inclusion and how it envisions implementation of principles/practices to promote it and build it into their framework.

We have also identified key strategies that will help us to bring our vision and mission to fruition. In the coming months, we hope to start working with other myTRI councils as well as applicable community partners.

To prime our thinking, several of our members recently attended a meeting with HealthierHere, a community advocacy group which focuses on improving health outcomes and addressing health disparities for community members living in King County. We attended to hear about some best practices and potential challenges when cultivating community buy-in. Although HealthierHere focuses on the area of health, there were many key take-aways that we believe will benefit our efforts in promoting Inclusion.

Moving forward, we are thinking about how to gather additional input from local advocates and subject matter experts to guide our project planning process.
By Davin Diaz, myTRI Life Council Co-Chair

The Life Council has met a total of four times. We have formed three working groups to date:

  1. The Community Calendar Project Team,
  2. A group to define roles and expectations for Life Council Members and Project Patterns, and
  3. A team that developed a Project Evaluation Tool. The Projection Evaluation Tool will help the Life Council evaluate and prioritize the projects as identified in the myTRI 2030 Top Ten Report.

The Life Council is also in the process of defining our mission and identifying our values to serve as our “North Star” as we move through the projection evaluation process. All members of the Life Council have demonstrated a dedication to improve the lives of all Tri-Citizens today, with a special interest in the generation currently in high-school. The council will also prioritize projects that lend themselves to collaboration with community partners and other myTri2030 Councils.
Dave McCormack, myTRI Prosperity Council Co-Chair

The myTRI Prosperity Council is currently addressing COVID-19 as our Community’s new starting point on its journey toward growth and sustainable prosperity. We have incorporated a COVID-19 High Level Strategy/Suggested Idea within our Top Ten +1, and are considering it, as appropriate, in the implementation of our original Top Ten.

Our Prosperity strategy emphasizes collaboration with existing community organizations to implement our Top Ten +1 projects. Our strategy is to engage them as partners, and to leverage their community standing and progress to date. A general challenge that we have right now, is keeping up with the pace of change during the real time recovery from the COVID pandemic, and gradual reopening of businesses in our community.

We are initially building tools to connect businesses, and to collect, understand and share information. We will implement them in the near-term to assist with the recovery and reopening phases, while in the longer-term these tools will evolve and be used to support prosperity going forward.

We’ve decided the best thing to do first, consistent with maintaining a long-term prosperity focus while simultaneously being sensitive to the current COVID-19 situation, is to seek additional understanding from business owners through an online survey.

Several organizations sent out surveys at the end of February to gauge business needs, but fewer have gone out recently. Working together with TRIDEC, the Regional Chamber, Fuse, and the Port of Benton, Prosperity Council leadership developed a quick business needs survey, which we presented to the Prosperity Council for their feedback.

The survey link began distribution last week, and a few responses have already come in. We ask everyone to please redouble their efforts to get this survey link out to the widest possible audience so that we can understand and address current business needs, and better align ongoing prosperity projects.

Assuming we have significant participation in the survey, our intention is to create monthly reports and share them so that participants, and the greater business community, can feel a larger sense of connection and information.
The myTRI Councils are making good progress and will continue their efforts throughout the summer. Watch for more updates in the coming months. It’s an exciting time to be a Tri-Citian!