RICHLAND, Wash. – Two higher education institutions in the Tri-Cities collaborated with the Tri-City Development Council to receive a $994,600 award to build the next generation of project management, nuclear engineering and radiation safety professionals.
The award from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management is to Columbia Basin College. It includes a sub-award of $383,460 to Washington State University Tri-Cities. It is effective immediately and extends through June 2012.
“This DOE Financial Assistance Award comes at a significant time in our community’s economy, especially given the ongoing state budget cuts to higher education,” TRIDEC President Carl Adrian said.
WSU Tri-Cities will use the funds to enhance a nuclear engineering graduate certificate, to develop a health and safety graduate certificate, to create a career readiness web portal, and to support student success through mentoring, tutoring, technical internships and select scholarships.

“These graduate certificate programs will enable us to address two areas of significant demand from employers for professionals who have expertise in radiation protection and for engineers who understand advanced principles of nuclear engineering,” said James R. “Dick” Pratt, vice chancellor for academic affairs at WSU Tri-Cities.

Columbia Basin College will use $611,140 to establish a one-year certificate in project management, an AA degree in project management, curriculum for a PMP certificate, a project management training center, a bachelor of applied science degree in project management, and $200,000 in scholarships. The funding will allow CBC to hire three full-time and two part-time employees to implement the programs.
“This grant funding will allow CBC to train students on Primavera, a commonly used project portfolio management software in business and industry,” CBC President Rich Cummins said.
“I applaud TRIDEC and their partners for their contributions to central Washington and am confident that this investment will continue the success of CBC and WSU Tri-Cities,” Congressman Doc Hastings said.
“Our proposal was successful because of the support from our congressional delegation, the Hanford prime contractors, HAMMER, the Hanford Site future workforce subcommittee, and IBEW-77,” Adrian said.
“This is just one of the many ways that TRIDEC and our community partners contribute to the future success of the Tri-Cities,” he said. “TRIDEC is committed to working towards many more wins for our local economy.”
The Tri-City Development Council (TRIDEC) is the lead economic development organization for Benton and Franklin counties. TRIDEC offers businesses interested in locating or expanding to the Tri-Cities the most confidential and business-specific assistance available in the region. For more information, visit