Columbia County has preserved its agrarian way of life while at the same time modernizing and diversifying its economy. The renewable energy industry is creating new jobs and opportunities tucked among the fertile fields; the Blue Mountain Station Food Processing Park offers entrepreneurial support to value-added food producers and is helping develop the local food system; wheat straw pulp is being molded into recyclable food containers and tourism continues to provide jobs and opportunities in the community.
Columbia County has a civilian labor force of approximately 1,800, with a labor force of 32,000 within a 30-mile radius, and 170,000 within a 70-mile radius.
Anecdotal information shows the agrarian background of Columbia County’s residents produces a highly productive and loyal workforce.
Walla Walla Community College, a nationally acclaimed training and education facility 30 minutes from Dayton, is a model in workforce training programs.
The Port of Columbia manages a contract between Columbia County and the State Department of Commerce for work in economic development. The Port employs a full-time economic development coordinator who offers support to all Columbia County businesses. The Port is an invaluable resource when starting a business in Columbia County.