by Miles Thomas

For the Mid-Columbia Energy Initiative (MCEI) and other organizations, having access to timely Port of Benton, state and federal government information is crucial for business. It not only helps MCEI stay current, but it also gives the working group access to regional and national initiatives that may impact the organization. 

While keeping organizations such as MCEI informed is a priority for the Port of Benton, the Port is also committed to continuously innovating and embracing new ways to add value to the tenants, community and partners that reside in, and or, do business with the Port district. Recognizing that communications plays a key role, the Port reprioritized how they disseminate information, which meant investing in a new eCommunications platform and redesigning the website.  

“Mid-Columbia Energy Initiative’s purpose is to promote our regional innovation in clean energy and advanced manufacturing; the Port of Benton’s effort is a collaborative step forward to tell our community’s story.”

David Reeploeg, TRIDEC VP for Federal Programs; MCEI Liaison

With the new eCommuncations capability the Port can quickly disseminate information to all stakeholders to keep them abreast of the latest news while promoting the achievements of area businesses and their contributions to the local economy. The eCommunications are open to anyone and can be accessed by visiting the Port’s website and navigating to Latest News page. By signing up, the community will receive notifications for the biannual newsletter (The RePort of Benton), general news and press releases, or news briefings from the Tri-Cities Research District.

The eCommunications is just one of the many features of the new website that will include user-centric design, updated content and visuals and intuitive navigation to improve ease of use of the site. The new website will be designed by Underground Creative ( a local design agency based in Kennewick and is expected to launch in the third quarter of 2020. Also, Underground Creative is slated to refresh the Crow Butte Park website to boost the site’s utility for park visitors.

By undertaking these initiatives, the Port’s goal is to not only inform district stakeholders about the latest news and information on Port operations, but also to communicate the Port’s work in leveraging business initiatives underway communitywide, featuring the recruitment efforts that are contributing to economic development in the region and encouraging greater collaboration between stakeholders.

eCommunications and the new website are just the beginning. Next, the Port plans to refresh its logo to better represent the Port’s strategic vision for the future of the region. While the mission “to promote economic development and multi-modal transportation within our region” remains the same, the Port recognizes that it must evolve the brand to better position itself to solicit technology-savvy and advanced manufacturing companies to the area.

Beyond the technology investments and new logo, the Port has plans to explore new ways it can continue to bring value to businesses, such as MCEI and others operating in the district, its partners and the community with an eye toward fostering greater economic development. Stay tuned.