As an economic development entity, the Port of Kalama has developed considerable economic muscle to the benefit of Cowlitz County as well as the State of Washington. The growing steel sector at the Port of Kalama exemplifies the economic circle of life core to the Port’s success and that of its business partners! The Port is consistently welcoming new business and creating job opportunities for the region.
And that’s why the Port does what it does—helps to create the economic bedrock for the industrial and business sectors to thrive. This this inspiring video tells the story of the Port of Kalama’s thriving circle of life—and what it means to keep jobs here close to home.
Think of this economic cycle like this: the Port invests in the land, buildings, facilities and amenities necessary to draw business. In turn, companies and employees located here purchase materials, buy lunches and gas, and pay taxes. State and local taxes paid by port located companies exceed $95 million per year.
Local residents benefit from the significant capital investment of the businesses here at the Port of Kalama. Revenue from the wharves, leases, and business fees enable the Port to fulfill its mission of inducing capital investment in an environmentally responsible manner to create jobs and to enhance public recreational opportunities.
Thanks to port businesses and the port’s commitment to serving the public with parks, industrial facilities and marine terminals, walking paths and creating a unique tourist destination, locals can enjoy the bounty without paying a cent in taxes.
The Port’s tenants are the backbone of the entire Port of Kalama organization. They bring revenue streams that allow the Port to do all the other things it does—creating manufacturing jobs that are high-wage better our community and just create more economic activity. That enables us to have really good schools—to have good fire and police protection and all those other things we enjoy here.
According to Port of Kalama’s executive director Mark Wilson, the new industrial building at the Kalama River Industrial Park really showcases a microcosm of how that cycle works here at the Port:
- Port companies bring in raw steel from international markets;
- The steel comes across Port docks where it’s offloaded from ships by longshore laborers;
- The steel is then moved into Steelscape LLC so Cowlitz County steel workers can process it;
- And companies like Bridger Steel in turn purchase that steel—forming it onsite and actually having a hand in building the new industrial structure they are occupying.
The Port has built the infrastructure for industries to come in and thrive— welcoming good companies right here close to home is huge for the local workforce. All the players—the Port and its incredible business partners and tenants—have a piece of the puzzle that creates this thriving community and that’s how the Port succeeds and how these companies succeed as well.
It is so important and it’s not the kind of thing people think about very often. But these businesses are the cornerstone and foundation of what it takes to keep a community healthy, happy and growing.