If you are looking at apartments in Richland, you might be curious about the city’s economy. The businesses of Richland are split between two industries, technology and agriculture.
Thanks to the Hanford Site, which lies north of the city, Richland used to be America’s center for production of and research into nuclear energy and related technology. Since the end of the Cold War, the employers of Richland mostly handle the safe management of radioactive waste. These employers include Bechtel National Inc. (which is building a waste vitrification plant), Washington River Protection Solutions (controlling operations of the nuclear waste tank farms), and Washington Closure (providing waste management and cleanup efforts, including the decontamination and demolition of facilities along the Columbia River).
Richland is also the home to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) since 1965. One of the two Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory sites is located immediately north of Richland, as well as other smaller high-tech businesses.
Richland hosts an important food processor, ConAgra/Lamb-Weston. The Tri-City area is also the center of a booming Washington wine industry; many vineyards, large and small, cover the Columbia Basin.