The Port and all of Grays Harbor needs Chuck Caldwell, the current Port Commission President, to serve another term as Port Commissioner.
Early in my service as the Grays Harbor Chamber of Commerce executive, I realized the Port of Grays Harbor was the “economic engine” pulling and pushing Grays Harbor ahead.
All who are associated with the Port of Grays Harbor must be particularly proud of their recent successes and growth; even in the middle of an economic recession in other sectors of our economy. This growth is especially true of the last 12 years of Port Commissioner Caldwell’s service. While he has served and provided leadership as commissioner, with his constructive relationship with the other commissioners and excellent staff, the Port has grown by 400 percent.
The amount of diversification and private investment at the Port in this last decade is phenomenal and unprecedented. As cargo volumes grow, and continue to diversify, so do the employment opportunities for local workers.
During Commissioner Caldwell’s term, the Port has seen the return of about 90 longshore and hundreds of other waterfront jobs with fine wages. We now handle thousands of automobiles across our docks. The Midwest agricultural giant AGP has made a large investment in infrastructure in cooperation with the Port, suggesting a long-term relationship with our Port.
Imperium Grays Harbor, one of America’s leading production facilities for the manufacturing of biodiesel, has operated safely since beginning. The Port has also become a base for a bulk petroleum storage facility owned and operated by Westway Terminals, which has a long history of operating with no negative environmental consequences.
The Port, true to our economic base, is again an export center for round logs by private business; and provides a point of operations and shipping for other value added timber businesses. There are many other Port successes, far too many to include here. The most positive thing to acknowledge is that there has been a remarkable amount of diversification and job creation at the Port’s Aberdeen/Hoquiam properties and terminals, Bowerman Airport, Westport Marina, and now Satsop Business Park during Chuck Caldwell’s tenure as commissioner. In Grays Harbor’s economy, none can take job creation and business diversification for granted nor dare we stop progressing.
When my ballot arrives in the mail, I will vote for Chuck Caldwell for Port Commissioner to assure that we will continue to diversify our cargo base and uses of Port property, resulting in badly needed job creation on the Harbor.