Economic Alliance Director's Corner: Hydrogen Project, Post COVID Summit Coming to Lewis County


Note: This content was produced by the Economic Alliance of Lewis County, which publishes a monthly print supplement in The Chronicle focusing on economic news and commentary.

These are exciting times for Lewis County and your Economic Alliance of Lewis County is hosting two key events I believe are important to our future business environment.

Post Covid Summit

Set for June 15, this Post Covid Summit will feature a panel of speakers including state elected officials, economists and representatives from the Washington Policy Center. Topics include supply chain disruptions, human resources needs, logistics and the changing times we are living in.

The “Covid Unmasked” event is detailed in an advertisement on page 2 of this supplement to The Chronicle. We have all been so impacted by impacts of the Covid virus, which has now been haunting us since March of 2001. It’s time to put the virus in the rear-view mirror.

One of the aims of the Economic Alliance of Lewis County is to assist area businesses into profitability and expansion. This summit will offer practical ways to move forward as it appears the virus is finally on the wane.


Hydrogen News Forthcoming

The headlines have been captivating: “Centralia, Lewis County Can Expect Multi-Million Dollar Hydrogen Investment.”

I’m poised, with the assistance of many partners, to reveal exciting news of investment into Lewis County. We’ll make the announcement on May 12 as elected officials gather for first the news and then marketing and future development needs.

Already the state Legislature has funded $2.5 million to build the county’s first hydrogen fueling station at the Port of Chehalis Industrial Park off LaBree Road. This is measuring up to being a major opportunity for Lewis County for decades to come.

I apologize for the wait, but it is important to unveil this key development by starting with bringing elected officials together for a presentation. For the public, a project of this depth will need plenty of public hearings, allowing for the participation and input from the citizens of Lewis County.

The key to success, as always, is building alliances among the many entities that drive our county’s economy. It is one of the reasons we changed our name to the Economic Alliance of Lewis County.

I’m extremely heartened by cooperation where in the past there were too many people pulling in all sorts of divergent directions and the defense of turfs and fiefdoms that pop up over time. It is Lewis County’s time to shine. Let’s pull together for our common good.


Richard DeBolt is a former state Representative and House Minority Leader.