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One of the fundamental missions of Port districts in the State of Washington is the creation of family-wage jobs for the communities we represent. The Washington Public Ports Association (WPPA) annually recognizes ports across the state for their exceptional contributions to job creation, community engagement, innovative partnerships, and environmental stewardship. The Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority (CDRPA) is honored to have been presented the 2024 Outstanding Job Creator Award for our staff’s exemplary work on the Microsoft Data Center projects.

The CDRPA’s support in Douglas County and successful recruitment in Chelan County of the Microsoft Data Centers will result in an approximately 2.4 billion investment in each county, marking a 11% rise in assessed value for Chelan County and a 26% rise in assessed value for Douglas County. These are the largest single private investments in each county's history. These substantial investments will generate significant revenues that can be reinvested in local communities, promoting sustainable economic development, and ensuring job availability for years to come.

To attract and support these projects, the Regional Port collaborated extensively with local governmental partners. These strong partnerships, unified by a vision of a sustainable and growth-oriented economy, helped the Port present a compelling case to Microsoft. The Port made substantial contributions and investments throughout this process, such as strategic land acquisitions and the construction of essential infrastructure.

The economic impacts of the data center developments are significant. Each data center will create around 75 jobs per building, with six buildings each planned for the Douglas County and Chelan County sites. This growth is vital for the valley, enhancing job opportunities and increasing assessed property values. Commissioner Mark Spurgeon noted, "Data centers will provide family wage jobs without overloading the community with new residents."

These projects have had a significant "trickle-down" effect on the local economy. For instance, the investment in the Malaga waterline not only supports the data centers but also provides essential infrastructure for further residential and commercial development in the area. This comprehensive development ensures long-term community benefits and economic resilience. Commissioner Donn Etherington reiterates the importance of this, stating, "In addition to the jobs being created, Microsoft has funded millions of dollars in upgrading the Malaga water system that will allow additional growth in the community. None of this would have been possible without the vision, commitment, and hard work of the Port staff, engineers, attorneys, and our community partners. The CDRPA Board of Commissioners wants to thank all those who contributed to the success of this project but especially to Microsoft for the investment they have made in our communities."

The Regional Port Authority is honored by the WPPA's prestigious recognition.