Could Rock Island become a hub for technology?


At last night’s city council meeting in Rock Island, councilmembers heard a presentation on how the city can become a hub for technology and the future of developing Rock Island’s waterfront.

On this morning’s Wake Up Wenatchee Valley, Rock Island Mayor Randy Agnew joined host Dan Kuntz to talk about his vision for Rock Island and the Greater Wenatchee Valley.

Could Rock Island become a hub for technology?

“If you look at Silicon Valley and what happened down there, that started because they built a chip manufacturing plant,” Agnew said. “I don’t know how many employees a chip manufacturing plant uses but look what happened.”

Agnew says looking at how Silicon Valley grew from the plant could be similar to how data centers impact this region.

“I see the data centers as the same opportunity for our valley, they are the anchor, and I want to bring in the programmers and educational facilities and other software companies to use those data centers,” Agnew said. “I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for our Valley.”

Agnew cited the disappearance of some orchard properties as cue for transition.

“Ag is still important, but we’re transitioning,” Agnew said. “It’s my opinion that we should be looking at high-tech, clean jobs.”

The Mayor used Sand Point, ID as an example for what Rock Island could be.

“Sand Point is a neat little town where you can walk around in the evening during the summer and there’s a little band playing here in the park and a band playing there– we could make Rock Island a really nice little community for that sort of thing,” Agnew said, adding that the city of Rock Island has been looking at ideas for a theme for Rock Island.