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KNKX Connects: Host previews special broadcast in Skagit Valley

Skagit Valley is working to diversify its economy. All Things Considered host Ed Ronco talks about that and other stories ahead of our KNKX Connects broadcast.
Parker Miles Blohm
/
KNKX
Skagit Valley is working to diversify its economy. All Things Considered host Ed Ronco talks about that and other stories ahead of our KNKX Connects broadcast.

MOUNT VERNON, WASH. — Today, All Things Considered broadcasts from Mount Vernon City Library for KNKX Connects to Skagit Valley. Host Ed Ronco talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick — live from Edgewater Park on the banks of the Skagit River — about some of the stories you’ll hear this afternoon 3-6 p.m.

While many people think about the Tulip Festival when they picture Skagit County, the agricultural roots run deeper than that.

“Agriculture is a really important industry here and the people who run farms are deeply proud of their work,” Ronco said. “But actually, local economic officials say in terms of dollars, ag is Skagit County’s 11th biggest industry. What’s first is manufacturing.”

He noted that advanced manufacturing is at the center of Skagit’s economy.

“For example, I visited an aerospace supplier in Burlington that makes and repairs the interiors of passenger jets,” Ronco said. “Everything you touch on the inside of the next flight you’re on — flight attendant call buttons, reading lights, window shades.”

More generally, Ronco says, Skagit Valley is ripe with programs looking to diversify the economy.

“We’re smack in the middle of 6 million people, equidistant from Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.,” he said. “And the folks we’re talking to feel well positioned to adjust to a changing economy, really no matter what happens over the next few decades.”

Listen to the full conversation above.

Don’t miss the rest of our special reporting from Skagit Valley during our live broadcast in Mount Vernon this afternoon at 3.

Kirsten Kendrick has been hosting Morning Edition on KNKX/KPLU since 2006. She has worked in news radio for more than 30 years. Kirsten is also a sports lover. She handles most sports coverage at the station, including helping produce a two-part series on the 50th anniversary of Title IX and the ongoing series "Going Deep."
Ed Ronco came to KNKX in October 2013 as producer and reporter for KNKX’s Morning Edition. Ed started in public radio in 2009 at KCAW in Sitka, Alaska, where he covered everything from city government, to education, crime, science, the arts and more. Prior to public radio, Ed worked in newspapers, including four years at the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, where he covered business, then politics and government.
Kari Plog is an award-winning reporter covering the South Sound, including Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap counties. Before transitioning to public radio in 2018, Kari worked as a print journalist at The News Tribune in Tacoma.
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