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.