first_img Redmond, Oregon Highlights Manufacturing Industry Redmond Economic Development Inc. (REDI) featured a community tour of key businesses recently, highlighting a good mix of companies including Mountain High Aviation Oxygen Systems, Poltex, Chase Doors and Eberhard’s Dairy that represented different sizes, histories and lifespans and industries.In an effort to help educate Redmond’s community leaders on the city’s wide range of manufacturing companies, Redmond Economic Development, Incorporated (REDI) held their second annual, Made In Redmond tour recently. Offering up their support for the industry and REDI’s goal of shining a light on business successes, the Redmond City Council proclaimed the first Friday in October as, Manufacturing Day in Redmond.“We have seen substantial growth here in Redmond,” exclaims REDI manager, Jon Stark. “The tour helps to highlight that. We want to do a tour every year on this day.”Roughly fifty participants met at city hall to visit four local businesses. Educators like Sandy Cloud from Redmond Proficiency Academy, industry leaders including Windemere Real Estate realtor Barbara Myers and Redmond Mayor George Endicott and Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone piled into two busses for the four hour tour. The tour, which targeted industry and community leaders who could then communicate what they learned back to the community, was sponsored by High Country Disposal and Columbia Bank.The last stop on the tour’s agenda was for lunch at Central Oregon Community College’s new 30,400-square-foot Technology Education Center. The gathering for lunch included a recap of the tour, discussions on what was learned and general networking. Educators spoke of their programs aimed at giving students a head start in the business world while businesses illuminated guests on their products distribution and exports locations.“There was a great turnout, great comments and really good networking,” says Myers, who is also a REDI board member. “I learned a lot about the companies.”REDI met their goal of highlighting a good mix of companies by including four (Mountain High Aviation Oxygen Systems, Poltex, Chase Doors and Eberhard’s Dairy) that represented different sizes, histories and lifespans and industries.EBERHARD’S DAIRYEberhard’s Dairy, with over 100 employees, has been a Redmond fixture for six decades. They are a full line Processing Dairy supplying milk, buttermilk, half & half, chocolate milk, whipping cream, sour cream, cottage cheese and ice cream across the western United States.“One thing that was very interesting to me was how many other companies Eberhard’s Dairy packages and distributes for,” explains Myers. “Also, the length of tenure of their employees speaks to their good work environment.”In addition to the Eberhard’s brand, they are responsible for products from companies such as Good Humor ice cream, Organic Valley dairy products, Umpqua ice cream, and Zoi Greek Yogurt, to name a few.“It was great to hear Bob Eberhard speak about how they were conceived,” adds Stark.POLTEXOn the opposite side of the employee and history spectrum, Poltex, began fabricating products out of acrylic, PETG and polycarbonate plastics in 2013.“It’s amazing how many different things Poltex can do for their clients,” says Myers.MOUNTAIN HIGH AVIATIONMountain High Aviation Oxygen Systems, established in 1985, employs fifteen to make state-of-the-art aviation oxygen systems. With over 35 percent of their sales exported, they fit perfectly on the tour’s companies list.CHASE DOORSThe final business on the tour was Chase Doors. Beginning in 1932, Chase Doors has grown to be the world’s oldest and largest manufacturer of double-acting impact traffic doors and specialty doors. They employ over 300 people worldwide, including 90 in Redmond. Their size and export prowess makes them one of the top manufacturing companies in Redmond.“We received a lot of great feedback from the tour, including internship inquiries,” says Brian Cooley of Chase Doors.For the last five years Redmond has shown itself as Central Oregon’s manufacturing mecca by regularly outpacing state and county numbers. This recent growth is lowering building vacancy rates and providing higher-than average paying jobs to the area.According to the Q2 2013 report by Damon Runberg, Regional Economist with the Oregon Employment Department, a quarter of all Deschutes County manufacturing jobs are located in Redmond. In addition, Deschutes County manufacturing jobs, on average, pay $43,000, as compared to the $37,700 average of total jobs in the county.In 2012, Redmond’s 9 percent manufacturing growth outpaced Deschutes County’s 5.6 percent growth. As of Q2 2013, Redmond had 56 manufacturing companies, 995 jobs and a $40 million payroll, delivering products worldwide. Another bonus to Redmond’s manufacturing climate is the diversity in products. In terms of employers, Primary & Fabricated Metals has 269 workers, wood products has 171 workers, and Computer & Electronic Product Manufacturing has 99 workers.Taking a longer view, including the years 2010 through 2013, Manufacturing Employment Growth in Redmond came in at 21.7 percent, while the county sat at 8.6 percent and the state recorded 7 percent.“We expect the need for talent to rise, as will the wages,” explains Stark, who has been with REDI since 2008.As companies move to Redmond, unoccupied buildings get new tenants. Compass Commercial Real Estate Services magazine, Compass Points reported the Redmond Industrial Vacancy for Q2 2014 at 18.3 percent. However, because of several new companies moving to town, the number is probably closer to 15 percent by now. The Q2 2014 numbers were down mostly due to Altrec vacating a 35,000 square foot building, but, new-to-Redmond companies are moving into standing buildings.So far in 2014, Redmond has seen substantial growth in both the number of companies in Redmond, and the number of jobs added. Organic herbal supplement maker, Oregon Wild Harvest, and precision manufacturer BasX Solutions moved into vacated buildings this year. In addition, titanium product manufacturer, PCC Schlosser has added nearly 100 employees over the last two years. Also, aviation research, design & development group, RDD Enterprises’ workforce has grown by 30 percent over the last year.Looking towards the future, the City of Redmond and REDI are currently identifying industry targets to encourage relocating to Redmond. Specifically, they are courting medical device manufacturing companies, aviation businesses, including Unmanned Ariel Systems, and Plastics. While cheaper lease rates and move-in costs rank high, REDI still believes the number one reason companies move here is lifestyle.Doing their part, the City of Redmond continues to attract new businesses through its Open for Business slogan. Besides the inviting motto, they are offering business incentives such as property purchase assistance, tax savings, and permit fee reductions.“The City continues to evaluate and deliver high quality services to businesses,” says Stark. “The senior leadership understands the importance of attracting new businesses to the area.”Many of the last year’s successes are built upon a 2011 decision by the city of Redmond to promote, Economic Gardening or a strategy that pushes job growth in smaller companies by providing those businesses with specific resources they otherwise might not have access to.Included in the strategy is the Industrial Opportunity Fund providing forgivable loans to new building costs. While most companies are currently searching for existing buildings, the fund will help once existing buildings become scarce.www.rediinfo.com E-Headlines By Gregg Morris CBN Feature Writer Facebook Pinterest 0 Google+ LinkedIn Share. Twitter Brian Cooley with Chase Doors explains their fabricating process to tour goers. Photo Courtesy of Timothy Park Photography. on October 14, 2014 Tumblr Emaillast_img read more