EDC applied to a federal grant to identify workforce training needs and technical assistance for small towns developing infrastructure. We continue to be engaged with, TiP Strategies, who conducted additional interviews with community leaders and provided us with a detailed SWOT analysis. In terms of leads we have a data center that is interested in our community and see continued interest from distribution centers. Finally, the companies we visited last month are intent on growing their businesses her in Lewis County. Please read on for more detailed information of these subjects.

 

Community & Workforce Development

Federal Grants:

The EDC has applied for a Federal grant to give technical assistance to small communities and identify workforce skills gaps. When funded, we will retain a “Circuit Rider” that will assist small towns in Lewis County who will provide technical assistance for infrastructure planning, and capacity building. When the project is successfully funded, we will retain a consultant to study and identify job skill gaps and develop solutions to fill those gaps. The focus will be on entry level and medium level skilled jobs and will focus on solutions that range from college training programs to on the job training.

 

TiP Strategies:

TiP Strategies returned for their second trip this last month. The consulting team presented an economic assessment of the community, which included relevant demographic and economic statistical data, as well as a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the community. So far, the consulting team has conducted 18 stakeholder interviews and 4 focus groups to gather qualitative data about the community. TiP Strategies will travel to Lewis County again in September. The consulting team will present key sector analysis and continue with stakeholder interviews and focus groups during their next visit. Anyone wishing to provide input into this process please contact us.

 

Marketing

New Website:

The EDC has launched a new website that is more user friendly and maintains a consistent feel across our brand. Our website contains information to be used by real estate professionals, site selectors, and members. Please check out our website www.lewisedc.com and let us know what you think.

 

Datacenter:

We are working with a client that intends to build a small datacenter and they are currently reviewing a 15,000 square foot building. Their building will host a number of servers to store and transfer data across the internet. We anticipate that this company will be making a decision in the next six months.

 

Business Retention & Expansion

ESCO Pacific Signs:

Duane Taylor, the owner of ESCO Pacific Signs ran his first business, a gas station, while still a senior in high school. Following his graduation and trade school training he began work at an automotive shop while moonlighting as the manager of a school bus fleet. Soon he caught the bug for entrepreneurism and purchased the Centralia & Chehalis Texaco rebranding it as the Taylor & Sons Texaco. Thirteen years later Duane decided to sell the company and bought a Goodyear franchise in Tumwater. Soon thereafter he sold that company and worked with Kevin Klumper until an opportunity came three years ago to buy out Dale Swayze’s ESCO Pacific Signs. The company secures permits, and then designs, manufactures, installs, and repairs signs. Since then the staff has grown and the company has flourished. They now have 8 employees after adding an additional journeyman electrical sign technician.

 

Pryor Giggey:

Pryor Giggey Co. was founded in 1948 by E.K. Pryor and T.E. Giggey as a refractory distribution business in Santa Fe Springs, California. They are now a leading refractory manufacturing and sales organization headquartered with products that serve many industries including, aluminum foundries, power generation, petrochemical, cement, copper, glass, steel, and iron. They are a small operation, only 7 employees, and would like to add another full time employee but find it hard to find people interested in the kind of labor they do.

 

For questions regarding the EDC’s activities please contact Matt Matayoshi matt@lewisedc.com or (360) 748-0114