Newsletter – July 2018
Our potential for business expansion continues; interest from industrial sectors looking into the area continues as well. We are excited to provide a spotlight on one of our local businesses. Nelson Design and Manufacturing is a local business that provides product to stores throughout the northwest. Our economy continues to thrive as we are headed to historic low unemployment numbers.
Business Retention and Expansion
One of the objectives of the EDC is to assist local businesses in their expansion efforts. Oftentimes this means helping them connect and grow their businesses. We had the opportunity to do this with Anderson’s Fabrication. Pioneer Truckweld, a company that recently moved into the area, makes dump bodies and trailer pups and was in need of a local business to fabricate parts. We connected the two companies and Anderson’s Fabrication successfully provided the required parts. Lionell said, “Anytime new business comes to the area we love to connect with them to see if we can be of help. We are grateful to the EDC for helping us make this connection.” Hopefully the companies will find more business for each other in the future. Anderson Fabrication recently added powder coating to their list of services. You can learn more here: http://andersonsfabrication.com
Nelson Design & Manufacturing
CD Nelson Commercial Fixtures has been in business for over 30 years ago. The company manufactures store cabinets that are sold to independent grocery stores like Top Foods and Haggens. The company also sells its product to natural medicine facilities and businesses that operate mini stores. Four years ago, Ian Nelson bought the company from his father and changed the name to Nelson Design & Manufacturing. The company sells their products to facilities managers of large businesses and also sells via word of mouth. The company currently has a great crew of five employees, a great company, and a great product. They do not have a website but if you ever want to reach out to them, hopefully with potential business, they are located at 702 W. 3rdSt, Centralia WA.
Last year we connected Impact Washington, a lean manufacturing consultant, with SA Tech to train their workforce. SA Tech just completed their program a few short weeks ago and we stopped in to check on how they felt their experience went. Bob Bishop, Chief Operations Officer, said, “It was a really good experience that we are glad we participated in. We learned a lot of valuable things, some quantifiable and some unquantifiable.” As a result of the training one of the biggest things they have noticed is that their employees are much more engaged. “Employees felt like they had an influence over their roles. They could move equipment and change processes to be more efficient”, Bob said. The interaction between office and production staff also increased and led to greater understanding of the business. One fairly innocuous thing at first but with a harmful compounding effect on the business suprising thing was the role of incomplete paperwork. SA Tech has lots of momentum right now, with new presses for their product, and recent expansions on their campus everything is looking up. You can learn more about the company and its products at: http://www.smartcellsusa.com
Our community has a labor force of roughly 33,482 people, with 94% currently employed. This means our current unemployment rate is sitting around 6%. Total employment increased by almost 1,000 people compared to last year. Our primary industries which include things like logging, mining, and manfucating have stayed mostly the same, employee wise, year over year. Industries that have experienced some growth are transportation & warehousing, retail, educaton & health services, and leisure & hospitality. The largest increase in jobs came from state and local governments, particularly in government education. There are roughly 3,404 total business establishments in our county with over 66% of them having 1-4 employees and another 17% having between 5-9 employees.