The forest products industry continues to be a major component of our economy and continues to have a promising future in Lewis County.
EDC is getting closer to completing our strategic plan and will have a draft completed this fall.
Our recruitment efforts continue to show promise as we continue to work with a number of companies that are showing interest in Lewis County.
Community & Workforce Development
TIP Strategies will be presenting a draft strategic plan in October and completing their process this fall. The plan includes programs for improving organizational effectiveness, more effective business retention, and improved recruitment of new industry and companies to Lewis County. From their research our community’s greatest strengths are Centralia College with its workforce training and the new TransAlta Commons building coming this winter. Centralia College continues to respond to the needs of industry by adding a new Mechatronics program. The plan will articulate how to leverage these strengths to attract and retain primary employers in our community.
Lewis County’s Forest Products Industry:
The EDC August membership luncheon hosted a presentation on the forest products industry. Lisa Perry of Sierra Pacific Industries provided insight into the industry that provides great amount of investment and job opportunity in our community. Timber related jobs provide an estimated 5,600 jobs in Lewis County. The average wage for individuals working in the industry is $56,000. Washington is the second largest timber producing state. Approximately 89% of Lewis County is made up of forest land and bout 52% of that is working forest the remaining 48% is reserved and not actively managed. The future of the industry will have components of innovation in developing new products such as “Cross Laminated Timber,” new technology to bring people off the ground and into machinery to make the job safer. There are shifts and changes including growth in the industry; Sierra Pacific will be starting a new mill in Shelton next year. Sierra Pacific has a large footprint in our community and produces one million board feet of lumber a day.
Forest Products Workforce:
EDC has begun discussions with Centralia College and the forest products industry about their workforce needs. The forest products supply chain is made up of road construction, saw mills, trucking & transportation, reforestation, and other components. We are working together to ensure we have people trained to work in the woods and at advanced mill environments. Forest products are one of our key sectors and continues to be a pillar to our economy in Lewis County.
We have five active leads: a medical manufacturer, three distribution centers, and then one smaller manufacturers. Our leads come from “Site Location Partnerships”, site selectors, business owners, and the Department of Commerce. When a lead contacts us they are curious about available properties and incentive packages. Particularly the tax exemptions that are available through the State of Washington as well as funds for site infrastructure.
Business Retention & Expansion
Title Guaranty Company:
Title Guaranty Company began in 1959 when five mortgage company managers got together and formed the company when one of the employees went to the local county office and copied all the public documents associated with property in Lewis County. The company now has nineteen employees and provides insurance against land purchases.
Meri Hamre, the current manager, was born and raised in Morton. Her mission and vision is to grow our county and create a place where all of her kids want to come back to. She wants to bring jobs of substance to our community and to that end she and Title Guaranty participate in many of the economic development groups in the region. Since the county moratorium on new development was lifted Meri hopes to see new infrastructure and new residential developments come to the area.
SA Tech is a manufacturer of a proprietary fatigue decreasing mats, flooring, and insoles. They are expanding the footprint of their facility; the expansion will increase their space by 5,000 sq. ft. The EDC is working to resolve SA Tech’s challenges related to their expansion.
To the side of the main office building lies two unassuming steel building that house five massive rubber presses, a rubber making machine, and rubber extruders. From start to finish rubber arrives at their facility, it is extruded, cut up, and placed onto presses, and then formed into the company’s stress relieving mat floors. They are assembled to certain sizes and shapes and then shipped out to the eager customer.
Business Succession Seminar
As an owner of a company you may want to consider a long term exit strategy or transition. There is a great opportunity coming up in Tumwater to here from experts in the field of business succession planning. The seminar will host presentations from a: business broker, attorney, CPA, management consultant, and financial institution representative. They will cover topics that include: selling your business to a key employee, selling to a family member, selling to a third party, and closing the door as options to exit a business. Please click the link to learn more about this upcoming event.
For questions regarding the EDC’s activities please contact Matt Matayoshi firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 748-0114