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Advanced Manufacturing

Manufacturing plays a critical role in the Mid-Willamette Valley economy, with more than 13 percent of all private-sector jobs in this key industry.

As markets and technologies have evolved over time, the region's highly competitive manufacturing industry has continued to improve its value to customers and innovative practices. Many of the region's firms compete globally, and the region's manufacturing sector has an extensive supply chain that supports this robust and growing industry.

>>Read the Advanced Manufacturing edition of Enterprise magazine.

Industry Snapshot

  • Firms
  • Employees
  • Average Wage
  • 702
  • 18,155
  • $40,387

Top Manufacturing Employers:

  • Garmin AT
  • 3D Plastics
  • A-Dec Inc
  • Panasonic Eco Solutions
    Solar America
  • GK Machine
  • Meggitt Oregon
  • Cascade Steel
  • Climax Portable
    Machine Tools
  • Imex America Corp.
  • ATI
  • Universal Forest Products
  • PPG Industries
  • Vans Aircraft Inc.
  • Cabinet Door Service
  • Denezol Tool Co.
  • Forest River
    Manufacturing
  • Freelin Wade
  • GEM Equipment
  • A.R.E.
  • Blazer Industries
  • UTC Fire and Security
  • Layton Manufacturing
  • Littau Harvester Inc.
  • Marquis Corp.
  • Microflect Co.
  • Modern Building Systems
  • Specialty Polymers
  • Steffen Systems
  • Taylor Metal Products
  • Ulven Forging Co.
  • West Salem Machinery

The Mid-Willamette Valley is located less than an hour south of metropolitan Portland in a prime location between California and Washington. The area is served by Portland International Airport for passenger and cargo flights within 50 miles of Salem, and the Port of Portland operates a seaport facility, as well.  Cargo is also flown out of Salem’s municipal airport, located within the city limits.

Aerospace and technology are growing sectors here, with large companies investing in the region, such as Garmin AT, Meggitt Polymers & Composites of McMinnville, and Panasonic/ Sanyo Solar, which manufactures polysilicon crystals for use in high efficiency solar panels.

These companies have invested in the Mid-Willamette Valley for its low real estate and development costs, low cost/high-quality labor, and stable, affordable utilities. These factors, coupled with shovel-ready, customizable property, global accessibility, and no local business license fees, sales tax or inventory tax, make the Mid-Willamette Valley of Oregon an exceptional place to do business.

Workforce

The area is home to Willamette University, Western Oregon University, Corban University and Chemeketa Community College and rests within one hour of 80,000 college students between Portland and Eugene. Thirty eight of the largest state agencies are based in Salem. Private sector employers and public officials aggressively collaborate on creative, industry-driven and proactive approaches to supporting the workforce development needs of the region’s employers. SEDCOR has documented skill sets of outstanding employees and works with education to train those skills.

In addition, a solid support structure is in place with a local community college that has 3-D printers on campus that are used to train the next generation of manufacturers. Companies in the region have been highly successful participating in the multi-school Multiple Engineering Co-Op Program (or MECOP) engineering internship program, hiring interns as permanent employees.  

Manufacturing Industry Groups

Manufacturing Sector
Businesses
Employees
Avg Wage
  • Apparel
  • Chemical
  • Fabricated metal
  • Furniture and related
  • Machinery
  • Miscellaneous mfg
  • Nonmetallic mineral
  • Plastics & rubber
  • Printing/other support
  • Textile product mills
  • Transportation equipment
  • Food and beverage
  • 9
  • 21
  • 110
  • 50
  • 44
  • 65
  • 17
  • 18
  • 35
  • 13
  • 21
  • 216
  • 263
  • 400
  • 1,348
  • 935
  • 1,079
  • 1,637
  • 216
  • 561
  • 444
  • 82
  • 785
  • 6,972
  • 27,717
  • 52,756
  • 44,440
  • 30,307
  • 56,014
  • 54,440
  • 45,317
  • 37,310
  • 34,261
  • 28,622
  • 37,785
  • 31,093

Recent investment in the region

Truitt Family Foods
(Food Processing)
Equipment for new product line
14 new jobs

NORPAC
(Food Processing)
Consolidated corporate office to Salem
100 new jobs / $5M capital investment

Garmin AT
(Aviation/Aerospace Technology)
54,000 sq. ft. R&D Facility
70 new jobs / $11M capital investment

GK Machine, Inc.
(Advanced Manufacturing)
120,000 sq. ft. expansion
40 new jobs / $10M capital investment

Forest River inc.
(Trailer Manufacturing)
Purchased site in Silverton to expand manufacturing capacity
60 new jobs

Willamette Valley Fruit
(Food Processing)
Purchasing of fruit processing business by Inventure Foods
5 new jobs / $3M capital investment



Strategic Economic Development Corporation is the lead economic development agency for Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley. The 400-plus member nonprofit association leverages strong public and private partnerships to aggressively retain and attract high value jobs and capital investment. SEDCOR remains Oregon’s largest economic development group.

In 2014, SEDCOR played a pivotal role in bringing $40 million in capital investment to the Mid-Willamette Valley, creating or retaining more than 514 jobs.

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