The Association of Washington Business toured several local manufacturing and research centers during its sixth-annual Manufacturing Week bus tour, which visited 30 businesses Oct. 6-13.
The Mid-Columbia leg included stops at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland and Columbia Label in Benton City.
Manufacturing week highlights the importance of manufacturing to Washington state and draws attention to the state goal of doubling the payroll over 10 years. Manufacturing employs 265,000 in Washington, according to AWB.
“If we’re going to double manufacturing in Washington, we must invest in our young people to ensure we have a trained and educated workforce to fill the new positions,” said Kris Johnson, AWB president.
At PNNL, AWB met with scientist Scott Whalen for an update on its metal extrusion process. AWB honored the technology during its 2021 Green Awards, recognizing PNNL’s work to develop Shear Assisted Processing and Extrusion (ShAPE), a new technology for processing aluminum and other metal alloys and composites that allows for greatly reduced energy consumption and fewer greenhouse gases
PNNL employs 5,300. According to AWB, 14 companies with roots at PNNL formed in the past decade and are still in business with $24.6 million in revenue and more than 110 employees.
Columbia Label began in Seattle in 2000 and moved to Benton City in 2008. It is the only wine label printer on the West Coast with three new HP indigo digital presses It is also the only wine label printer with an all-woman management team.