You may have heard that US Mat Systems is moving into the long-shuttered Longview Fibre mill in Chelan County. Company officials opted to move operations from Oregon to the Winton site for a number of reasons, including access to a Canadian market, access to rail at the site, and low-cost power. The company builds specialty wood and steel mats for oil rigs using proprietary designs that are protected by patents. It is no doubt a “win” for the region.
But that is only part of the story. Several key partners joined forces to bring the company to Chelan County. The Washington State Department of Commerce played a key role in the company’s relocation efforts. The Port of Chelan County provided critical information on the site, while also participating in the relocation effort. The North Central Washington Economic Development District worked with partners and the Office of Financial Management to assist in the reimbursement of accrued relocation expenses. Other partners are poised to assist with employment needs.
To North Central Washington, the relocation of this particular company means up to 100 new full-time-equivalent positions. It means an investment in the site of $1.3 million. And it means that a multimillion-dollar company with an international client base will be our new neighbor.
In order to make this happen, several entities banded together to serve where they could. No single entity had the ability to provide all the necessary functions. Collaboration was necessary, and it worked.
There is now a hustle and bustle to the new US Mat Systems site, the first activity seen on the property in several years. It’s a welcome and positive addition to the region.
Jennifer Korfiatis is the executive director of the North Central Washington Economic Development District. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org