Made In Redmond Tour: Creators Wanted! | Redmond Economic Development Inc.
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Made In Redmond Tour: Creators Wanted!

Made In Redmond Tour: Creators Wanted!


Proclaimed by Mayor George Endicott, the first Friday in October is “National Manufacturing Day” and Redmond Economic Development Incorporated (REDI) recently held its 8th Annual Made in Redmond Tour on October 2nd, 2020.

This year’s theme “Creators Wanted!” was hosted by Jon Stark, Sr. Director of REDI with emcees, Samantha O’Connor and Allen Schauffler, Co-Anchors of Central Oregon Daily News. Today’s manufacturing combines innovation and technology with hands-on skills to create products of every kind from building materials, aircraft parts, textiles, and even favorite food and beverages. Thanks to technology and the teamwork of REDI’s partners and sponsors, the virtual tour included three local traded sector companies that make unique world-class products right here in Redmond.

Poltex: Paul Filipowicz, a former microbiology lab technician started making benchtop organizers out of acrylic to maximize his small workspace. Co-workers in the lab and visiting hospital employees took notice. Having no mechanical background, he taught himself CAD and machining and began making organizers as a side business out of a garage in 2001. Eventually, business and creativity paid off, launching Poltex into a full time operation in 2012.

Risse Racing: Kevin Risse founded Risse Racing in 1991 in Santa Clara, CA. His first products were lightweight rear suspension shock absorbers and air pumps used for downhill bicycle racing. Eventually, Risse’s work expanded into the automotive and aviation industries. Risse’s Redmond presence began when he partnered with Lancair to make a shock absorber for its landing gear. Finding Central Oregon’s cycle friendly community along with an array of experimental aircraft companies, Risse Racing decided to relocate its headquarters to Redmond.

Composite Approach: In 1996, Brian Harris dove into the composite aircraft builder assist industry, developing his expertise in aircraft and composites. Over the next several years, his journey expanded into broader advanced composite industry launching Composite Approach in 2006. General Manager Sam Meier guided attendees on the tour of the company explaining its vast industries they serve such as: aviation, automotive, recreational vehicles, fuel cells and ocean vessels. Their latest creative endeavors now include the space industry through satellites, and renewable energy through eco-friendly water turbines. Composite Approach offers its clients the resources through project research, design engineering and manufacturing giving clients the full service spectrum to help turn intangible innovation into reality.

Cities across the nation celebrated with Redmond on National Manufacturing day, honoring the traded sector. According to the most recent Census Bureau data:

·         Manufacturing is the 5th largest employer nationwide.

·         There are 11.9 million manufacturing employees

·         Average annual payroll per employee is $60,260

·         Nearly 6 in 10 US export dollars comes from manufacturing totaling $902.1 Billion dollars

In Redmond, OR:

·         1550 total manufacturing jobs in Redmond

·         27% of Deschutes County’s Manufacturing jobs are in Redmond

·         98% wage growth in manufacturing from 2010-2019

·         88% expanded employment (2010-2019)

While these numbers represent a prosperous industry in a pre-pandemic economy, innovative thinking solves problems and turns ideas into thriving businesses.

Companies everywhere are managing disruptions in their businesses and manufacturing companies are collaborating with elected officials to ensure a resilient economic recovery from COVID-19. REDI had to re-think how to make this tour happen and through imagination and a lot of creativity, the tour was a success.

REDI hosts this tour each year to remind its community leaders of the importance of helping local businesses build and expand operations as well as bring new traded sector companies to operate their businesses in Redmond. With the region supporting manufacturing, these businesses are creating jobs for residents, contributing to the city tax base, and offering products from local businesses, resulting in a thriving and prosperous business climate.

REDI was able to present this tour using an extraordinary virtual and “watch party” platform. Watch the entire 8th Annual Made in Redmond Tour on the REDI YouTube Channel. Click on the photo collage to begin.