Industry growth, 2014 to 2021: 8.6%
Average earnings per job: $73,043
Industry jobs: 7.478, 43% above national average
Manufacturing Success in Spokane Valley
Manufacturing drives the economy of Washington State. In 2019, the state was home to 299,000 manufacturing employees. Manufacturers in the state accounted for 11.21% of the total output in 2018, employing 8.45% of the workforce, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. The Spokane Region is home to a thriving and growing manufacturing industry. With quality transportation logistics and low costs, it is no wonder manufacturers succeed in Spokane Valley.
Low Costs of Doing Business
Spokane Valley's advantage begins with its low taxes. The city does not impose a local Business and Occupation tax. It is also home to friendly worker's compensation rates that keep costs low by basing the rates on hours worked rather than the wages paid.
Additionally, the Machinery and Equipment Sales and Use Tax Exemption is available to manufacturers performing manufacturing and R&D. Qualifying activities include the purchase of qualifying machinery and equipment used directly in a manufacturing operation or research and development performed by a manufacturer, or testing operations performed for a manufacturer.
Available Workforce, Customized Training Programs
Impact Washington provides programs and tools to make manufacturers more globally competitive. With a variety of consulting and training services, Impact Washington has a 20-year history of creating measurable impacts for manufacturers.
Impact Washington's improvement model reduces lead times, improves efficiency, productivity, and quality by eliminating non-value-added activities. Gain knowledge in how to do more with less with Impact Washington's Lean Training and certification programs.
Learn more about Impact Washington's training and complete list of programs.
Sampling of Top Manufacturing Companies
Honeywell Electronic Materials (HEM), a unit of Honeywell International, develops and manufactures chemicals and specialty materials used in the production of semiconductors, flat-panel displays, and printable electronics, as well as in photovoltaic (PV) applications. HEM is part of Honeywell's Performance Materials and Technologies segment, one of the industrial conglomerate's smaller operating groups.
Hotstart thermal management solutions delivers performance-improving heating and cooling technologies. The company is focused on using innovation beyond expectation and collaborative partnerships.
Kaiser Aluminum Corporation is a leading producer of semi-fabricated aluminum products. Manufacturers and major suppliers around the world look to Kaiser to deliver highly engineered solutions for their most demanding aerospace, automotive and industrial applications.
Mercer Mass Timber
Mercer International acquired the 270,000-square-foot former Katerra Inc. facility in Spokane Valley in August 2021. The company will utilize the new factory to produce cross-laminated timber products.
MacKay provides engineering and purchasing professionals with precision manufacturing services and industry-leading processes. In the medical field, it serves designers of endoscopic, arthroscopic, orthopedic, and vascular instruments.
Wagstaff, Inc. is a Spokane Valley manufacturer that provides machinery, technology, and service to enable aluminum producers to transform molten aluminum into solid shapes - "billets" (rounds) and "ingots" (slabs) using "direct chill" casting.
The Spokane region is equipped with the transportation logistics to move products across the U.S. Conveniently located on I-90, Spokane Valley manufacturers can make easy use of this freight corridor to carry both international and domestic interstate and intrastate trade. Additionally, north-south routes provide access to Canada - only 110 miles to the north - as well as Mexico.
Class 1 railroads Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Sante Fe both ship nationally out of the Spokane Valley switching yard. On the direct Seattle to Chicago line for both railroads, Spokane Valley is the gateway to and from the interior U.S. and the Pacific Rim, with efficient east-west access and reciprocal switching capabilities matched by only a few regions nationwide.
Welcoming New Industries
With a skilled labor force and significant transportation options, Spokane Valley is a great location for launching or expanding a business. We are excited to welcome new industries. Below are three that we are well suited for.
Spokane Valley lives at the intersection of green tech innovation and manufacturing making our city the perfect location for developing new ways to reuse the byproducts of production.
Waste is an inevitable fact of the manufacturing process. But with innovations developed here in Washington State, the byproducts of manufacturing of aerospace parts, fiberglass turbines, and steel products can be recycled and repurposed into new products.
Many of the largest manufacturers in the world are setting the stage:
- Boeing, one of the largest manufacturers in our region, joined forces with UK-based ELG and developed a proprietary method to recycle waste cured composites, a byproduct of airplane manufacturing, so this material will not end up in a landfill.
- Global Fiberglass Solutions, a Washington-based company, takes decommissioned wind turbines and turns them into materials that can be used in the manufacturing of products such as boards, furniture, and packaging.
- Vestas, based in the Northwest and one of the largest wind turbine manufacturers in the world, was the first to announce plans to eliminate non-recyclable waste from the manufacturing, operation, and decommissioning of its wind turbines by 2040.
This trend of finding new uses for manufacturing byproducts keeps waste materials out of landfills and creates new revenue streams-indeed, whole new industries-for the manufacturing sector.
Local Recycling Companies
Spokane Valley is a base for recycling in the area. Local companies include Thermo Fluids Inc., Recycle Techs, Clark's Recycling, Universal Recycling, Torre Refuse and Recycling and Baker Commodities Inc. In the region, look to Earthworks Recycling and Action Recycling.
Engineered Wood Manufacturing
With the rising demand for environmentally-friendly wood products, the City of Spokane Valley is uniquely positioned as a hub for this eco-friendly industry. With the Composite Materials and Engineering Center at Washington State University, major innovations in this sector are happening right here. Researchers at the school are working on a new type of housing material that uses heat-treated wood and recycled carbon fiber used in Boeing airplanes, which are manufactured here in Washington state.
Businesses in this sector have taken notice. Katerra Inc., a global manufacturer of engineered building materials, opened a facility in Spokane Valley in 2019 that produces cross-laminated timber (CLT). CLT is a sustainable material used in the construction of commercial and multi-residential applications. Katerra operated the facility for about a year and then filed for Bankruptcy in June 2021, but the factory was quickly acquired in bankruptcy court by Mercer International Inc. in August 2021 for $50 million. Mercer is a global forest products company with operations in Germany and Canada.
David Gandossi, CEO of Mercer, spoke to the company's interest in the developing CLT market: "We are pleased with our ( impending) acquisition of the (Spokane Valley) facility. It represents an attractive entry point for us into the CLT business with a near new state-of-the-art facility. It fits well with our strategy to expand in the solid wood products space and aligns with a core value to provide sustainable and carbon reducing alternatives for a warming planet."
And north of Spokane Valley in Colville, Wash., Vaagen Timbers recently opened a similar plant, also making CLT and glulam beams. Vaagen, a much smaller manufacturer focused on the western U.S. market, primarily sources its material from forest restoration activities in forests that are sustainably harvested.
Extracting & Timber Manufacturing Incentives
Wind Manufacturing & Supply Chain
The U.S. wind market has grown substantially over the years into an increasingly complex and well-connected supply chain. There are more than 500 U.S. manufacturing facilities specializing in wind components such as blades, towers, and generators, as well as turbine assembly across the country.
The industry is growing in Washington State and Spokane Valley is well-sited for a new or expanding business. With support from Washington State government's mandate to use 100% clean energy by 2045, local energy producers are investing in innovations in renewable energy technology. The state is home to 10 wind farms (with more in development), many of which are located in eastern Washington, as well as numerous wind-related manufacturing businesses. In 2019, the industry employed more than 3,000 workers in the state and paid $19 million in annual state and local tax payments (by wind projects).
Spokane Valley offers engineering talent and an experienced workforce in steel and heavy machinery manufacturing. With WSU Pullmans' professional degree in electrical power engineering and existing concentrations of aerospace and metal and plastics production, the City of Spokane Valley is an attractive home base for manufacturers of wind turbines.
Washington Wind Facts
- Installed Wind Capacity (MW): 3,108 MW
- State Ranking for Installed Capacity: 11th
- Wind Projects Online: 20
- Number of Wind Turbines: 1,725
- Under Construction Wind Capacity: 737 MW
- Advanced Development Wind Capacity: 144 MW
2019 Wind Generation:
- Share of In-State Energy Production: 7.3%
- Equivalent U.S. Homes Powered: 708,600
2019 Jobs and Economic Benefits:
- Direct Wind Industry Employment: 3,001 to 4,000
- Wind-related Manufacturing Facilities: 10
- Cumulative Wind Project Investment: $6.5 billion
- Annual Land Lease Payments: $20 million
Spokane County is home to the largest labor market in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Eighteen universities and colleges have a presence in the area, and nearly 90,000 students study within an 80-mile radius. When combined with local job skills and apprenticeship programs, these resources make building a highly skilled employee team fast and simple.
In addition to local graduates, Fairchild Air Force Base provides a working pool of retired military and military spouses. The largest jobholder group is 25 to 34 years old.
Learn more about the region's workforce.
View or print our Spokane Valley manufacturing brochure (PDF).