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Press Release

Friday, October 5

AWB Manufacturing Tour Visits Olympic Peninsula Employers

OLYMPIA — Employers and employees celebrated Washington manufacturing today and signed the Association of Washington Business tour bus as it crossed the Olympic Peninsula as part of a weeklong manufacturing tour.

AWB’s custom-wrapped tour bus began the second day of a seven-day statewide tour with a visit to the Composite Recycling Technology Center near Port Angeles. State Rep. Mike Chapman, Port Angeles Mayor Sissi Bruch and Councilmember Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin joined the tour in Port Angeles.

David Walter, CEO of the Composite Recycling Technology Center, described the the innovative uses they are developing for scrap carbon fiber, which is being turned into everything from Pickleball equipment to park benches.

“I think there’s an amazing transition that’s going on right now,” Walter said. “We’re privileged to be a part of it. We’re seeing some of the more traditional type of manufacturing, say timber, combined with high-tech. We’re looking at combining carbon fiber with wood products and that’s happening here in Clallam County … There’s a lot of cool things happening in Clallam County right now.”

Chapman, D-Port Angeles, continued to the next stop at Port Townsend Paper Corporation where he was joined by Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Dungeness. The company employs 295 people, recycles one third of the state’s cardboard and contributes more than $660 million a year to the regional economy.

The tour continued to Sierra Pacific and Green Diamond Resource Company in Shelton.

Manufacturing supports 4,100 jobs in Jefferson, Grays Harbor and Mason counties, with average annual wages that range from $43,092 to $53,432.

“Manufacturing is vital to Washington’s economy, even as our economy grows and evolves,” AWB President Kris Johnson said. “Manufacturing continues to offer a solid pathway to the middle class with an average wage of more than $72,000 a year and opportunities for advancement. AWB is committed to working with our state and federal officials to support policies that allow Washington employers to succeed and continue creating jobs for working families.”

Jefferson County supports 640 manufacturing jobs; Grays Harbor County, 2,524 manufacturing jobs; and Mason County, 936 manufacturing jobs.

Statewide, Washington state’s economy is home to 282,431 manufacturing jobs at 7,326 different employers.

AWB’s 2018 Manufacturing Week tour began Thursday in Lacey. The seven-day tour is scheduled to include more than 1,400 miles and dozens stops in every corner of the state, from paper mills to airplane manufacturers to wineries and farms.

This is AWB’s second-annual Manufacturing Week tour, coinciding with the nationwide Manufacturing Day celebration Oct. 5.

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Follow AWB’s 2018 Manufacturing Week tour in real time and download new content daily on AWB’s Olympia Business Watch blog, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr accounts, and Vimeo channel.

For high-resolution photos from AWB’s Manufacturing Week tour, including print-quality photos from today’s tour of this area, visit http://bit.ly/MFGtour18-Flickr-Photos. All photos are free for media use in print and online. Contact AWB Photo Editor Brian Mittge at BrianM@awb.org with any technical questions about photos.

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