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Press Release

Wednesday, October 10

AWB Announces Manufacturing Excellence Awards as Statewide Bus Tour Visits Eastern Washington

Pearson Packaging Systems and The McGregor Company, two of four companies being honored this year, were recognized Wednesday during stops in Spokane and Ritzville

PASCO— The Association of Washington Business announced two of four 2018 Manufacturer of the Year awards Wednesday during stops on a seven-day statewide bus tour highlighting the state’s manufacturing sector.

The McGregor Company, a 136-year-old family-owned agriculture company with locations throughout the Pacific Northwest, was named the association’s 2018 Manufacturer of the Year. AWB President Kris Johnson announced the award Wednesday during a visit to the company’s Ritzville location.

Pearson Packaging Systems of Spokane was announced as the recipient of the 2018 Manufacturing Excellence award for Innovation earlier in the morning.

AWB is Washington’s oldest and largest business association and also serves as the state’s manufacturing association. A total of four manufacturers will receive Manufacturer Excellence awards this year. The formal award presentations will take place in November at a ceremony in Seattle.

The two awards were announced Wednesday during AWB’s weeklong manufacturing tour. AWB’s tour bus began the day with a tour of Wagstaff, a Spokane Valley manufacturer of equipment used to transform molten aluminum into solid shapes.

The tour moved to Hotstart Engine Heating, also in Spokane Valley. This fourth-generation, family-owned company employs 210 people and manufactures high-quality engine heaters for diesel engines. It also stopped at Pearson Packaging in Spokane; The McGregor Company in Ritzville; Columbia Pulp near Starbuck; Dunham Cellars in Walla Walla, and Northwest Wine Services in Burbank before stopping in Pasco for the night.

Manufacturing supports nearly 20,000 jobs in Spokane and Walla Walla counties, with average annual wages are about $53,000.

“Manufacturing is vital to Washington’s economy, even as our economy grows and evolves,” AWB President and CEO Kris Johnson says. “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.”

Spokane County supports 15,451 manufacturing jobs and Walla Walla County supports 3,837 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.

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.

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