Designer Knives Pay Dividends to Clackamas Manufacturer
Benchmade Knife now employs 180 workers and exports its designed manufactured knives to customers in 40 countries.
December 17, 2009
SALEMState officials today announced Governor Ted Kulongoski's recent award of a grant from the state's Strategic Reserve Fund to Novellus Systems, Inc., intended to help offset workforce training costs associated with the company's announced consolidation of its manufacturing operations in Tualatin.
The company's consolidation is expected to result in the creation of more than 100 new jobs at its Tualatin facility. Novellus Systems, Inc., was founded in 1984 in San Jose, California, and is a leading provider of advanced thin film deposition and surface preparation equipment used in fabricating integrated circuits for the global semiconductor industry. The company has maintained a plant in Tualatin since 2000.
"This is great news for Oregon and our advanced manufacturing sector," said Governor Kulongoski, in announcing the award. "Technology leaders such as Novellus remain an integral part of one of Oregon's key industry sectors, and we have every intention of helping those companies expand here."
The Strategic Reserve Fund grant will help offset a small portion of the training costs associated with Novellus Systems' investment in Oregon. The state will forgive repayment of the award based on new jobs created and maintained at the Tualatin site through mid-2012. Novellus Systems has an extensive in-house training program in Tualatin, and plans to train new employees there.
State officials said Novellus' decision would help shore up Oregon's critical advanced manufacturing base.
"We continue to focus our economic development efforts on helping existing Oregon companies grow and prosper, said Business Oregon Director Tim McCabe. "The recent predictions of an end to Oregon's advanced manufacturing leadership are obviously false given Novellus' decision to increase its investment and expand its manufacturing operations here in Tualatin."
Novellus officials said support from state government played a critical role in the company's decision to expand its Tualatin operations.
"The consolidation of our manufacturing operations in Oregon was enabled by the foresight of the Oregon Governor and Legislature to support business in their state," said Rick Hill, CEO and Chairman of the Board for Novellus Systems. "Novellus is an international company, supported by a global workforce. Our employees live and work around the world, and our ability to maintain their employment is paramount to us. Our search for business-friendly environments throughout the world is never-ending, since it is essential that we remain competitive for our employees and shareholders. We will continue to migrate our business infrastructure to regions where government supports job growth. Oregon has taken a major step to help companies compete abroad, and their support is a great first step in helping to maintain employment here in the U.S."
Novellus has engineering and manufacturing facilities in San Jose, California, and Tualatin, Oregon, as well as sales and service operations in 13 countries.
Business Oregon works to create, retain, expand and attract businesses that provide sustainable, living-wage jobs for Oregonians through public-private partnerships, leveraged funding and support of economic opportunities for Oregon companies and entrepreneurs.