Designer Knives Pay Dividends to Clackamas Manufacturer
Benchmade Knife now employs 180 workers and exports its designed manufactured knives to customers in 40 countries.
In late 2011, Columbia PhytoTechnology announced plans to move and expand its production facilities from Washington to The Dalles in early 2012. Columbia PhytoTechnology specializes in powder production, particularly of fruits and vegetables, for the food, beverage, nutritional, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries.
"It is important for our economic growth to assist companies like Columbia PhytoTech in their expansion efforts to create quality jobs in The Dalles," said Rep. John Huffman (R-The Dalles). "I appreciate the coordinated efforts and teamwork of all those involvedfrom the city, port, state and companyto make this expansion project happen."
The company dehydrates fruits and vegetables into specialized products using its patented Radiant Zone Drying (RZD) technology, which it considers far superior to standard freeze-dried products. For example, the process allows the company to preserve the high nutritional value of such substances as vitamin C in its RZD strawberry powder.
Business Oregon partnered with the company to help finance the move with a $50,000 forgivable loan from the Governor's Strategic Reserve Fund. The company planned to add more than a dozen jobs as a result of the expansion at its new Oregon facility. The company has grown from eight employees in 2008 to nearly two dozen in 2011.
"We are very pleased at Columbia Phylotechnology's recent decision to relocate its operations to The Dalles," said Tim McCabe, Director of Business Oregon. "The addition of increased production and more than a dozen new employees in 2012 will mean benefits for the community and the state."
The project resulted from a successful partnership effort by Business Oregon, the Port of The Dalles, the Oregon Employment Department, Columbia Gorge Community College and the city of The Dalles.
Oregon workers' compensation rates have declined or remained neutral for the last 20 years, a national record.