Designer Knives Pay Dividends to Clackamas Manufacturer
Benchmade Knife now employs 180 workers and exports its designed manufactured knives to customers in 40 countries.
The world's largest social networking site, Facebook, is currently building their first data storage center in Oregon. The company utilized two Business Oregon programs with their choice of a state certified industrial site that was located in a long-term rural enterprise zone in Prineville. The 147,000-sq-ft facility has created 1,000 construction jobs during the 12-month build out. By early 2011, the just completed first phase already employed 43 full-time workers. That number is expected to grow with the completion of the 160,000 square-foot phase II construction, which was moved up and is already underway.
Business Oregon, Crook County, the city of Prineville and the team at the Economic Development for Central Oregon were instrumental in negotiations and bringing the $190 million data center to Prineville. The project's second phase is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011.
The company also announced it would begin making annual donations of $105,000 to assist Crook County non-profits. In addition, as part of its qualification for tax breaks through the designated enterprise zone, the company will pay a $110,000 annual "community fee" beginning in 2012.
Consistent with Oregon's sustainable focus, the data center will be one of the most energy efficient facilities of its kind and it has already exceeded its goal of achieving LEED gold certification. Its green mechanical strategies include an efficient evaporative cooling system that will be operated up to 70 percent of the year, for the rest of the year an outside air economizer will be utilized. A portion of the heat generated by the project's thousands of servers will be captured and re-used to heat office spaces. Other sustainable features include the use of rainwater for landscaping and gray water; low-VOC finishes; use of Energy Star-compliant appliances; and low-flow fixtures and toilets.
A 2011 report by Ernst and Young on the best states for business, pronounced Oregon has the second-lowest business taxes on new investments.