July 15, 2006 in Business

Huntwood Industries will add 200 jobs

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Huntwood Industries, already Spokane county’s biggest manufacturing employer, has plans to add 200 workers this year to keep up with product demand, the company announced Friday.

The new hires will push the Liberty Lake-based cabinetmaker’s head count to more than 1,000 workers, said company President Tim Hunt. Huntwood currently employs 850 people.

An additional 700 workers are expected to join the company over the next three years if demand for Huntwood cabinets continues growing, said Hunt.

Most of those jobs are for cabinetmakers, assembly workers and machine operators, a company press release said. Salaries vary with work experience.

Last year the privately held company moved into a 560,000-square-foot production plant and office building in Liberty Lake. In its former location, at the Spokane Business and Industrial Park, the company could produce 1,100 cabinets a day. The new site is designed to handle up to 5,000 cabinets per day.

Hunt said the company also hopes to expand sales in existing markets in the Northwest and Southwest and enter new markets in other parts of the country. More than 90 percent of its sales are west of the Mississippi River, he said.

Huntwood’s two major urban markets are Spokane and Seattle, said Hunt.

The company’s boom in production in the past five years has been fueled by the hot U.S. housing and remodeling markets, company officials have said.

Even though new housing starts have slowed as interest rates have risen, Hunt said in an interview that the company’s projections show continuing heavy demand for cabinets, both for homes and offices.

“Even if the housing market is down by 10 percent from what it was, that’s still a very huge volume of total business for our products,” he said.

Unlike other segments of the U.S. wood products industry, domestic cabinetmakers like Huntwood have increased their market share compared with overseas producers. Much of that growth is due to fast delivery of products and the ability to offer consumers a broad range of styles and options, industry officials have said.

Hunt suggested job-seekers phone the company or visit its Web site ( www.huntwood.com).


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