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Schweitzer labs adds 300 jobs

Tue., Feb. 5, 2008, midnight

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc. will add 300 positions in 2008, most of them at its Pullman headquarters, the company announced Monday.

Spokeswoman Susan Fagan said SEL employs more than 1,000 engineers, technicians, assemblers and salespeople on a campus that has grown to include 10 buildings. A manufacturing facility completed last fall doubled capacity to more than 200,000 square feet, she said.

SEL makes products and provides services to monitor and control electric power systems.

About 100 positions are listed at the company’s Web site, More will be added as the year progresses, Fagan said, noting that SEL added 248 new positions in 2007.

She said finding all the engineers and other skilled workers needed is a challenge for SEL, but companies in other areas have the same problem.

“We find that people are looking for a high quality of life, and that’s what Pullman offers,” with its educational opportunities, low crime, little traffic and easy access to outdoors activities, Fagan said.

“Right now, you could probably cross-country ski to work,” she said.

Fagan said SEL expects sales to grow at least 18 percent this year as it continues to expand its lines of electrical equipment and expands into new niche markets and geographic areas. International sales constitute 30 percent of SEL’s total already, she noted, with Central and South America especially fast-growing.

With virtually every U.S. utility as a customer, Fagan said, the company has found new customers in government, the military, industry and commercial applications where power reliability is important.

“Our sales in certain industrial sectors are very strong and growing, especially in the petroleum industry,” SEL President Ed Schweitzer said in a prepared statement.

Schweitzer founded SEL in 1984. The company now employs more than 1,500 at 64 sites around the world.

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