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Schweitzer Engineering to open Spokane Valley office

UPDATED: Mon., July 16, 2012, 3:24 p.m.

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories will open an office in Spokane Valley in September.

The engineering and manufacturing company based in Pullman is renovating a 7,000-square-foot office space at 3808 N. Sullivan Road. The company will lease the space, which formerly was a National Car Rental office, from Crown West Realty, a news release from Schweitzer Engineering said.

The company has about 40 employees who commute to jobs in Pullman from the greater Spokane area, said company spokeswoman Tammy Lewis. The new office could house some of those workers, as well as research and development functions.

Dave Whitehead, vice president of research and development, said in a news release, “If they can do their job functions from there, it makes sense to have them work in the office nearest to their homes.”

Within the past year, Schweitzer Engineering built a 109,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Lewiston, Idaho, also largely to accommodate commuting employees. Some 132 people work there.

The Spokane Valley office will accommodate up to 48 people.

Schweitzer Engineering, which manufactures protection, monitoring and automation devices for the electric power industry, is owned by its employees.

Lewis said decisions about further expansion in Spokane would be governed by whether “it makes sense to our customers and our employee owners.”

The company hasn’t had trouble recruiting to Pullman, she said.

Schweitzer Engineering employs more than 3,400 people worldwide, the news release said. About 1,900 people work in the company’s 11 buildings in Pullman, Lewis said.