Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories will open a Spokane Valley office in September.
It is the company’s first office in Spokane County. About 40 employees commute from the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area to Schweitzer Engineering’s Pullman headquarters, and many of them could work at the new office, company spokeswoman Tammy Lewis said.
The engineering and manufacturing company is renovating a 7,000-square-foot office space at 3808 N. Sullivan Road. The company will lease the space – which had been a National Car Rental office – from Crown West Realty, according to a Monday news release from Schweitzer Engineering.
The new office also will house research and development functions.
Dave Whitehead, vice president of research and development, said it makes sense for employees to “work in the office nearest to their homes,” if their job function allows it. Within the past year, Schweitzer Engineering built a 109,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Lewiston, 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.