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THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 2014, 12:27 P.M.

New aerospace manufacturer plans up to 150 jobs in Airway Heights

A sheet metal fabrication company based in Kent, Wash., announced today that it will bring a new 150,000-square-foot plant to Airway Heights.

Exotic Metals Forming Co. could employ up to 150 people once the plant is in operation. The aerospace manufacturer plans to fill the new facility south of McFarlane Road at Lawson Street.

The 56-acre property is being purchased from Spokane International Airport which helped recruit the company to the Spokane region.

The company makes machined sheet metal parts for the aviation industry, including Boeing. It’s a privately held company formed in 1966 with 900 current employees.

Doug Gines, vice president and COO of Exotic Metals, said the company spent six years searching internationally for a site before settling on the Spokane region.

He said one of the area’s attributes that attracted the company was the type of workers it could hire here.

Gines said the company places a premium on having high-quality employees in a people-oriented culture. “It’s really about our people and the culture our people represent,” he said.

“We were looking for people who thought like us,” Gines said.

Exotic Metals will be eligible for a reduction of the state business and occupation tax granted by the Legislature last fall as an incentive to Boeing Co. and the aerospace industry.

In addition, the state contributed $200,000 to pre-planning work under the governor’s strategic reserve fund for economic development. That money was administered by Greater Spokane Inc., which acts as the region’s economic development organization along with its chamber of commerce.

Also, a state work training grant of $100,000 is available to the company as it gears up. Again, GSI is handling the money.

Other incentives came from Airway Heights, which is paying two-thirds of the cost of bringing a Spokane city-owned sewer line to the site at $167,000. Airway Heights will also make improvements to the intersection of McFarlane and Craig roads within the next six years.

Airway Heights officials also granted a guarantee that it would review building permit plans within 48 hours of being submitted, said City Manager Albert Tripp.

Airway Heights officials also said they are hoping the new plant will be the first step in creating an Aerospace Center for Excellence in that city.



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