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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A timeline of Telect Inc. history

UPDATED: Wed., July 26, 2017

September 1982: Founded in Spokane Valley by husband and wife team, Judi and Bill Williams. Their first employee is their son, Wayne.

1985: Company grows to 40 employees with sales of $4 million. Original investors bought out by Williamses.

1987: Telect forms Telect Fiber Optics Inc., aimed at the federal government and medical industry as its biggest clients. Offices located in Dallas, Chicago and Reston, Virginia.

1988: Company builds new $4 million, 65,000-square-foot plant. Customers include General Telephone, United Telephone, Contel, U.S. West and Bell operating companies. Annual sales at $7.5 million with 125 employees.

1989: Sales exceed $12 million and the company has 200 employees. Moves corporate headquarters to Liberty Lake, a 75,700-square-foot building on a 10-acre site near Appleway Avenue and Molter Road.

1991: Telect turns around an order for a supplier to the Desert Shield war operation in two days, instead of the usual 120: jackfields for testing, patching and restoration of telephone service for Anchorage-based Alascom, which allow soldiers to call home and send and receive facsimile messages.

1992: Ships first fiber optic cable to Mexico in August to Telefonos de Mexico.

1994: Telect opens office in Mexico, but primary manufacturing remains in Spokane area. The company has 350 employees and operates in Australia, New Zealand and England. Wayne Williams is named president, succeeding his father, Bill, who remains chairman of the board and CEO.

1996: Announces plans to build a production facility in Guadalajara, Mexico, blaming state and county regulations and taxation. Company now employs 650 people in Liberty Lake, with a payroll of $20 million annually. Lands a record $2 million contract for security control system at the Washington County Justice Complex in Oregon, a 540-bed facility.

1997: Wayne Williams succeeds father as CEO. Company employs 820 people worldwide, with the majority in Liberty Lake. Sales are $75 million annually.

1999: Company revenues are $148 million. CEO Williams predicts, “The internet is seriously changing your life.” The company employs 1,100 employees worldwide. The Williamses hire Tom Simpson, first “outside” director in company history.

2000: Purchases a factory in Wroclaw, Poland, from Siemens AG; gains 175 employees with the deal.

2000: Leases a 20,000-square-foot factory on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Workforce stands at 1,800 worldwide. Announces plans to go public and raise $150 million in the offer. The company’s customers include AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Walker and Associates, and Worldcom. The company reaches its peak in terms of sales and number of employees: $265 million with 2,300 employees.

2001: 1,100 jobs cut worldwide. Annual revenue falls to $140 million.

2002: Pulls out of Brazil and announces more layoffs. Global employee head count at 630, with 300 employed locally. Annual revenue falls to $70 million.

2004: Moves 25 local jobs to Mexico. Buys Hendry Products, a California-based producer of power units, cases and telecom accessories, and acquires a manufacturing plant in Plano, Texas, as part of the deal.

2008: Cuts 47 positions and sells Poland operations.

2014: Closes Plano plant, laying off 116 workers there.

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