If you have ever worked in Oregon’s tourism industry, as a part-time, seasonal or full-time employee and/or as a business owner, you are encouraged to participate in, and share, the survey.
To view this email as a web page, go here.
Tourism Workforce Analysis Survey
In 2018, Oregon’s travel and tourism industry generated $12.3 billion in visitor spending. Visitation to the state is at an all-time high. Everyone in the industry, from frontline staff to the creatives behind the state’s marketing campaigns, makes a difference in visitors’ experiences in Oregon.
Travel Oregon continues to receive feedback that workforce development is an issue, but little research has been completed to understand the root causes of these concerns. To better realize what opportunities exist to support the advancement of tourism-related jobs in Oregon, Travel Oregon has developed the Oregon Tourism Workforce Survey.
The objective of this survey is to develop a broader understanding of the workforce development landscape in Oregon so workforce development programming can be identified and prioritized to meet the needs of the industry.
Please complete the survey by Nov. 15 >>>
(The survey is available in English and Spanish.)
The North Plains Chamber has created the North Plains Community Facebook page with Chamber Members as Administrators. This page is not affiliated with the City of North Plains or its employees.
The Admins are all volunteers and help to run this page solely out of the goodness of their hearts. The goal is to keep the community informed on events, history, local meetings and happenings in our town, along with healthy and constructive conversations between all of us. These are your friends, neighbors, teachers, gas attendants, waitresses and business owners.
Let’s be exceptionally helpful, lead with respect, and grow our amazing community in a positive way. Please read and follow these rules to continue to be a part of the group:
There are rules implemented to make everyone’s life here easier. They are as follows:
- No spamming with multi-leveling marking posts or click bait.
- Slandering a specific person or small local business is highly frowned upon and can/will result in a muting or ban.
- Small businesses in our area feel free to post once per day if it applies to you. Local farms included.
- Please refrain from publicly shaming people unless you have filed a police report and are actively searching for a vehicle/person.
- Politics are fine if they are local to our area.
- Make it a goal to positively impact your community online and in person.
- PLEASE feel free to share history, stories, photos, events in town, and any other information that may be beneficial to the community.
- Look at the list of Admins and find one with whom you will be comfortable. When it comes time to tag an Admin, use your tagging power if you think a post should be examined.
- PM (private message) your Admin of choice if you’re iffy on what it is you’re posting. They can reassure you if it is page appropriate or not.
- Garage sale posts are fine but personal sales (like classified ads) are not.
- Freedom of speech does not apply to Facebook groups, period.
- Try to keep the content related to North Plains or our general area (Forest Grove, Helvetia, Cornelius, Banks, Hillsboro).
DID YOU KNOW YOUR BUSINESS CAN ADVERTISE IN THE CITY OF NORTH PLAINS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER?
CITY POLICIES FOR NEWSLETTER ADVERTISING:
RATES: Businesses may advertise in the newsletter. Rates for businesses vary. Please see the chart below.
DUE DATE: The electronic document must be received by the 15th of the month prior to publication.
NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS: Non-profits located within the City of North Plains may advertise in the newsletter at no charge (space availability dependent).
YOUTH ATHLETIC LEAGUES: Youth athletic leagues that accept North Plains residents may have up to one half page ad at no charge (space availability dependent).
ELECTRONIC DOCUMENT TYPES: Only electronic documents will be accepted. Information must be in a word document/PDF/JPEG that is print ready.
PLEASE NOTE: Advertisements may be deferred by up to one month if they cannot fit within the newsletter format which is limited to 8 pages per month.
All information will be printed in black, white and grey scale.
Since ads are likely to be viewed by children, they cannot feature speech or images that would be considered profane by a prudent person.
Information in ads cannot discriminate against any protected class.
The City retains sole authority to determine if an ad is suitable for the newsletter.
Payment must be made to the City of North Plains before the advertisement will be printed.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any inquiries related to advertising in the City of North Plains newsletter.
ADVERTISING RATES FOR THE CITY NEWSLETTER
Businesses located within the 97133 area:
- Full page advertisement…$110.00
- Half-page advertisement…$55.00
- Quarter-page advertisement…$30.00
North Plains Chamber Member Businesses located outside the 97133 area:
- Full page advertisement…$120.00
- Half-page advertisement…$65.00
- Quarter-page advertisement…$40.00
Non-Chamber Businesses located outside of 97133 area:
- Full page advertisement…$130.00
- Half-page advertisement…$75.00
- Quarter-page advertisement…$50.00
Tualatin Valley Explorer: Fall Preview
Tualatin Valley at Work: Summer 2019
If you have not done so already, go to this link to rent and download RED, WHITE AND BLACK – THE OREGON WINE STORY from Bertony Faustin on Vimeo.
Red White & Black documentary is an official selection of the 2018 MegaFest International Film Festival and the 2018 Capital City Black Film Festival.
Bertony is owner of Abbey Creek Vineyard with the wine-tasting room in the City of North Plains.
Here is a link to a story in the Forest Grove News Times featuring our Chamber Member, Jeannine Murrell, Farmers Insurance in Cornelius.
WAY TO GO, JEANNINE!!
HB 2020 is scheduled for a House vote on Monday! It’s important that legislators continue to hear from local businesses about the real concerns with HB 2020—specifically fuel, natural gas, and propane
HB 2020 is scheduled for a House vote on Monday! It’s important that legislators continue to hear from local businesses about the real concerns with HB 2020—specifically fuel, natural gas, and propane cost increases.
The revenue impact statement was posted to the Legislature’s website, which laid out the impact of the bill on Oregonians, stating:
- The bill would raise $1.3 billion when it takes effect in the 2021.
- An immediate 22 cents a gallon increase at the pump in 2021, increasing to $3 a gallon by 2050.
- The new 54-employee bureaucracy required to implement the bill would cost about $23 million in the coming two-year budget cycle, with potentially significant increases in the future.
You can read the full article in The Oregonian here.
While we support efforts to ensure that our state remains a national leader in addressing climate change, HB 2020 poses a serious threat to Oregon businesses and would significantly increase the cost of living for everyday Oregonians. To put it simply, HB 2020 is just not ready for prime time.
Tell your legislator that this damaging bill will hurt everyday Oregonians and local business. Vote NO on HB 2020.
Contact your legislator now
The Oregon Prosperity Project on a Gross Receipts Tax
Tell Your Legislator
The following information announcement from the Oregon State Chambers of Commerce (OSCC) is to keep you informed about legislative actions.
The OSCC is recommending opposition to the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 379. Please read through the information and if you have additional questions, you can access thewebsite here.
If you oppose the Bill, you can respond through the OSCC Action Alert below, or communicate directly with our State Senator and Representative. If you support this Bill, please send a separate email and DO NOT use the Action Alert link.
Senator Chuck Riley 503-986-1715
900 Court St NE, S-303 Sen.ChuckRiley@oregonlegislature.gov
Salem, OR, 97301
Representative Janeen Solman 503-986-1430
900 Court St NE, H-487 Rep.JaneenSollman@oregonlegislature.gov
Salem, OR 97301
Advocacy in Action
SUPPORT EMPLOYER’S RIGHT TO DRUG FREE WORKPLACE! – OPPOSE SB 379
Advocacy in Action
SUPPORT EMPLOYER’S RIGHT TO DRUG FREE WORKPLACE! – OPPOSE SB 379
Maintaining safe workplaces is a primary concern for OSCC members. SB 379 would prevent an employer from enforcing a drug-free workplace policy for individuals testing positive for marijuana.
If the Legislature enacts SB 379, Oregon employers of all sizes would be in an impossible situation. Oregon law and federal law would be in conflict.
In addition, it would be almost impossible for Oregon businesses to reconcile SB 379 with their obligations to maintain safe workplaces that do not endanger other employees, the public or the customers they serve.
Here’s why OSCC opposes SB 379
SB 379 is in direct conflict to the Oregon Supreme Court’s decision in the Emerald Steel case, which held that Oregon employers are entitled to enact ‘zero tolerance policies’ on marijuana use.
In 2010, The Oregon Supreme Court ruled in the case of Emerald Steel Fabricators, Inc., v. Bureau of Labor and Industries, and found that the use of medical marijuana, though authorized by state law, was an “illegal use of drugs” under federal law, which preempts state law in these circumstances.
The Court held that employers can lawfully take adverse employment actions against employees based on their use of federally-illegal drugs. It upheld an employer’s right to implement ‘zero tolerance’ drugfree workplace policies.
In 2014, employer rights were again upheld by Oregon voters who voted in support of Measure 91, which specifically precluded “amend[ing] or affect[ing] in any way any state or federal law pertaining to employment matters” (Section 4. Article 1).
SB 379 is preempted by the Drug-Free Workplace Act.
Maintaining a drug-free workplace ensures the safety and well-being of employees, the public, and the customers they serve. Furthermore, employers with federal contracts are required to maintain drug-free workplaces as a matter of federal law.
The Drug-Free Workplace Act requires employers who receive grants or contracts from the federal government (construction companies, hospitals and long-term care facilities, among others) to ensure that their workplaces are drug-free. Drug testing will not reveal whether an employee with marijuana in his or her system used it during working hours or during “non-working hours” (a term in SB 379 that might be interpreted to include meal breaks), much less whether the marijuana was used on the employer’s premises or not. This would make it impossible for an employer to comply with the federal requirements.
There are no recognized tests for impairment due to marijuana use.
The exception in SB 379 for off-duty marijuana use that impairs employees’ performance on the job cannot be implemented, because currently, there is no recognized test for whether an employee is “impaired” by the use of marijuana (off duty or not). Current testing protocols can do no more than confirm whether an employee has marijuana in their system, not whether it results in impairment or being “under the influence.”
Without a drug test that measures impairment, an employer’s efforts to maintain a safe work environment are compromised.
An employee’s use of legal prescription drugs is already protected.
Both the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Oregon disability law require an employer to reasonably accommodate an employee’s disability and the treatment of a disability with medication, including situations in which off-duty use of medication affects the employee’s performance at work. A well-developed body of federal and state case law tells an employer whether an accommodation is or is not “reasonable.” SB 379, on the other hand, imposes no such limitation: an employer may not limit employees’ off-duty use of any lawful substances except to the extent it causes an impairment at work or relates to a bona fide occupational qualification.
Dear Chambers of Commerce, Business Associations, Employer Groups, Trade Associations, and Interested Parties,
Later this month, the Oregon State Treasury will begin sending out notices to employers across the state about its new retirement savings program, OregonSaves. We wanted to make sure you knew that these notices would be going out, and we are hoping you might be able to help us raise awareness about the program’s rollout.
If you have any questions about OregonSaves, please contact our Client Services Team at 844-661-1256 (employer assistance) or 844-661-6777 (employee assistance). You can also email email@example.com.
Materials about OregonSaves can be found online at http://www.oregon.gov/retire/Pages/Newsroom.aspx, including an animated video that explains what the program is and how it works, a PowerPoint presentation and recorded webinar, and informational flyers in English, Spanish, and Russian.
The Oregon State Treasury is launching a new program called OregonSaves that may impact your business, clients, and members. OregonSaves is a simple and convenient way for workers to save for retirement. It allows them to save a part of each paycheck through payroll deductions facilitated by their employer and invest their savings in professionally-managed investment options in a Roth individual retirement account. The account is also portable, allowing them to take it with them from job to job.
Any business with employees that does not sponsor a qualified retirement plan* will need to register to facilitate OregonSaves for its employees. The registration process is designed to be simple in order to limit any burden on employers. Employers can choose to offer their own retirement plans to some or all of their employees instead of participating in the program.
The program is scheduled to roll out in phases, and the State will let employers know when their phase will begin. The deadlines for employers to register to facilitate are as follows:
· An employer employing 100 or more employees: November 15, 2017
· An employer employing 50 to 99 employees: May 15, 2018
· An employer employing 20 to 49 employees: December 15, 2018
· An employer employing 10 to 19 employees: May 15, 2019
· An employer employing 5 to 9 employees: November 15, 2019
· An employer employing 4 or fewer employees: May 15, 2020
The State will send a notice about the program to employers approximately six months before their registration deadline. The State will send another notice to employers one month before the deadline with instructions about how to register. Employers will have until the applicable deadline above to complete the registration process.
For more information, including answers to frequently asked questions, visit www.oregonsaves.com or call (844) 661-1256.
*A qualified retirement plan includes a plan qualified under Internal Revenue Code sections 401(a) (including a 401(k) plan), qualified annuity plan under section 403(a), tax-sheltered annuity plan under section 403(b), Simplified Employee Pension plan under section 408(k), a SIMPLE IRA plan under section 408(p) or governmental deferred compensation plan under section 457(b). It does not include payroll deduction IRAs.
OregonSaves is overseen by the Oregon Retirement Savings Board. Ascensus College Savings Recordkeeping Services, LLC (“ACRS”) is the program administrator. ACRS and its affiliates are responsible for day-to-day program operations. Participants saving through OregonSaves beneficially own and have control over their Roth IRAs, as provided in the program offering set out at saver.oregonsaves.com.
OregonSaves’ Portfolios offer investment options selected by the Oregon Retirement Savings Board. For more information on OregonSaves’ Portfolios go to saver.oregonsaves.com. Account balances in OregonSaves will vary with market conditions and are not guaranteed or insured by the Oregon Retirement Savings Board, the State of Oregon, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or any other organization.
OregonSaves is a completely voluntary retirement program and investing in a Roth IRA will not be appropriate for all individuals. Employer facilitation of OregonSaves should not be considered an endorsement or recommendation by your employer of OregonSaves or Roth IRA investments. Roth IRAs are not exclusive to OregonSaves and can be obtained outside of the program and contributed to outside of payroll deduction. Contributing to an OregonSaves Roth IRA through payroll deduction offers some tax benefits and consequences. You should consult your tax or financial advisor if you have any tax or financial related questions.
Public Engagement Manager, OregonSaves
Oregon State Treasury
US 26 Highway Paving Project
NW Glencoe Road to Mile Post 53
VOLUNTEER RECOGNITION FOR 2016
Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 6:30 pm
Jessie Mays Community Hall
30975 NW Hillcrest St.
North Plains, Oregon 97133
Presented by the City of North Plains and the North Plains Events Association
Free traditional spaghetti dinner!
Groups will be recognized for their volunteer efforts.
The 2016 Volunteer of the Year and Lifetime Achievement awards will also be presented.
Information at: http://npfun.org/volunteer-dinner
SALMONBERRY TRAIL PROJECT
The Salmonberry Trail Intergovernmental Agency (STIA) and Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust (TFHT) invite you to participate in a workshop to gather local input for development of a strategic marketing plan for the Salmonberry Trail project. This plan will refine the identity of the trail, identify the full range of potential trail users, markets and strategies to reach them, and establish unified messaging for the trail. It will serve as the foundation for future marketing and promotion of the trail by a variety of local and regional organizations.
The communities along this 86-mile long trail are unique, and we need your input and local knowledge to assure the trail marketing strategy is something that will work for you and meet local needs. We would also like to learn from you what has worked best in terms of marketing your community or region in the past, and what additional opportunities may exist that can be realized through the Salmonberry Trail project.
We will be holding three workshops in Tillamook and Washington Counties the week of April 10, and hope that you are able to join us at one. Here are the details on when and where you can participate:
- Monday, April 10, 1:00 – 4:00 P.M. @ Banks City Hall, Council Chambers
- Thursday, April 13, 1:00 – 4:00 P.M. @ North County Recreation District Community Building, Schoolhouse Room, in Nehalem
- Friday, April 14, 9:00 A.M. – Noon @ TBCC’s Partners for Rural Innovation Building, Room 107, in Tillamook
The workshops will be facilitated by staff from HUEN LLC of Portland, who are working on behalf of STIA and TFHT to develop the strategic marketing plan. This work is being supported by a matching grant from Travel Oregon.
In addition to getting your input for the strategic marketing plan, we will also share information at each workshop on key work that has been taking place on the project, and what will be happening next.
Please spread the word to others in your community about these workshops. If you know of other individuals or organizations in your area who are interested in the tourism and economic development potential of the Salmonberry Trail project, please forward this invitation on to them. To enable us to better plan for the number of folks coming to the workshops, we would appreciate an RSVP by email response if you plan to attend. Hope to see you at one of these gatherings!
Ross Holloway, Executive Director
Tillamook Forest Heritage TrusT
NOMINATIONS FOR THE UPCOMING DIRECTOR ELECTIONS
All written nominations must be received by the Nominations Committee Chairman by 12:00 noon on the day of the Regular Membership Meeting, Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Verbal nominations will be accepted only at the Regular Membership Meeting, Tuesday, April 11, 2017.
If you have any questions about the nominating and election process, please contact the Nominating Committee Chair: Wayne Holm
ST. EDWARD CATHOLIC CHURCH
COLUMBARIUM ADDED IN NORTH PLAINS CEMETERY
A columbarium has been added to the St. Edward Cemetery. Contact Tony Montes via the church office at 503-647-2131. The cemetery is located at 12185 Shadybrook Road, North Plains.
NEW EXHIBIT: TIMBER IN THE TUALATIN VALLEY
We are proud to announce that “Timber in the Tualatin Valley” is our new permanent exhibit, sponsored by Stimson Lumber Company! With many original artifacts on loan from local collector Bill Racine, this display aims to teach visitors about the history of logging in Washington County, from the first pioneers to railroading to gas-powered engines.
Much of the local ancestry here tracks back to the loggers of the old days, who carved out this area for homesteads and town sites beginning in the 1860s. Learn about the dangers of the job and what camp life was like for loggers through the tools they used in the woods! Feel what it is like to lay on a straw mattress in the bunkhouse, take a funny photo in our head-in-a-hole logger cutout, and learn about the area on our touch screen mapping program. Check out our calendar for upcoming talks about the industry as well! The Museum is located at Hillsboro Civic Center, (2nd floor above Starbucks), 120 E Main Street, Hillsboro.www.washingtoncountymuseum.org
GERALDI’S WEST PIZZA IS NOW TENITY’S PIZZA AND SUBS
Stop by to see their menu or call for ordering 503-647-5761.
10395 NW Glencoe Road, Suite 600, North Plains, Oregon 97133
North Plains Public Library
Library Buzz-January 2017
Washington County Visitor’s Association
The Tualatin Valley Explorer-Winter 2017
The Banks Lumber Company has sold their mill to Hampton Lumber Company.
Thursday, Hampton Lumber advised the Banks Chamber of Commerce that they will be interviewing the month of January, 2017, for 30 mill workers. For more information, call 503.324.2681.
Abbey Creek Vineyard and Winery
Read all about Bertony Faustin’s documentary chronicling the stories of minorities in Oregon’s wine industry in the
“It’s lights, camera, action for Oregon’s only black winemaker.”
Created on Thursday, 14 July 2016 19:25 | |
The rapper Notorious B.I.G. plays in the background as Bertony Faustin sits at a table in his North Plains workspace.His T-shirt displays a large Batman insignia. He’s
wearing sweatpants and a baseball cap. And he’s all smiles.
Meet Oregon’s only African American wine maker.
Faustin is the owner and operator at Abbey Creek Vineyard in North Plains, a small winery with big aspirations.
Faustin is hard at work on “Red, White and Black,” a documentary about minorities working in Oregon’s largely white wine industry.
“It’s about representing black and brown folks, women, the LGBT community,” Faustin said. “At the end of the day it’s not a documentary about wine.”
The documentary is currently in the editing stage and is expected to be shown at film festivals starting next year.
At Abbey Creek, in addition to rap music and cool T-shirts, “visitors are likely to find the wines — which bear names like “Juicy Fruit” and “Diva — paired with hot sauces from Brazil.
It’s not your typical tasting room experience, Faustin admits. Nor is it supposed to be.
“This is me,” he said. “This is who we are.”
Luck and hustle
HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD
Bertony Faustin decided to make wine after the death of his father. He had never tasted wine before deciding to make it his career.
Faustin never wanted to make wines. In fact, he’d never tasted one before he started his own winery a decade ago.Faustin opened Abbey Creek Vineyard in 2007. A former anesthesia technician at Oregon Health & Science University hospital in Portland, he said he needed a change of scenery after the death of his father that year.
“I came back from his funeral and realized it was time to do something different,” he said.
His in-laws grew grapes on 50 acres along Germantown Road, but they didn’t make wine.
“I thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to start making wine.’ Fortunately for me I was too naive to know how much work it took.”
Faustin enrolled in a winemaking course at Chemeketa Community College for a semester, but said he learned most of the job by doing it.
“It was a hustle,” Faustin said. “I’ll take luck and hustle any day. It’s been great for us. We’ve found our niche.”
Five years ago, he opened a tasting room in North Plains.
It’s an upscale winery in what he calls “a Coors Light town,” but that’s one of the things that attracted Faustin to the area. He likes to turn things on their head.
“Sure, there are days when I am the only ‘brother’ in North Plains, but all our lives we’ve been odd man out and uncomfortable in our scenario,” he said.
HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD
Bertony Faustin has big plans for his small winery. He wants to work with inner city youth to get them interested in wine, is taking part in a wine-making reality series and has plans to start a second label soon.
Few black-owned wineries in America
Faustin is a member of a very small club.
He’s the only black winemaker based in the state, according to officials at the Oregon Wine Board, a state agency which markets researches and promotes Oregon wines.
Abbey Creek is one of only a few dozen African American-owned wineries in the U.S.
Faustin said he’s not sure why more people of color don’t join the wine industry, but suggested it likely has its roots in wine’s earliest days.
“It started as a European thing,” Faustin said. “For most African Americans, it wasn’t part of our wheelhouse, and that persists to this day.”
Some of it might lie in marketing from the wine industry, Faustin said.
“When people say ‘wine,’ they think ‘high class, pretentious,’” Faustin said. “But a Fred Meyer wine buyer I know does $50,000 a month in sales of boxed wine. That’s the real palate. It’s not fancy.”
The wine industry hasn’t made the African American demographic a priority, either, he said.
“Look at any wine book, any wine press, and you won’t see black faces. You won’t see brown faces. That has kept it out of reach for many,” he said.
Faustin’s documentary, which began as a Kickstarter project last year, tells the story of Oregon’s popular wine industry through the voices of winemakers who don’t fit the image of a typical vintner.
Those faces include Jesus Guillen of Guillen Family Wines in Dayton, the state’s first Mexican-American winemaker. Another, Remy Drabken of Remy Wines in McMinnville, is a lesbian.
Faustin has no plans to slow down.
“It’s always about what’s next,” he said.
Later this month, Faustin will begin filming episodes for a wine-based reality show that pits Oregon winemakers against their counterparts in California.
He’s also working with local organizations to bring kids from the inner city out to his winery.
“I call it Ghetto 4-H,” he said. “I want to show them things that they won’t see otherwise. Children are the future and I truly believe that. I was fortunate to have the support of my family and my wife. Other kids don’t have that.”
If the documentary proves successful, Faustin has more installments in mind.
“I see sequels to the documentary,” he said. “We’re telling the Oregon wine story, but there’s the Oregon coffee story, the Oregon film story. I’m already looking ahead to what the next industry is that we need to focus on and highlight. It doesn’t end.”
Since announcing the documentary six months ago, Faustin has seen a positive impact on his business.
“I’ve seen more black faces in here in the past six months than I’ve seen in four years,” he said. “It’s opening that door to something that we once thought was available to us.”
After his story was picked up by the Associated Press earlier this year, he started receiving messages and phone calls from across the country.
“They said the story was empowering them to do what they’d always wanted to do,” he said.
That’s the message he wants to spread.
“You do you,” said Faustin. “Own who you are. If you do that, everything else falls into place.”
HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD
Bertony Faustin, owner of Abbey Creek Vineyard in North Plains in Oregon’s only black winemaker. He is working on a documentary chronicling the stories of minorities in Oregon’s wine industry.
Join Abbey Creek Vineyard and Winery On Facebook!
Annual Reader’s Choice
The Forest Grove News-Times has announced their Annual Reader’s Choice.
North Plains has received TWO First Place Choices:
Best Annual Event: North Plains Elephant Garlic Festival
Best Christmas Tree Farm: Loch Lolly Christmas Forest
Congratulations to the City of North Plains, the North Plains Event Association and Loch Lolly Christmas Forest.
North Plains Machining Firm Doubles Workforce
Spiering, who maintained ownership of Valley Machine’s land and buildings following the sale, cooperated with Arch Global in the expansion because he considers it a good opportunity for North Plains.
“This is a model that provides jobs for people to exist in the community,” said Spiering. “People can actually work and live in the same area.”
Russ Sheldon, president of the North Plains Chamber of Commerce, called the expansion an important step for North Plains. “It’s a win when you get to retain a business with these good-paying jobs,” he said.
The expansion is currently in the planning and permitting stage, which Spiering said can take upwards of six months to complete. Without any complications, he said, the expansion should be completed in April 2017.
Andy Spiering, Valley Machine’s general manager, corroborated that the expansion is an investment in the North Plains community.
“We’re keeping the jobs local,” he said, “and bringing new ones in to North Plains.”
He also praised the area’s several standout machining and industrial programs, including PCC’s machining courses and Glencoe High School’s robotics program, which he considers especially rigorous.
“It’s a great program,” he said. “We’ve hired kids from it before.”
Sheldon agreed that North Plains has a wealth of skilled labor.
“There are folks who are skilled here,” he said, which is one reason why North Plains is an appealing destination for businesses. Other benefits, he said, include “available land, the proximity to the metro area, no commute.”
Ultimately, said Tony Spiering, the investment in Valley Machine is an investment in North Plains.
“It’s about building a community where people can work and live … socialize.”
Sheldon echoed the sentiment.
“The vitality of any community relies on its businesses,” he said. “Our small businesses are our backbone, and we have growth on the way.”