The presence here of two companies that finish and heat-treat metal was instrumental in the recently announced recruitment to Hayden, Idaho, of Titan Spring Co., a North Hollywood, Calif., manufacturer that makes many of its products for the aerospace industry, Titan President and CEO Jim Glenn says.
The metal-finishing ability of Novation Inc., located at 2616 N. Locust Road, in Spokane Valley, and the heat-treating capability of Inland Northwest Metallurgical Services Inc., 16203 E. Marietta, were huge in Titans decision to move to the Inland Northwest, Glenn says.
We toured both facilities, talked with the presidents of both facilities, shared with them what we were doing, he says. It was important to Titan to be near companies that could do finishing and heat-treatment work so it could avoid the cost of shipping out products to have such work done elsewhere, Glenn says.
A big crucial factor today is turnaround time in filling orders, Glenn says. He says Titan knew it could incur delays of up to two weeks to ship out items for added work and have them sent back versus being able to get in your own truck and drive 15 minutes and pick up and deliver things every day.
It was important for Titan that Novation and Inland Northwest Metallurgical would seek so-called Nadcap certification to do work for aerospace suppliers, or the two companies couldnt work on two-thirds of Titans orders, but it was a considerable capital investment for them to seek the certification, Glenn says.
They wanted us to come up before they invested, he says. We said, If you dont do it, we cant come up. Eventually, Titan decided to come, and the two companies opted to seek the certification, Glenn says. Titan is seeking its own, separate certification as a manufacturer of aircraft components.
Fred Le Friec, owner and president of Novation, says that for a company like Titan to make sure that metals-service providers will be nearby if it opens a new plant is kind of typical in our business. If services such as those provided by Novation and Inland Northwest Metallurgical Services werent available, companies like Titan just wont be here, Le Friec says.
Novation expects to have obtained Nadcap certification by the end of the year, Le Friec says. Titan is one of the companies that got us thinking about it, he says. He adds that Novation was a supplier to Boeing Co. from 1993 to 2000.
Titan will cut its business costs and ease its regulatory burden by moving to Idaho, and its employees will be able to afford to buy homes there, Glenn says. Also, he bristles at talk that the California Legislature might require employers to provide health-care insurance to employees and their families. He says Titan has provided coverage to its employees for decades, but not to all of their families.
Titan announced July 10 that it is relocating to a 15,000-square-foot plant thats under construction in the Warren K. Industrial Park, in Hayden. The family-owned, almost 50-year-old company said it expected to begin manufacturing operations there soon, and added that its relocating in part because of the efforts of the partnership between Jobs Plus Inc. and the Inland Northwest Economic Alliance.
Jobs Plus is a Kootenai County economic-development organization, and the alliance is a Spokane organization backed by Greater Spokane Incorporated, Jobs Plus, and nine other organizations in Washington and Idaho.
This is officially the alliances first recruit, says Amy Fritsch, of the Hill & Knowlton public relations agency, which does work for the alliance.
Titan will bring 13 employees to Idaho, and will leave in California two employees, who will work in a sales office there, Glenn says. He says the company will recruit another 10 workers here over time.
Glenn says the companys employees, many of whom are Hispanic, met with the Hispanic Business Association here during a visit. Also, Stan Key, manufacturing industry manager for Greater Spokane Incorporated, met with Titan at its offices in California, and, at different times, so did about a half-dozen of the alliances sponsoring agencies.
Glenn says, I would think that with whats happening now, with us coming up there, and with Novation and Inland Northwest Metallurgical going for the Nadcap, it will lead to other companies coming in.
In addition to manufacturing custom precision springs, Titan also does stampings; makes assemblies for the aerospace, medical, telecommunications, and electronics industries; and makes wire forms, which are made of round wire and perform some functions springs dont.
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