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|Archives - February 2008|
|Friday, February 01, 2008|
Desire for smaller, faster, cheaper planes fuels a growing composite aircraft industry centered in the Bend area.
By Kathleen Newton
But that’s changing as several new aircraft makers have come to Oregon in recent years, bringing with them experience with advanced-composite technologies. Now that experience is placing them directly in the path of industry growth.
A composite-aircraft manufacturing cluster has blossomed in Bend, and others are emerging in Scappoose and the Columbia Gorge, evidence of a boom in Oregon’s $1.6 billion aerospace sector. Although state employment officials estimate industry jobs at fewer than 3,000, experts say that figure doesn’t reflect the full impact of parts makers and service companies in areas from Portland to Salem, Astoria, Albany, Scappoose and Clackamas. Many are reporting banner sales. (See sidebar, page 24.)
OREGON’S NASCENT AVIATION sector until recently was largely unknown and focused primarily on build-it-yourself experimental kit aircraft.
Things began to change around 1990, when Lance Neibauer, a California entrepreneur who manufactured high-performance, kit-built experimental aircraft made from advanced composites, let it be known he was looking for an affordable plant site. Neibauer, who now lives in the Bend area, recalls that officials from Redmond pestered him for months, eventually winning him over.
BUT WHILE EPIC WAS SOARING, Columbia Aircraft across the street was facing cash-flow problems. This past fall, the company filed for bankruptcy protection after a series of problems that included poor cost containment, inadequate productivity and a hailstorm that damaged dozens of planes. Several potential buyers, including composite aircraft maker Cirrus, jockeyed to buy the assets. Cessna was the ultimate winner.
According to Oliver, there are no plans to move the plant — now adorned with a Cessna sign — out of Oregon. Its 400 employees will be retained, and more may be added. Oliver says the goal is to increase production from its current level of one plane a week to 200 or 250 a year, for potential sales of $100 million or more annually.
Dave Dennis, CEO of Oregon Aero in Scappoose, says he is preparing for a huge spike in his composite aircraft parts business in light of the Cessna deal. Oregon Aero provides certified seats for Cessna planes.
DESPITE ITS RECENT GROWTH, Oregon’s aerospace sector is not without its potential perils.
According to Joseph C. Bartels, the new owner of Lancair, which does about $15 million a year building airplane kits at its Redmond plant, further expansion of Bend’s aircraft manufacturing cluster could be hampered by rising land and development costs.
Kathleen Newton is a journalist based in Tillamook. She has been a business editor at The Los Angeles Times and owner of two Oregon weekly newspapers.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Seven tidbits about the president and CEO of AKT Group.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE
Bans on genetically modified crops create uncertainty for farmers.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE
Businesses spend billions of dollars each year trying to influence political decision makers by piling money into campaigns.
Friday, November 14, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
Oregon entrepreneurs reveal their favorite caffeine hangouts.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JON BELL
Oregon tribes still bet on casinos.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:
The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace.
Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.
This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay.
Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.
New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”
That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!
Friday, October 31, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Why are there so few transportation startups in Portland? The city’s leadership in bike, transit and pedestrian transportation has been well-documented. But that was then — when government and nonprofits paved the way for a new, less auto centric way of life.
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Is your business ready to join us in the call for action? This opening panel includes Oregon businesses who will discuss why they signed the Oregon Climate Declaration, the investments they are making to reduce carbon emissions, and how their actions are affecting their companies.
Get ready for two days of special events produced with the EPA, Portland Timbers and ISOS before and after the GoGreen Conference on October 16.
How sports tourism is driving economic growth and making cities across Oregon a better place to live.
Port of Morrow's business-ready attitude has a surprising global impact.
Through its support of the arts, the Cultural Trust is strengthening the business community.
Heed the morals of these seminal holiday stories in your everyday life.
Amy will practice in the firm's Business, Real Estate, and Tax practice groups.
While the Bend City Council ultimately upheld the approval which enables OSU-Cascades to move forward with the 10 acre site, it did also thoughtfully consider the nature of its code requirements, resident concerns and OSU-Cascade’s efforts and suggestions and crafted conditions of approval to address potential impacts of the site in the area.