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|Wednesday, August 17, 2011|
BY BEN JACKLET
When I interviewed Blount International CEO Josh Collins a year ago, he offered a clear strategy for growing sales from $487 million in 2009 to approximately $920 million in 2014. He may hit his goals sooner than planned after Blount's purchase Wednesday of Illinois-based farm equipment manufacturer Woods Equipment for $185 million.
For all of the hype about the unlimited potential of the digital frontier, someone still needs to make steel and pipes and blades: physical things for the physical world. And not (quite) everything is being built in China. The new product that Collins calls the "Holy Grail of saw chain," a self-sharpening system for chainsaws, was developed and built here in Portland. Blount employs more than 1,500 people in the Portland area. The company added 400 jobs in 2010, about half of them in Oregon.
Ben Jacklet is managing editor of Oregon Business.
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