The Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center Research and Development (OMIC R&D) continues to attract new manufacturing companies with the recent addition of four new members.
With a total of 12 manufacturing industry partners and three Oregon public universities, the Scappoose based R&D facility is closer to its goal of building a world-class operation to develop advanced metals manufacturing technologies. OMIC R&D is expected to increase state and regional commercial productivity in manufacturing and stimulate economic growth and development once operations are in full swing later this winter.
New OMIC R&D members include: Kennametal of Latrobe, Pa., OSG USA, Inc. of Irving, Texas, Walter Tools of Waukesha, Wis., and WFL Millturn Technologies of Linz, Austria.
These new members join eight other OMIC R&D manufacturing members and three universities in the Scappoose facility: ATI, Blount International, The Boeing Company, Daimler Trucks North America, Hangsterfer’s Laboratories, Inc., Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Silver Eagle Manufacturing, Vigor, Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, and Portland State University.
“The growth that we’re seeing in members joining OMIC R&D is a testament to the need for these types of public-private partnerships to grow Oregon’s and the region’s manufacturing base. With each new member, this enterprise strengthens its potential to bring innovations, companies and jobs to the state. It is also creating a vibrant, real world education “floor” on which to train our next generation of engineers and technologists. The Board is very excited about the possibilities ahead of us, and we welcome our new members,” Bill Gerry, chair of the OMIC R&D Board of Governors said.
OMIC R&D is the fifteenth such research center established with Boeing leadership worldwide, and the first Boeing has sponsored in the United States. Its mission is to bring together manufacturing companies and higher education in an innovation environment where “outside-in” applied research with faculty and university students solves real problems for advanced manufacturers, while training the next generation of engineers and technologists.
“The support provided by the state, the City of Scappoose and Columbia County for OMIC R&D has been an important component in making this innovative concept a reality. My thanks go out to my colleagues in the legislature, and to leaders in the City and County, for believing in the potential of OMIC to create real benefits for our community. We welcome these four new members to Scappoose and Columbia County,” Senator Betsy Johnson, a key supporter of the Center said.
OMIC R&D will coordinate its applied research projects with hands-on “earn and learn” apprenticeship programs at OMIC Training Center, led by Portland Community College (PCC), and located in a nearby facility that PCC is building. The PCC OMIC Training Center, scheduled to open in fall 2019, will emphasize craftsmanship, professionalism, and placing graduates into high-wage, high-demand jobs; with students completing an associate degree or certificate leading to an advanced degree. While Training Center construction is underway, PCC will have a temporary delivery site at Scappoose High School beginning in 2018.
OMIC has the strong support of trade unions, including the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, which recognize the importance of training and apprenticeship programs in growing high-skill, high-wage manufacturing jobs in Oregon via innovation and industry growth.
Metals manufacturing is a cornerstone industry for the greater Portland area, with current employment estimated at nearly 28,000 and approximately 600 small, medium and large metals manufacturing companies. OMIC presents a significant opportunity for the retention and expansion of these firms and the workforce in the region.