Summer is officially over, kids are back in school and fall is in the air. As much as I love the summer season, fall is my favorite. Summer is so busy and things seem to slow down a bit when the leaves start to change. With hundreds of business and nonprofit organizations in the area, there’s always a place to engage. I encourage you to check out the Chamber websites for upcoming events: www.postfallschamber.com or www.visitpostfalls.org.
A diversified economy is a sustainable economy.
The sun has been shining on Sunshine Minting in Coeur d’Alene, and the 2012 forecast is for much of the same.
SUNSHINE MINTINGTom Power, CEO
The sun has been shining on Sunshine Minting in Coeur d’Alene, and the 2012 forecast is for much of the same.The global supplier of precious metal and base metal mint products, Sunshine Minting was recently honored by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies in the nation: Sunshine’s revenue grew 304 percent in the difficult years of 2007 to 2010.So when Power says “The precious metals side of the business will probably remain flat,” that’s not necessarily bad.A little further down the metallurgical road, though, Power says there might be dynamic potential. He declined to give many specifics, but said a licensing agreement on another coin project could lead to 65 more jobs and a $30 million expansion project within the next two years. Sunshine now employs about 260 people in Coeur d’Alene.Power said his company strives to be a good corporate citizen but acknowledges some layers of regulation can be trying.“We’re a benign operation, but because we work with precious metals, the biggest impact comes from the DEQ (Idaho Department of Environmental Quality) and EPA (federal Environmental Protection Agency),” he said.Power pointed out that for most minerals and contaminants, Sunshine’s water must be cleaner than what comes out of your tap. He said the company has spent about $100,000 on effluent treatment this year and might spend another $150,000.Still, life is good for Sunshine and its employees, Power said. Although workers start in the $8 to $10 an hour range, Power said the best employees are rewarded promptly with more training and promotions, moving relatively quickly into the $12 to $16 range. He said Sunshine also offers one of the most comprehensive benefits packages in the region.“We’re a big believer in training and promoting from within,” he said. Because Sunshine is a “non-traditional industry” — very few companies are in the coin and precious metals minting business — the manufacturer is running 24/7. That’s not always ideal for workers who expect weekends, nights and holidays off.“Our biggest challenge is getting people to fit into the non-traditional work environment,” he said, “but for those who do we offer some excellent careers.”
— Mike Patrick, NIBJ staff
No wonder our country’s economy is in trouble. According to Sunshine Minting CEO Tom Power, it costs the federal government — which means you, the taxpayer — 9.6 cents to make one nickel.
Recession, inflation, joblessness; it’s about time we heard something good about business for a change. Sixteen Idaho companies, four of them in North Idaho, made the prestigious Inc. magazine’s “2011 Inc. 500/5,000” top growth list. Inc. ranked 5,000 U.S. companies by revenue growth over the last three years and released the results this month. One Idaho company, Scentsy in Meridian, made the top 100 with 2,904 percent growth; two more made the top 500.
Local firms make Inc.’s top growth list
By SHOLEH PATRICKNIBJ Correspondent
Recession, inflation, joblessness; it’s about time we heard something good about business for a change. Sixteen Idaho companies, four of them in North Idaho, made the prestigious Inc. magazine’s “2011 Inc. 500/5,000” top growth list. Inc. ranked 5,000 U.S. companies by revenue growth over the last three years and released the results this month. One Idaho company, Scentsy in Meridian, made the top 100 with 2,904 percent growth; two more made the top 500.Three Idaho companies on the list are in Coeur d’Alene: Alligator Diesel (a top 500 rank of 263; 1,213 percent growth), Sunshine Minting (rank 1,011; 304 percent revenue growth), and Pita Pit, USA (rank 4,512; 17 percent growth). Pita Pit, a food and beverage chain bought in 2005 by former North Idaho Immediate Care owner and once-lieutenant governor Dr. Jack Riggs, employs 300 and reported $10.8 million in revenue between 2007 and 2010. Sunshine Minting, a precious metals products manufacturer and minter, employs 260 and reported $698.6 million. Sunshine CEO Tom Power was heavily involved in the successful KTEC initiative to bring a professional-technical high school to North Idaho. One more North Idaho firm — bioassessment laboratory EcoAnalysts (rank 2,402; 99 percent growth) — is based in Moscow.Alligator Diesel Performance, a parts retailer, is a rather fascinating top-performer with just 22 employees. In 2007 it reported $400,540 in revenue. By 2010 revenue had jumped to $5.3 million. Alligator Diesel Performance was founded in Las Vegas in 2005 by Chad and Jayme Hall, who relocated the business to Post Falls in 2009 and Coeur d’Alene this year.In addition to revenue growth, qualifying companies must be for-profit, based in the United States, and independent — not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies.Combined, the 5,000 represented 370,592 new jobs. Many of the companies are not giants; the median number of employees is 51. The top five industries for job growth are human resources (52,696 new jobs), business products/services (49,147), health (41,817), IT services (40,890), and government services (23,192). Full-time and part-time employees are counted in job statistics, but independent contractors are not.The people factor isn’t just about jobs. Also of interest is that nearly 80 percent of these top 5,000 high-growth companies have an active online presence beyond Web sites. Seventy-eight percent use some combination of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Only nine percent use none of those. Social media is fast becoming a necessary tool for business.For more information on the list see Inc.com.
Sholeh Patrick is an attorney and Hagadone News Network columnist.
This recession has exposed some weaknesses in our economy and many would agree the health of the manufacturing industry is important not only for near term economic recovery but crucial for long-term economic vitality for our nation.
By BILL JHUNG
This recession has exposed some weaknesses in our economy and many would agree the health of the manufacturing industry is important not only for near term economic recovery but crucial for long-term economic vitality for our nation. One may ask why is the manufacturing sector so important? Manufacturing jobs are the most effective job multiplier. According to national economists one manufacturing job on the average helps to create 2.34 jobs in other industry sectors, higher than any other industry. The national average pay and benefits for a manufacturing job was $56,900 compared to $33,387 for non-manufacturing (non-farm) jobs. Each $1 worth of manufactured goods helps to create $1.43 of activities in other sectors. Therefore, growth in manufacturing industry helps to fuel other sectors, creating jobs and investment in non-manufacturing sectors. Because we live in a global economy it’s helpful to assess not only domestic manufacturing activities but also foreign manufacturing activities. Clearly every globally competitive manufacturer wants a share of the U.S. market. Which means the U.S. is likely the toughest market in the globe. If a local Idaho manufacturing business can compete successfully domestically it may mean they have the core elements necessary to build a globally competitive business. Global data tells us that 73 percent of the world’s purchasing power and 96 percent of today‘s consumers live outside the U.S. It’s estimated that from 2010 – 2015, 87 percent of the world’s economic growth will occur outside of the U.S. The global opportunity for Idaho manufacturers is great but so few are taking advantage. Currently less than 1 percent of American businesses export, and of those 58 percent export to only one country. One may ask, is there a resource that can help more North Idaho manufacturers to become regional competitors; regional manufacturing businesses to become national competitors; and national players to become global competitors. Is there a resource to help manufacturing businesses walk through these growth stages successfully? Idaho SBDC at NIC exists to help businesses thrive and grow. We have coaches with extensive manufacturing industry expertise who can help guide business leaders through challenges of management, marketing/sales, organizational development, operations, finance and leadership. Despite the recession, we have been able to assist manufacturing businesses to refine their business models and realign their resources to establish a new track of growth through our leadership and business coaching and training. We also have an in-house Export coach with more than 20 years of experience to guide businesses through the intricacies of going global. Even for those who are currently exporting we can help them develop a more effective strategy to grow their exports. Growing businesses create jobs but growing global businesses will create more skilled, professional and management jobs which will contribute more powerfully to creating a healthier and a more dynamic economy in North Idaho.
Bill Jhung is the director at Idaho SBDC at the North Idaho College. For more information please email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit IdahoSBDC.org.
Few individuals know more about the current state of local industries than Jobs Plus President Steve Griffitts. After obtaining a finance and business management degree from Brigham Young University (minors in accounting and economics), Griffitts accumulated both national and international experience in business sales and operations, banking, and with major corporations such as GTE and AT&T. He has been recruiting businesses to the area for Jobs Plus — the Coeur d’Alene Area Economic Development Corporation — since 2002.
Jobs Plus president: Manufacturing outlook strong
By SHOLEH PATRICKNIBJ correspondent
Few individuals know more about the current state of local industries than Jobs Plus President Steve Griffitts. After obtaining a finance and business management degree from Brigham Young University (minors in accounting and economics), Griffitts accumulated both national and international experience in business sales and operations, banking, and with major corporations such as GTE and AT&T. He has been recruiting businesses to the area for Jobs Plus — the Coeur d’Alene Area Economic Development Corporation — since 2002.In a recent NIBJ interview, he gave a resounding high mark to the future of the local manufacturing industry.
What percentage of the companies you seek to recruit are in the manufacturing industry? Why do you recruit from this industry?
“About 60 percent recruitment is in this area. The reasons we go after small to medium size manufacturers are (1) we can work directly with the decision maker, and that’s important; and (2) the multiplier effect is significant. From 100 manufacturing jobs an additional 415 jobs are created.”Griffitts said this 400 percent multiplier has a broad brush, reaching beyond the industry itself. Manufacturers need raw supplies and create distribution channels for the product, so support companies will grow or evolve around manufacturing. Ancillary jobs, such as office supplies, health services, and lifestyle support, tend to result from the average higher salaries of manufacturing employees.Griffitts said 100 jobs in manufacturing also generate an average:• $12.7 million income• $5 million more in bank deposits• Seven more retail establishments• $7.7 million in retail sales• $2 million in services receipts• $540,000 increased tax revenue
How do you determine which manufacturers to target for recruitment?
“I look for economic strength and national markets for their products, so they are not regionally dependent for distribution and sales. I look at their technology and product mix to see if they can move forward here. Can the market sustain them?“When I go to visit a business, it’s not just to build face-to-face rapport; I want to see if they’re a good fit for our community. If I find they’re only looking here to save money, but don’t have other business model criteria for success, I don’t want them to come here and just be mediocre. I want them to be vibrant.”
What methods or tools do you use to approach, then convince them to relocate here?
Griffits does his homework, culling business journals and making “cold” contacts. He is a member of several associations and business groups and attends conventions. One example is the medical design and manufacturing show; he said the combined industries make the show more vibrant, “a higher level” of manufacturing.However, he said the most effective method is personal.“I often talk to existing companies that are here and get referrals; it’s the most effective method. For example when I called a (new) client yesterday, he asked me, ‘Are you just coming up here to drive business from our area to your area?’ I replied honestly, ‘Yes!’ He laughed, but hesitated. It was the personal referral I had which convinced this CEO to talk to me. Now a face-to-face meeting is set.”
What is the strongest selling point of this area for manufacturers?
“They look for educational institutions, an available and trained workforce, inexpensive housing, a solid partnership with fiscally responsible city/county/state governments, an economically vibrant area, infrastructure, low taxes, and fast tracking — getting the process from decision to a functioning facility as soon and efficiently as possible. If I had to narrow it to the top three selling points for North Idaho, they are a ready and trained workforce, affordable housing, and fiscally responsible state/local governments with low tax structure and a low cost of doing business.”After a pause Griffitts added with emphasis, “And a phenomenal quality of life!”
A modest parts manufacturer in Coeur d’Alene, Alligator Performance, just made Inc. Magazine’s Top 500 list for three-year revenue growth. How do you see the outlook for local manufacturing?
“We have Empire Airlines doing phenomenally well and expanding; L.A. Aluminum and Ground Force Manufacturing are expanding. Buck Knives has increased dramatically in the last year. We are heads and shoulders above the nation.”Griffitts is confident Idaho will have no trouble attracting more businesses and fostering success from this industry.“While other states are pushing manufacturers out, we welcome them — their experience, their technology, their vibrancy — and we feel the future is strong with respect to manufacturing.”