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Economic Development in Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley

Our Manufacturers ’ Creative Response

Summer 2020

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Aldrich Advisors................................................................20

Summer 2020

Bank of the Pacific.............................................................. 3 Chemeketa College.............................Inside Front Cover Cherriots.............................................................................19

Features 4 Providing PPE: The Right Thing to Do 9 Now, More Than Ever, Partnerships Should Be Strong

Citizens Bank��������������������������������������������������������������������15 City of Salem���������������������������������������������������������������������17 Coldwell Banker Commercial.........................................16 Covanta Marion................................................................20

In this Issue



SEDCOR Board and Staff

Dale Carnegie....................................................................12


Manufacturers In a Time of Crisis President’s Message by Erik Andersson

13 County News MARION - Return to a Safe, Strong, and Thriving Marion County

Dalke Construction Co.��������������������������������������������������21 EnergyTrust of Oregon���������������������������������������������������23 Freres Lumber...................................................................... 7 GK Machine.......................................................................22

YAMHILL - Emerge Quickly: Grow Sustainably and

Grand Hotel in Salem.......................................................18

Help Our Communities Prosper

Green Acres Landscape��������������������������������������������������17

POLK - From Feast to Famine

Huggins Insurance.............................................................. 6

16 Insights from the Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry Partnership, Resiliency, Adaptation - Interview with Melanie Bjerke and Tara Kramer of Meltar Supply

20 PPE Directory 21 Member News Rich Duncan • DCI International • Restaurants Opening Fresh N Local

On the Cover Russ Monk at Watershed. Photo by Michael Miller.

Multi/Tech Engineering Services..................................10 Oregon Cascade Plumbing & Heating........................... 1 Personnel Source..............................................................22 PNM Construction...........................................................19 Powell Banz Valuation.....................................................13 Power Fleet Commercial Sales......................................19 Print Specialties����������������������������������������������������������������22 Rich Duncan Construction����������������������������Back Cover Santiam Hospital.................................. Inisde Back Cover Select Impressions�����������������������������������������������������������24 Sherman Sherman Johnnie & Hoyt, LLP��������������������12 SVN Commercial Advisors..............................................17 Thomas Kay Flooring & Interiors..................................14 Ticor Title���������������������������������������������������������������������������11 White Oak Construction�������������������������������������������������� 8

Mt. Angel Publishing, Inc.

Mt. Angel Publishing is proud to work with SEDCOR to produce Enterprise. To advertise in the next issue, contact Jerry Stevens: 541-944-2820 SEDCOR@mtangelpub.com www.sedcor.com

Enterprise Summer 2020


SEDCOR Staff Erik Andersson

Executive Council Chair Daryl Knox

Members at Large Kevin Cameron

Partner, The Aldrich Group, CPA

Marion County Commissioner

Past Chair

Rich Duncan

Mark Hoyt

President, Rich Duncan Construction Inc.

Secretary/Treasurer & Chair Elect

N. Levin Industrial Real Estate

Partner, Sherman Sherman Johnnie & Hoyt, LLP

Michael Fowler

CEO, Cabinet Door Service

President 503-837-1800 eandersson@sedcor.com

Nathan Levin Steve Powers

City Manager, City of Salem

Steve VanArsdale

General Manager, Garmin AT, Inc.

Jenni Kistler Director of Operations 503-588-6225 jkistler@sedcor.com

Board of Directors Curt Arthur

Owner, SVN Commercial Advisors

Ricardo Baez

Jennifer Larsen Morrow

President, Creative Company, Inc.

Rod Lucas

President, Don Pancho Authentic Mexican Foods, Inc.

Owner, Turner Lumber, Inc.

Chuck Bennett

Executive Dean of Career and Technical Education Chemeketa Community College

Mayor of Salem

David Briggs

Johnny Mack

Rick Olson

Nick Harville Marion County Business Retention & Expansion Manager

Trial Lawyer, Partner, Saalfeld Griggs PC

Yamhill County Commissioner


Patricia Callihan-Bowman

Kim Parker-Lleranas


Owner/Career Coach Express Employment Professionals

Cathy Clark

Executive Director Willamette Workforce Partnership

James Parr

Mayor of Keizer

CFO, Salem Health

Alan Costic AIA

Craig Pope

President, AC+Co. Architecture

Polk County Commissioner

Rural Innovation Catalyst

Brent DeHart

Jim Rasmussen

Life Insurance

President/CEO, Modern Building Systems, Inc.

Alex Paraskevas

Secretary/Treasurer, Doerfler Farms, Inc.

Mark Raum

Polk County Business Retention & Expansion Manager

VP Commercial Lending, Umpqua Bank

James Dooley


Conner Reiten


Amy Doerfler

President, Larsen Flynn Insurance

Government Affairs, NW Natural

Theresa Haskins

Tony Schacher

Byron Hendricks

Regional Manager, The Grand Hotel in Salem

Business Market Manager Portland General Electric President, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Real Estate Professionals

George Jennings

Counsel to the President, Mountain West Investment Corporation

Jamie Johnk

Economic Development Director, City of Woodburn

Ken Jundt

Regional Manager, Columbia Bank

Michael Keane

General Manager, Salem Electric

Scott Snyder

Jenna Steward

Agritourism Manager, Crosby Hop Farm

Randy Stockdale

Foundation Director, Legacy Silverton Medical Center

503-507-4175 astone@sedcor.com

Dave Takata

Kathy Tate

Michael Miller

Dan Ulven

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

CEO, Online NW

Diana Knous

President, The Ulven Companies

Colm Willis

Marion County Commissioner

626 High Street NE, Suite 200 • Salem, OR 97301 503-588-6225 • info@sedcor.com • www.sedcor.com

2 Enterprise Summer 2020

Yamhill County Business Retention and Expansion Manager

FSVP/Commercial Team Lead, Willamette Community Bank

Attorney/Shareholder Garrett Hemann Robertson, P.C. Regional Business Manager, Pacific Power

Abisha Stone

503-588-6225 mmiller@sedcor.com

Regional Manufacturers

Manufacturers In a Time of Crisis Crisis leads to clarity. Ever since the outbreak of COVID-19, it has become abundantly clear to me that the work we do at SEDCOR matters. The relationships we have spent years building. The people we know. The resources we have access to. Now, as much as a crisis can lead to clarity, it can also cause a lot of distraction. Over the past two months, we have had to constantly remind ourselves of our primary objective: building up and supporting traded-sector industries in our region. A major part of what we consider the traded-sector is manufacturing. And that is what this issue of Enterprise will focus on. Here’s something else that has been made very clear: our manufacturers are incredibly creative and work remarkably quick. Many pivoted almost immediately to answer our region’s need for

Erik Andersson

Personal Protective Equipment. In this issue, we highlight on Salem’s WaterShed for their work in

SEDCOR President

providing gowns to local hospitals as an example among many. As we discuss in this issue, the need for PPE is far from over. The need will undoubtedly move beyond the medical field into reopening businesses like restaurants and gyms. We at SEDCOR have and will continue to support our region’s manufacturers who have decided to retool to make PPE. To help connect manufacturers of PPE with buyers, our team worked with a local programmer to develop an easy-to-use PPE Directory. This directory will be consistently updated by our team to include new producers and new products. As more firms onshore some (or even most) of their manufacturing, our region will continue to rely on the industry’s strength and resilience to provide good jobs, support communities, and make our region a great place to live, work, and do business. — Erik

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Enterprise Summer 2020


Providing Personal Protective Equipment:

The Right Thing To Do WaterShed can be hard to find. Google Maps will tell you you’ve arrived at their building as you drive under the train tracks that go over Portland Road in Northeast Salem. But, if you keep driving, make a few turns, wander behind a small neighborhood and few industrial buildings, you’ll find a bright blue building that houses a key manufacturer of medical gowns in the Willamette Valley. Right as you get out of your car, you’ll be blasted by the fresh scent of tortillas coming from the nearby Don Poncho plant. A small, metal staircase will lead you to a blank glass door. You’ll be buzzed in and asked by a small paper sign to practice social distancing. Put as simply as possible, WaterShed makes rain gear. More specifically, they make semi-custom rain gear for first responders: military, police, and firefighters. As owner Russ Monk puts it, “We innovate.” Russ is as unassuming as his building. He greets his guests with a broad smile under a thin, salt-and-pepper beard. He has the look and demeanor of a humble craftsman. He is Ron Swanson, if Ron Swanson had a couple dozen patents. He and his team at WaterShed have made an art and a science of creating custom rain gear for first responders. But earlier this year, the definition of “first responder” expanded rapidly. Without much warning, the category reached far past those showing up to war zones and fires. Now, first responders included doctors, nurses, medical assistants, nursing home staff, janitorial staff, delivery drivers, and more. And their need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 4 Enterprise Summer 2020

was immediate and immense. They needed gloves, masks, gowns, face shields, and hand sanitizer. As COVID-19 moved quickly through Oregon’s population, PPE stockpiles quickly dwindled. Soon, hospital staff and those who were most exposed to the virus did not have what they needed to protect themselves.

TIMELINE AND CAPACITY The problem was clear. And to Russ and the entire leadership team at WaterShed, the solution was even more clear. “We’ve always existed to provide equipment to frontline workers. We’ve spent 30 years building systems and processes and fostering a mindset that allows us to respond to something like this. We simply asked the hospital, ‘What do you need?’ Then we got to work.” For Russ, everything hinged on materials. “If you have the right materials, you have options. Without it, all you have are choices.” Just behind the two roll-up doors at WaterShed are 60 rolls (about 120 miles) of soft-blue fabric. To Russ, these rolls are what made their response possible. “I got this material from a supplier in North Carolina. This was just before most of it was bought up; it made it nearly impossible to find. We got it just in time.” Russ went to the leadership at Salem Health and said he had a way to get them custom-designed gowns. And lots of them. Dr. Lloyd Hiebert, who worked closely with WaterShed Regional Manufacturers

Our region’s manufacturers have given immensely of their time, resources, systems, and creativity to ensure our frontline workers are kept safe.

during this process, said he was incredibly glad WaterShed came forward. “The hospital’s need for PPE was dire, especially for disposable cover gowns. They had an approximate 7 to 10 day supply remaining. Their major medical supplier, upon which the hospital had long relied, was unable to meet the hospital’s PPE needs now or in the foreseeable future. Their PPE gas tank was on empty.” It was up to WaterShed to help fill the tank. According to Russ, “The head nurse at the hospital was overjoyed when we told them our timeline and our capacity.” Here is the quick story about how WaterShed provided the gowns to Salem Health. On Friday, WaterShed received the raw material. On Sunday, they had a design. On Monday, they had a prototype. That evening, the prototype was approved by the team at Salem Health. On Tuesday, they were starting production. By that Friday, Russ personally delivered neatly packed boxes of bright blue gowns to Salem Health from the back of his wife’s SUV. “These days, I am going all over with that SUV! We are currently delivering a couple thousand gowns to Salem Health. We’ve also started delivering gowns to places like Santiam Health and Samaritan down in Corvallis.” As of press time, WaterShed is producing over 2500 gowns every day. They hope to be producing 5000 a day by the end of the month.

THE ADVANTAGE OF LOCAL “We always ask the same questions of our clients,” says Russ www.sedcor.com

Monk. “It doesn’t matter if it is for a snow jacket for the military or a rain coat for a local fire department. We ask, ‘What do you love about what you have now? And what do you not love?’ From that, we know how to design the product.” When Salem Hospital received their first batch of gowns, they had only one complaint. “They said we made it too strong.” The strength of the fabric and the design made the gown Continued on page 6

How To Make Gowns, Step-By-Step We asked Russ Monk to take us through a step-by-step process for producing protective gowns. “It all starts with the right raw materials to meet the protection levels for our frontline people. We were lucky enough to acquire 160 miles of fabric that can be converted into PPE.” “All of the base pattern work starts in 2D and is then converted into automated cutting patterns.” “Watershed has a computer spreading table that lays out 60 fabric layers at a time preparing it to be cut into 240 raw cover gowns.” “The raw parts are then heat welded to make a 3D gown. The gowns are folded and then packaged in boxes of 50 for ease of distribution in the facilities.” Enterprise Summer 2020


PROVIDING PPE continued from page 5 “It took us days to make this change for the hospital staff. Days! With an international manufacturer, this change would take weeks. That’s the advantage we have.” According to Dr. Hiebert, “It was a heart-felt pleasure to be involved in providing personal protection for health care staff I had served with since 1983. Working with local caring people and local resources to protect local health care workers is the definition of community partnership.”


WaterShed staff seal, fold, and box thousands of gowns every day.

hard to remove which made it more likely physicians would make contact with the viruses. “They obviously loved the durability of the gown,” says Monk. “But they still had to remove it quickly and efficiently. So, we quickly augmented our design to include perforations on the back. Now, the staff could reach back, tear off the gown, wrap it up in their gloves, and throw it away safely.” WaterShed is only 2.8 miles from Salem Health’s front door. The proximity of WaterShed and the all-in-house nature of their operations allows for changes and adaptations that are relatively instantaneous.

Mike Vanier, Vice President of Client Engagement at the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP) said manufacturers all over Oregon were uniquely positioned to handle the PPE shortage crisis. “I think our state and our region has always had a deep spirit of innovation. I can name about 15 manufacturers off the top of my head who retooled--turned on a dime--to make needed PPE.” Vanier said this goes way beyond gowns. “We saw some of our clients, those who machine metal, making parts for ventilators. Others, like distillers, started producing hand sanitizer. This list goes on. And it’s a long list!” According to Vanier, this crisis has demonstrated the importance of a strong, resilient strength sector of local manufacturers. “We saw how fragile an international supply chain can be Continued on page 8

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managing exposure.

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6 Enterprise Summer 2020

Regional Manufacturers

Established in 1922 above the Santiam River, Freres Lumber Company has provided quality wood products and local jobs for almost 100 years. We manufacture a range of products such as veneer, plywood, lumber, and now our own patented product, the Mass Plywood Panel (MPP). MPP is a massive veneer based panel up to 12’ wide and 48’ long and is designed to be an environmentally superior, sustainable alternative to concrete and steel in construction.

An Equal Opportunity Employer

Visit frereslumber.com to learn more about the company.

If you are interested in employment opportunities at an established, innovative business, current job openings are listed on the site. Please join us on Facebook at facebook.com/frereslumberco to join our family, friends, and local community. Freres mills and cogeneration facility are open for tours.


P.O. Box 276, Lyons, OR 97358 OFFICE: 141 14th St, Lyons, OR 97358 MAIL:

PHONE: 503.859.2121 FAX: 503.859.2112

PROVIDING PPE continued from page 6 in a time of crisis. I think there was already a move for firms to on-shore some of their production. The way our manufacturers have stepped up is just going to speed up that process.” Like many local manufacturers, WaterShed is not using their retooling as an opportunity to make a buck. According to Russ, they see this as an opportunity to do what’s right. “We added a lot of capacity to make this happen. We got to hire people to make this happen. And, as we get better at making these, as we get more efficient, our costs go down. When our costs go down, so do the prices we charge the hospitals.” “Really, it is just the right thing to do,” says Monk. Many manufacturers in the region felt the same way. Since the outbreak, numerous manufacturers in the region have donated the PPE they produced. For instance, DCI in Newberg donated 100,000 surgical masks to frontline workers. In another case, one gentleman in Silverton is using a small bank of personally-owned 3D Printers to produce hundreds of face shields, which he gives away.

THE NEED IS NOT GOING AWAY By all accounts, the need for PPE regionally and nationally is not going away any time soon. “We’ve done a lot to fill in the immediate gap for PPE, which is great,” says Monk. “In the future, it might not be hospitals needing PPE, but those second and third tier users. This would be nursing homes, dentists, surgery centers. Third tier would be other frontline workers like mail carriers, bus drivers, and others. Even restaurants, retail stores, and gyms will want to keep their staff equipped with gloves and masks.” Russ has a plan for this inevitability, too. “We have a saying around here,” says Monk. “If you don’t have the thing, you invent the thing.” Practically no one has access to material. So, Russ and his team have taken it upon themselves to invent it.

Russ Monk stands before hundreds of miles of material at WaterShed.

If you don’t have the thing, you invent the thing. “I took a material that is much much easier to find and buy. Then, basically, I was able to figure out a chemical process that makes it suitable to use in hospitals, nursing homes, dentist’s offices, wherever you need people to be protected.” Russ sees time soon when manufacturers from all over Oregon can access the material, the design, and the process to make material as needs arise. “We have so many great manufacturers all over the state who can produce quickly and efficiently,” says Monk. “Being prepared is all about taking care of your own backyard. When you do that, you take pressure off the rest of the system.” Before leaving the WaterShed facility, Russ will most likely give you an elbow-pump and his “Bad Joke of the Day.” Then, just before he closes the glass door, he will reflect on his team. “I am just so honored to get to work with such a great, hardworking team. There are so many incredible people doing what they can to make this project happen. I’m just blessed to be a part of it.”

CCB# 111431

2455 River Rd S, Salem, OR 97302

503.588.3081 WhiteOakConstruction.net 8 Enterprise Summer 2020


Now, More Than Ever, Partnerships Should Be Strong

At SEDCOR, we have a catchphrase. “We know a guy,” or “We know a gal.” This means we are always finding new and better ways to use our connections and partnerships to make life better for the businesses we serve. With the outbreak of COVID-19, collaboration became a necessity. That’s why we decided to take a concerted effort to strengthen an existing alliance with four of our strongest partners. This alliance will be increasingly important to our region’s manufacturers. No matter who they contact first, manufacturers will have the resources of Willamette Workforce Partnership, SEDCOR, the Small Business Development Center, Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and Chemeketa Customized Training. We asked the leadership from each organization the same four questions to give our readers a chance to understand who they are, what they care about, and how they view the importance of strategic partnership in the future.

Willamette Workforce Partnership Kim Parker-Llerenas How has your organization stepped up since the outbreak of COVID-19? Our work has shifted and increased in a number of ways. The support we’ve been able to facilitate for local businesses have included providing layoff aversion funds for almost 60 businesses ranging from $1,000 - $20,000 grants, to managing www.sedcor.com

Marion County economic stimulus funds for 102 companies. All said, we’ve distributed more than $400,000, and anticipate more funds coming to continue this type of support for local businesses. Participating in regional planning around the economic impact and recovery has also become a major focus for our organization. We’ve received two different federal grants totaling almost $1,000,000 to support disaster recovery and employment recovery. Assuring our funding is wisely spent to respond to the COVID crisis has taken time, planning, communicating, and collaborating with local governments and partners.

Continued on page 10

Enterprise Summer 2020


PARTNERSHIPS continued from page 9 Why is it important now to share resources and strengthen these kinds of partnerships? ‘Never let a crisis go to waste’ has been a mantra repeated many times over the last several weeks. There is always an opportunity, and in our region what we’ve seen is individuals representing state and local governments, economic and workforce organizations coming together selflessly to serve people and businesses. The mission has been clear, and it has been the driver in all of our decision making. It has been remarkable to see the collaboration and power behind working together in ways none of our organizations have before. The right people are at the right place at the right time to make these synergies work. What is your organization doing to foster economic resiliency in the future? We continue to work with funders to identify ways to support individuals who are laid off, and businesses struggling to stay afloat during this time. As we shift some of our energy to recovery and reopening, finding ways to support businesses as they navigate these unchartered waters is a focus. Whether that’s helping fund the purchase of PPE, continuing to help pay for utilities, rent and payroll, or other necessities, Willamette Workforce Partnership is committed to continuing the collaborative work with our partners and finding ways to help individuals and businesses respond to this crisis. What about this partnership makes you excited/hopeful for the future of traded-sector business in Oregon? As we emerge from this crisis, our partnerships are stronger, relationships are established, trust is built, and businesses will reap the benefits. As we emerge from the pandemic and life returns to a ‘new normal,’ our collaboration will continue to benefit the entire community. There’s a greater understanding of what all of the organizations do and what their role is in supporting businesses and industry. That knowledge and experience will carry us forward

Small Business Development Center Celia Núñez How has your organization stepped up since the outbreak of COVID-19? The Chemeketa SBDC took important steps to immediately move to virtual advising and events. Our Center has served as the primary technical assistance provider for businesses needing help with SBA programs including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL) and other loan modification programs. We reached our under-served communities with services in Spanish, including specialized capital access assistance. Our advisers understand what it takes to run a business and share that passion with business owners in our community through it all. Why is it important now to share resources and strengthen these kinds of partnerships? It takes a community to support and grow our best businesses. At a time when our business community is facing some of its greatest challenges, it is up to all of our business assistance providers to provide support and guidance. The resources and trust of one organization are best met with the assistance of others. What is your organization doing to foster economic resiliency in the future? Resiliency is developed through time and practice. Our classes are adding additional content to help businesses prepare for future crises. Our advisers have now received additional information and training to help businesses through difficult times. We are keeping note of the challenges we faced as an organization and the steps we need to improve for the future.


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Regional Manufacturers

Why is it important now to share resources and strengthen these kinds of partnerships?

We know that during times of crisis there are often more questions than answers, and that businesses do best when they have the resources and planning to survive the unexpected. The Chemeketa SBDC is working to help provide answers and resources faster and to help businesses be better prepared.

Oregon has a unique spirit of collaboration and support between industry sectors and businesses. By coming together during difficult circumstances, we build on one another’s strengths to better help Oregon’s small businesses succeed. Small manufacturing businesses need all the support they can get and they rarely look for help, so when they do it is important they are aware of ALL the resources at their disposal.

What about this partnership makes you excited/hopeful for the future of traded-sector business in Oregon? Our traded sector businesses are now facing different challenges than they did before. We have an opportunity to help businesses be more robust and resilient in the future, and to work together to help meet new challenges. In 2020, we have learned to handle the unexpected, and that careful planning is critical for future success. The work we are doing together is just beginning.

What is your organization doing to foster economic resiliency in the future? OMEP is focusing programming efforts on three key areas for long term business success. We’ve developed activities and cohorts in the areas of top-line growth, strategy, and sales. Each of these areas are key for manufacturing in our region to remain competitive. OMEP is also building advanced technology programs to assist manufacturers in addressing workforce challenges as well as necessary modernization to participate in a digital supply chain.

Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership Aaron Fox

What about this partnership makes you excited/hopeful for the future of traded-sector business in Oregon?

How has your organization stepped up since the outbreak of COVID-19?

By collaborating we can draw on one another’s strengths, gain greater visibility into market need, and improve our reach as we work together to build a successful manufacturing sector in Oregon. This partnership will allow us to be seen as a comprehensive solution for businesses, rather than a typical disconnected group of quasi-government resources. By partnering, we can provide simple and easy to access solutions business need now. Continued on page 12

OMEP has continued to live out our values of working side by side with manufacturers to help build successful businesses. We focused on our state and local partnerships to assist with supplier scouting and domestic PPE sourcing. We are offering insights and support for those who are re-tooling to meet demand. Additionally, we’ve developed content in the form of webinars, guidebooks, and a self-assessment regarding COVID-19 safety and response. Lastly, OMEP is also offering the first 2 months of OMEP project support at no cost to assist companies who are facing financial difficulties.

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Enterprise Summer 2020


PARTNERSHIPS continued from page 11 Chemeketa Customized Training Celia Núñez

initiatives that will focus on prioritizing and enabling the recovery, rebuilding, and expansion of existing industries.

How has your organization stepped up since the outbreak of COVID-19?

What is your organization doing to foster economic resiliency in the future?

Chemeketa Customized Training (CT) administers several statewide certification programs. We immediately shifted staff resources and accessed the college Tech Hub to ensure workers maintain their licensure and livelihood. Our instructors quickly transferred highly technical materials to virtual platforms. As a result, technical training and testing for industry certification can be accessed virtually and several groups of workers have already been certified this spring. CT continues to offer classes for essential workers in the construction industry. Classes are also still delivered in small group settings by certified trainers. Our team has been working with trainers to ensure COVID-19 safety requirements are followed.

Chemeketa Customized Training is identifying ways we need to change to meet the needs of the current and future workforce. We are expanding our cadre of trainers and consultants to include experts who can contribute in the areas of business continuity, change management, virtual presentations, and working remotely. In addition to training, we are identifying additional supports that will allow industry to inform what training best fits their needs. Our goal is to provide relevant training to ensure broad support for industries in an ever-changing environment.

Why is it important now to share resources and strengthen these kinds of partnerships?

Our Mid-Valley Region has many valuable silos for training. This partnership is an exciting one in that it unifies economic parties and improves responsiveness during COVID-19 recovery. This joint effort will allow us to quickly access the scope of economic impact and meet the needs of industry with a variety of services.

As a group, we can streamline our efforts and leverage resources. These efforts will be based on a consensus, rather than a single point of view. This partnership will provide solid

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What about this partnership makes you excited/hopeful for the future of traded-sector business in Oregon?

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12 Enterprise Summer 2020

693 Chemeketa Street NE · Salem OR 97301 Ph: 503.364.2281 E: reception@shermlaw.com www.shermlaw.com

Regional Manufacturers


Return to a Safe, Strong, and Thriving Marion County By Marion County Commissioner Colm Willis Faced with unprecedented public health and economic challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Marion County leaders and employees have worked non-stop to adapt and support our manufacturing sector and businesses of all sizes and industries. Working closely with county Health and Human Services experts and local leaders, the county’s efforts range from a detailed plan for reopening business and public life, to providing nearly 750 small business grants of $1,000, totaling $850,000, and providing thousands of masks to businesses and others. Reflecting on this time, Commission Chair Colm Willis says, “Many people in Marion County are suffering right now. My heart goes out to all who have been affected by this virus, including our businesses and their employees who may not have had a paycheck for more than two months. We will continue to do everything we can to fight the spread of COVID-19 in our community and get the

people of Marion County back to work as soon as possible.” County commissioners Colm Willis, Sam Brentano, and Kevin Cameron have worked with local partners to distribute thousands of masks to vulnerable populations and industries. Meanwhile, the commissioners have hosted numerous coordinating calls with business leaders, local officials, and other representatives from across the county, including the heads of several local chambers of commerce. During these meetings, stakeholders come together to support both public health and economic interests and collaborate on initiatives and partnerships. As the county and entire state begin to reopen, Marion County’s leaders and hard-working employees look forward to helping our communities and industry stay safe, stay strong, and thrive.

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Enterprise Summer 2020



Emerge Quickly: Grow Sustainably and Help Our Communities Prosper By Yamhill County Commissioner Casey Kulla The novel coronavirus pandemic reveals both the strengths and vulnerability of our

food producers, wine producers, aerospace, housing, biotech and

manufacturing sector in the

high-tech and so many

mid-Willamette Valley. And

more. The underlying

I believe that, with the trust

economic fundamentals

and collaborations built

remain strong for

over the last few months,

now, and demand for

we will emerge from the

many quality products

“medically-induced coma” of

remains high, so some

a public health response with a stronger, more diverse, more resilient manufacturing sector. First, the hard bits: our vulnerability. I’ve seen that our region’s

manufacturers and products will continue to be successful. The innovation and flexibility of our region’s manufacturers will

connection to the aerospace industry, to quality food, and to the

carry us through; I’ve seen factory lines switch to personal

global supply chain keep us in good business during a strong

protective equipment and tech companies offer to assemble

economy, but in a downturn and when the supply chain is

or design medical devices. Others are changing how they sell

disrupted by the public health response to the coronavirus, our

products, rather than having to switch to new products. And,

manufacturers suffer. When food and wine are affected by the

the final bright spot is the SEDCOR and government programs

closures of restaurants and schools, we all are affected by the

that have connected businesses for purchasing (like the PPE

resulting shift in products and location of purchases. And, when

exchange at sedcor.com) and for retooling and retraining (like

the responsible response to the pandemic is to space people six

the layoff aversion and workforce grants through the Willamette

feet apart, manufacturers have to rethink everything about their

Workforce Partnership).

production lines, with the associated costs on the line. Finally, the

Manufacturers in the mid-Willamette Valley are innovative

uncertain time period of the changes in growing, eating, working

and diverse, and I am committed to working with them and

and producing weighs on all of our manufacturers.

with SEDCOR to stay strong and flexible and recover quickly

But, there are bright spots. The diversity, innovation, continued

from the losses they’ve experienced. Let’s build trust and listen

demand, flexibility, and government programs for our regional

closely to the needs and requests. Only together will we be

manufacturers will help ride us through the storm rather than

successful: emerging quickly, growing sustainably, and helping

drowning. The diversity of manufacturers is key: we have

our communities prosper.

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Regional Manufacturers


From Feast to Famine By Polk County Commissioner Craig Pope Isn’t it interesting, in

It appears at this

fact remarkable, that

point our most impacted

in a mere two months

sector in Oregon may

our entire economy

be agriculture and the

has gone from the most powerful jobs and investment engine our country has ever known to one compared to the Great Depression? The massive unemployment, the loss of small business stability and revenue crises across every sector from an invisible attacker we have never experienced before. America seemed to understand the threat of COVID-19 almost

anticipated shortage of workers in processing as well as harvest. The threat of the virus creates untenable management challenges for most ag employers in the field and facilities, and a threat to

immediately when the US numbers of citizens falling ill or dying

the food supply chain that

started accumulating. We responded quickly to direction to

most of us never think about. OSHA looms large now, more than

distance and shelter. It seems we all expected the crisis to pass as

ever at the possibility of an outbreak or an errant complaint from

if it were an air raid warning, but the crisis has not fully passed,

just about anyone.

and the warning is still a part of our daily lives. We now are learning to adjust to modified work environments, schedules and technological processes as our jobs allow, if we still have jobs. We have grown weary of the crisis and the subsequent limits to our liberties and livelihoods and consider challenges to the authorities of government many of us never considered before. The bright spot should be that most people who have been displaced from their jobs are or will be asked to return sometime soon. There will of course be a gap for those that were service workers, independent contractors and small business operators that may have lost their ability to maintain their job or business and will be looking for new opportunities. An additional bright

The “COVID crisis” has demonstrated how American ingenuity and manufacturing adaptability lives or thrives in the face of demand. There are so many local manufacturers that have temporarily turned their shop floors and workforce toward production of critical supplies needed to protect us all at the risk of no profit or even a return at all. I expect we will see more entrepreneurism and creativity because of this crisis than we currently imagine. Companies will anticipate a future threat, and the practices put in place to meet COVID-19 are the training for that future. It has become clear to me that our economic engines are not

spot would be that American manufacturing has been able to

as resilient as we need them to be and we have a lot to learn

maintain a reasonable pace during the crisis and should rebound

about sustaining ourselves in this kind of emergency. I know Polk

quickly as we return to “normal”.

County government is taking the lessons very seriously.

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Enterprise Summer 2020



Partnership, Resiliency, Adaptation

Starting a business is not for the faint of heart. It takes dedication, resiliency, and a willingness to adapt, not to mention asking for help. And there are no guarantees; even when things seem solid and steady, the unexpected can and does happen. Melanie Bjerke and Tara Kramer of Meltar Supply are two women who epitomize what it takes to get started. Even in the midst of COVID-19, they have been open to Melanie Bjerke and Tara Kramer of Meltar Supply. change, analyzed the new landscape, and taken advantage of opportunities. Keep reading to learn more about who acted on it. Melanie is a Service-Disabled U. S. Marine with are they, how they are doing it, and a few words of wisdom. military and civilian experience in operational readiness and organizational leadership and Tara has 30+ years in Tell us more about Meltar Supply. the construction industry. The need? For a supplier that can We are suppliers of all durable and nondurable goods in provide multiple types of construction materials on large the construction industry. We can supply direct to installers projects. versus storing them in a warehouse and having the end user absorb those costs. The end users being private How have you utilized resources like the Chemeketa owner/developers, government and military entities, and SBDC, OMEP, SEDCOR, Willamette Workforce non-profit organizations. Partnership, etc. to help you move forward? And who is the “we� behind Meltar Supply? We are two like-minded women who saw a need and





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potential clients and industry experts. These connections have been instrumental in helping us grow our business. It has given us the opportunity to meet professionals we otherwise would not have met. What do you see as the biggest opportunity for Meltar Supply and other businesses (particularly manufacturers) during this time (considering COVID-19, potential economic downturn, etc.)? People are thinking outside the box, similar to the mindset during the 2008-09 recession, to develop new products and new relationships. We are all in this pandemic together and since we are stopping to really talk to one another and have strategic conversations, the layers of conversations are deeper. When business owners are able to think outside the box and learn from these conversations successfully, they come out stronger, wiser, and more resilient. How do you see partnership, resiliency, and adaptation as key components of your business strategy? In a meeting with our clients we learned of their struggles with acquiring construction goods. In turn we contacted OMEP who put us in touch with manufacturers that are now open to making a new type of product. These

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manufacturers were open to trying something different due to COVID-19 related setbacks. This is a prime example of resiliency and MELTAR’s goal to form partnerships with an “adapt and overcome” mindset. What advice would you give other business owners about how to thrive during times like these (or any other wisdom you’ve gained over the years that you’d like to share)? To quote Charles Darwin: “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change”.

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Enterprise Summer 2020


PPE Directory As we talked about in our last story, the need for masks is not going away. As more medical offices and businesses reopen, those serving and those visiting will need to have gloves, masks, caps, shoe coverings, hand sanitizer, and more. We liked what Russ Monk had to say about solving problems. “If you don’t have the thing, you invent the thing.” Our team at SEDCOR liked it so much, we took it to heart. We knew we had manufacturers all over the region who either already had or were in the process of retooling to make all kinds of PPE. We also knew we had lots of individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and industry groups looking to buy PPE. What we didn’t have was a simple way to bring them together. So we invented one. On the SEDCOR website now is our brand new PPE Directory. On it, you can quickly search by category and see which manufacturers have what you’re looking for. You can see products and minimum order requirements. Plus, when you’re ready to buy, you can talk directly to the seller via phone or email. Now, most of these sellers are large-scale manufacturers who cannot sell in small quantities. So, if you need help forming a

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buying group, talk to our team at SEDCOR. We would love to help you connect with others in need of PPE. Our team sends a big “thank you” to Brandon Taylor, a local software engineer who quickly designed and implemented this system.

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Our roots are right here in Salem. Regional Manufacturers


Rich Duncan

DCI International

After 18 years in the commercial construction division, Rich Duncan Construction is expanding into residential. They believe their experience in the commercial industry will help them excel in the residential sector. Their new residential services will be headed by our Residential Project Manager, Ross Bowman. Bowman says, “I am so excited and honored to be a part of this new chapter in the Rich Duncan Construction Story. I am looking forward to improving the quality of people’s lives in the Willamette Valley through residential construction”

On Monday, May 4th, DCI International, one of North America’s largest manufacturers of dental equipment, cabinetry, and replacement parts made a donation of 100,000 surgical masks for local healthcare and frontline workers. Tim Murphy, VP of Operations at DCI, said of the donation, “We are set up to serve these communities quickly through our foundation efforts. When COVID hit, and PPE was recognized to Continued on next page

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MEMBER NEWS Continued from page 21 be an issue, DCI was able to quickly pivot its foundation resources towards helping those on the front lines and essential community personnel that are put in harm’s way while helping others.” “The mask program aligned well with our organization’s Core Values. Our efforts are typically focused on helping underserved communities receive dental care. Though this effort was not dental focused, The feedback we’ve received substantiates our resources were put to good use.” DCI coordinated with Yamhill County Emergency Management to distribute their masks throughout the county to those who needed them most.

phase this donation allows us to not only provide critical PPE to healthcare and first responders, but also to care facilities and dentists reopening their practices. As with all counties across the nation, Yamhill County continues to work towards building an adequate supply of respiratory protection equipment.”

Restaurants Opening Foodservice is a tough business. That’s more or less universally true. But running a food service business in the middle of a global

• First responders (firefighters, police, ambulance, postal service) (approx. 19,000) • Frontline workers (hospitals, clinics, screeners, etc.) (approx. 19,000) • School Districts (approx. 19,000) • Long Term Care Facilities (approx. 11,000) • Yamhill County Health PPE Supply (approx. 7,000) The remaining 25,000 masks were distributed by DCI directly Brian Young, Yamhill County Emergency Management Manager said of the donation, “We are grateful for the generous donation of procedural masks DCI provided. As we move into a reopening

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Regional Manufacturers

MEMBER NEWS pandemic, amidst consumer fear and government shut-down orders, makes success just that much harder. But even during the outbreak of COVID-19, local communities are stepping up to support local established eateries and several new restaurants have opened up. “I think this time is definitely a unique opportunity for places like us,” said Brock Bowers, owner of Slick Licks, a organic and vegan soft-serve ice cream shop in Salem’s downtown Fork Forty Food Hall. “By opening now, we get to bring some much-needed happiness to people,” said Bowers. “Those who feel safe enough to venture out, they get some nice human interaction and a bowl of ice cream. Who doesn’t love that?! Plus, we get to build our business in the middle of the new normal, which makes it much easier to adapt to changing rules, social and governmental.” For Bowers and others, the keys to making their restaurant stand out during a pandemic is marketing, safety, and customer experience. “At Slick Licks, we positioned ourselves around kindness, unique flavors, and having one of the few vegan desserts in town,” says Bowers. “But we also had to make sure we showed our customers we care about them and their health. That means we wear masks, we have clear signs encouraging social distancing, we make it easy to carry our product out. All that adds up to a great customer experience.” For Gilgamesh owner Micheal Radke, the decision to open their new Independence location was all about creating great experiences for his current customers and for a new community. “The community in Independence has been incredibly supportive. As we considered opening, it became clear it was a good idea after we had so many people looking through the window asking when are you going to open? Plus, we’ve had a lot of our Salem customers, particularly those in south Salem, make the drive to try us out.” Continued on next page

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Enterprise Summer 2020


MEMBER NEWS Continued from page 23 For now, Micheal’s team is serving pizza to go, but they are excited about opening to sit-down service soon. “We’ve used this team to sure up our processes and have been doing a lot of training to keep our staff and customers safe,” says Radke. “We’re all about creating unique experiences and this space will be perfect for it. In the summer, we’ll be able to open the big garage door and have a stage for live music.” Radke believes with the emphasis on buying local, people will want more ways they can connect with their favorite local brands. “I think online ordering is going to stick around after all this is over. But people, I think, still want those face-to-face experiences.” There may be no perfect time to open a restaurant. But, according to Bowers, “We figured there was no better time than now, when demand for something unique, something local, and something fun was so high.”

Fresh N Local Fresh ‘N Local supplies high-quality meals to schools and daycare centers all over Oregon and Washington. So what happens when their primary customer--schools--are shut down? If you’re like owner Evann Remington, you get creative. “It’s been hard. A rollercoaster. But we are finding ways to deliver great food to kids,” says Remington.

The team at Fresh ‘N Local Foods.

Remington worked on deals with Meals on Wheels and The Boys & Girls Club to deliver both fresh and frozen food to seniors and kids around Salem. Remington recalls their first drop-off for The Boys and Girls Club. “We ran out of meal packs in literally 24 minutes! We about caused a traffic jam. But this just showed me how the great the need truly is in our community.” With the future of a school being less than certain, Remington looks forward to growing her business in new ways. “We were able to hire everyone back and our team is so glad to be providing something good for the community.”

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