Thursday, April 30, 2015

Inland Northwest's Avista Utilities Featured in New York Times

Inland Northwest-based Avista Utilities was recently featured in the New York Times for its liquid battery project in Pullman, Wash.

In an industrial park on the outskirts of Pullman, Wash., 10 white storage trailers sit side by side, neatly arranged in two rows. These are no ordinary storage units. Arranged on racks inside are the guts of a large rechargeable battery, the kind of device that can store and release utility-scale amounts of electricity.

But this is no ordinary storage battery, either. In contrast with the typical lead-acid batteries used to start car engines or the lithium-ion cells that power electric vehicles — both of which are largely solid — this battery is mostly liquid.

To read the full article, click here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Grant County at JEC Europe Composite Conference

Emily Braunwart, Business Recruitment Manager of the Grant County EDC traveled with the Washington State Delegation to the JEC Europe Composite Conference which was held March 10-12.

Braunwart was able to connect with a company the EDC has been working with since last year. Braunwart was also able to identify new and emerging sub industries within the composite industry.

The conference boasted over 36,000 attendees, which makes it the largest composite show in the world. Companies ranging from resin manufacturing to carbon fiber manufacturers to machinery to natural composite manufacturers were all present.

To learn more about manufacturing and Grant County, visit and read the full article.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Small-Town Entrepreneur Talks Business with U.S. Lawmaker

Andrew DePaula, founder and president of intelliPaper, a technology company in Edwall, Wash., that has developed a type of “smart paper,” met with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers on Monday, March 16 to talk about innovation, entrepreneurship and small business.

The visit to Capitol Hill was arranged by the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network as part of its annual meetings with U.S. legislators.

“Andrew is such an incredible example of what small businesses can do, not just for the economy in general, but for their communities in particular,” said Duane Fladland, state director of the Washington SBDC Network.

The Washington SBDC ( is hosted by Washington State University and receives funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Additional support comes from other institutions of higher education and nonprofit economic development organizations.

Read the full SBDC article to learn more.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers Hires and Trains New Employees in Moses Lake

Fifty-nine new employees have been hired and trained by SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers. By years end, total employment at the Moses Lake campus will be just under 200.

A portion of the training was funded with the support of a $150,000 Work Start training grant from the Governor’s Office and the Washington State Department of Commerce. Positions that were trained include supervisors, maintenance technicians, electricians and production operator trainers. Skills and principles taught included supervisory leadership, communication, negotiation, and skills directly related to day-to-day operations of the facility.

Through the training, two employees were promoted to supervisory positions, 41 employees learned production operations procedures and 13 employees were promoted to production operation trainers.

To learn more, visit

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Keystone Automotive Operations Announces Spokane County Expansion

Keystone Automotive Operations, Inc., an Exeter, Pennsylvania, corporation, recently announced an expansion in Spokane County, with the construction of a large distribution warehouse in Spokane’s West Plains area. The 250,000-square-foot facility will be home to approximately 60 employees who will be responsible for inbound and outbound freight activities.

Keystone is the leading distributor and marketer of aftermarket automotive equipment and accessories in North America. Keystone’s parent company, LKQ, based in Chicago, is a Fortune 500 company with worldwide distribution.

To learn more, go to

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Manufacturing Startup Incubator Launches in Spokane’s University District

Veteran Spokane entrepreneurs Andy Barrett and Tom Simpson are leasing space at the Spokane complex owned by Seattle-based McKinstry Co. for a manufacturing business incubator, called Toolbox, according to an article in the Journal of Business.

Toolbox is located in a portion of the former Habitat for Humanity ReStore building near the McKinstry Innovation Center. It’s intended to serve as a collaborative space where established companies and business mentors will share expertise, ideas, tools and equipment with manufacturing startups and entrepreneurs, Simpson says.

To learn more, read the Journal of Business article.