Growth and economic opportunity for the community and beyond – those were ICC, Inc’s goals when it took over operation of a struggling stainless steel manufacturing company in Canby, OR in 2018.
In the last months of 2019, ICC has been recognized by the City of Canby, Clackamas County, and Governor Kate Brown with Business Oregon for achieving and continuing to focus on those goals.
“We are honored to have been recognized by the City of Canby and Clackamas County for ICC NW’s exceptional growth and support of the local workforce,” says ICC CEO Alex Alexandrov. “We feel especially proud that Oregon has embraced us and we have the support of Governor Kate Brown and Business Oregon as we work to expand our capacity in Canby and nearby Tualatin.”
Within only seven months of ICC acquiring the Canby manufacturer, sales for ICC’s Canby facility increased and its workforce grew by more than 50%
“We were determined to not only continue operation of the Canby facility and keep its highly skilled workers fully employed, but to also grow the business and the job opportunities for the community and the entire region,” says Alexandrov. “It’s very important to us to make a positive impact on every community where we operate.”
The ICC’s Group revenue has grown by 36%, in an industry with an average growth rate of 3.8%. Known for its innovations, ICC’s experts were responding to client requests for cannabis process equipment pretty much as soon as it became legal. The company now has CBD-process equipment sales projections of over $50 million in the next 12 months.
To keep up with the sales growth, ICC needed to hire more stainless steel fabricators, but there is a nationwide shortage of workers who are skilled in fabrication of pressurized stainless steel tanks. Experts predict that manufacturers will need to add 4.6 million more workers in the next 10 years.
The company didn’t just scour the world for skilled stainless steel fabricators; ICC partnered with Clackamas Community College, Clackamas Workforce Partnership, and TechHire Clackamas to offer a paid fabricator training opportunity.
“Stainless steel fabrication requires special training to begin with, but we need highly skilled trades people who can roll with the variables of working in a custom shop, so it’s hard to find skilled fabricators for our products,” says ICC Group Executive Vice President of Innovations Kyle Sawyer. “It makes us really happy to be able to offer training that qualifies people for jobs with great pay and benefits.”
People with vocational, technical, and career training are actually more likely to be employed than those with four-year degrees. And the pay isn’t bad – an average of $55,000 a year across all jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree.
“We’re happy to help people develop the skills and experience for a really promising career by bringing them into the work environment from the very start to train under one of our best fabricators,” says ICC Continuous Improvement Engineer James Knudsen, who coordinated and administered the training program. “We accepted 11 trainees into the five-month program and we were so proud that they completed training, graduated, and all 11 of them were offered employment with us.”
ICC has also pushed the physical limits of the Canby plant, so the company is now looking to expand to a new facility in Tualatin, OR for research and development as well as additional production capacity.
“Our goal has been to grow this business so that we can bring more opportunities like this to our community and keep Oregon working. We could not be more elated to be this far along in our initiatives,” says Alexandrov. “Oregon has embraced ICC and our values. Governor Brown’s and Business Oregon’s support of our expansion plans means that we can create more jobs and continue initiatives like our apprenticeship program and clean air and water projects.”
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