Save the Date for EDCUtah's Golf for Grants Tournament
We hope you've blocked out June 4 on your calendars and will join us at beautiful Eaglewood Golf Course for EDCUtah's annual Golf for Grants Tournament. We are soliciting sponsors for the event and encourage your participation. The tournament is always a fun event and supports a worthy cause. In fact, our Match Grants Committee just finished awarding grants for the latest cycle. We'll talk more about the Match Grants program in a future newsletter, but we are happy to report that, because of your help, we have been able to award a total 499 matching grants since the program's inception, for a total of more than $1 million.
Also, we congratulate Slade Opheikens for his new role as the new president and CEO of R&O Construction. Slade takes over for Dale Campbell, who has successfully led the company for a decade and will continue to lead R&O's business development efforts. Chairman of the Board Orluff Opheikens says this transition has been part of the company's long term plan. R&O Construction, a family-owned business established in 1980, is headquartered in Ogden and has regional offices in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.
Today's Economic Review also includes links to many of the ED-related news stories from the past week. As always, if you have comments, suggestions or topics you'd like to see in the Economic Review, please contact us by clicking the "Comments" link on the bottom of this page. Enjoy!
President and CEO
Last month, the Utah composites industry exhibited at JEC Europe 2014 in Paris. From left to right: trade assistant Alexandre Haret, Heather Kralik and Jeff Sunderland of Exelis and EDCUtah's Jeff Edwards. Photo source: U.S. Commercial Service
Showcasing Utah's Composites
On a recent day in March, EDCUtah President and CEO Jeff Edwards and Exelis Aerostructures Director of Business Development Jeff Sunderland were in Paris, talking up Utah's advanced composites cluster at the world's largest composites show, JEC Europe.
The U.S. Pavilion, where the Utah Composites Industry exhibited, was put together by the U.S. Commercial Service and the U.S. Embassy in Paris and provided Edwards and Sunderland with immediate notoriety. "Anyone that has been in the industry for any length knows about Utah, which allows us to leverage the state's status to help Exelis win more business and also encourage other composites companies to consider Utah when looking to locate in the United States," says Edwards.
There's no better place than the world's largest composites show for Utah to stake its claim as a center for the advanced composites industry. Certainly there are other composite centers in the world, but even within JEC's network of 250,000 professionals from 100 different countries, Utah stands out.
From Brigham City in the north through Ogden and the Salt Lake corridor to the Wasatch Back and all the way to Gunnison on the south, Utah's composites industry has mushroomed into a key growth cluster and important part of Governor Gary R. Herbert's economic development plan. In fact, the growing expertise and end-to-end supply chain in Utah has persuaded more than 100 advanced composites related companies to locate or expand here. EDCUtah research shows that Utah has one of the highest concentrations of advanced composite companies in the world, and this key cluster area has consistently added jobs for decades. At present, about 123 Utah companies are active in the industry, accounting for at least 10,000 jobs, with more being added every year.
Sunderland says Exelis Aerostructures' business continues to grow and the company's international markets remain an important aspect to its overall strategy. "Our partnership with EDCUtah at the 2014 JEC show provided Exelis with an excellent venue in which to reach our global audience, collaborate with current and potential customers and facilitated an opportunity to continue our support of the state's economic development efforts in advanced composites and aerospace," he says.
At its facility near the Salt Lake City International Airport, Exelis is growing its workforce by 50 to 100 jobs a year. The company has a long history with Boeing and will produce composite airframe substructures for the Boeing 787 using state-of-the art automation technology. Exelis also manufactures composite components for aerospace and defense contracts supporting Lockheed Martin's Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) and its F-35 fighter program, as well as tail rotor blade assemblies for the Sikorsky S-76D helicopter.
Also near the international airport, Boeing operates a fabrication and assembly operation, where it employs 575 workers. Last year, the aircraft manufacturer purchased an 850,000-square-foot factory in West Jordan. In this new building, Boeing will manufacture composite horizontal stabilizer parts for the new 787-9 Dreamliner jet. The company will employ 100 people at the expansive, 19-acre building when production begins at the end of this year, and officials expect to expand that number over the coming years as more work packages are added.
In Magna, ATK's Space Components Division has grown into a global center for satellite work, serving NASA, military, commercial and civil satellite applications. Nearly all the satellite structures the company makes are from a carbon fiber composite material. In Brigham City, Vexxel Composites, LLC, a manufacturer of high-pressure composite tanks for compressed natural gas vehicles, was just acquired by Luxfer Group, a global materials technology company.
In Layton, Hill Air Force Base has become an Air Force Center of Excellence for composite repair and composite material research. Nearby, Janicki Industries, a top engineering company, machines composite wing skins for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. In Clearfield, Alliant Techsystems (ATK) fabricates and finishes those F-35 wing skins in a military plant. And, at an adjacent, 627,000-square-foot commercial-airplane components plant, ATK manufacturers composite stiffening rods and circular composite frames for the fuselage of the Airbus A350 jetliner and large cylindrical casings for Rolls-Royce and General Electric jet engines. The company has already successfully delivered more than 10,000 parts to Airbus and, because of its expanded contract with the aircraft manufacturer, ATK is growing its Utah workforce with plans to hire additional professional and manufacturing employees to meet planned production rate increases at its facility.
Meanwhile, in Salt Lake City, composites industry bellwether Hexcel is consistently adding jobs as it manufactures the carbon fiber and epoxy resins that form the raw materials for advanced composite products. In fact, it's from the carbon-fiber tape supplied by Hexcel that ATK forms the long A350 fuselage stiffeners. In Heber City, Conductive Composites Company has become a global technology leader in making composite products that conduct electricity.
Indeed, Utah's composites industry cluster has influenced a wide range of industries in the state, from aerospace and defense to the large number of outdoor and recreation product manufacturers located here. Composite materials have been incorporated into everything from skis and camping gear to archery products. Recently, Hoyt Archery, a subsidiary of Utah-based Easton Companies, had its competition recurve bow, the "Buffalo," featured in the popular "Hunger Games" movies. Meanwhile, Enve Composites, headquartered in Ogden, is a manufacturer of high-end bicycle rims hand-made from carbon fiber materials. Also in Ogden, Goode Ski Technologies led the industry by introducing several firsts: pure carbon fiber "pencil" ski poles, composite rental poles, pure carbon fiber water skis and pure carbon fiber snow skis.
Edwards says one of the big trends he noticed at JEC was the broadening of the advanced composites marketplace to incorporate lower-cost materials into cars. "People have talked about using composites in cars for two decades and it's finally happening," he notes. "Companies like BMW and Mercedes, in particular, are incorporating carbon fiber components in their cars."
Carbon fibers have always been stronger, lighter and better than steel, he says, but until now they have been too costly, and processing times have been too long, especially for an automotive industry that relies on high-speed manufacturing. The composites industry has evolved enough that composite materials are starting to appear in production vehicles on production lines.
As a key supplier of advanced composite materials, Edwards says Utah stands to benefit from the enormous opportunities the automotive industry will create as it increases its use of advanced composites. And with a skilled workforce supported by advanced composite materials training at Salt Lake Community College, Davis Applied Technology College and the state's universities, Utah's composites industry is ready to respond to this new opportunity. - Gaylen Webb
CBRE: Delivering Superior Results
After opening its doors 30 years ago, CBRE has grown to become nationally recognized in real estate services, with a mission to "deliver superior results for stakeholders." The Salt Lake office of CBRE, a full-service commercial real estate company, has been an investor with EDCUtah since 1989 and employs 31 sales professionals among its staff of 105. The organization's broad range of services in the Utah marketplace includes brokerage, investment properties, valuation and appraisal, cooperate service, debt and equity finance, asset services, and project and facility management. In 2013, CBRE professionals advised clients on $838.5 million dollars in commercial real estate activity.
CBRE has long supported EDCUtah's efforts by sponsoring a table at the Annual Meeting each fall and designating a member from its brokerage community to sit on the EDCUtah Board of Trustees. "Being in direct contact with EDCUtah helps us keep our market knowledge up to date, which assists us in better-serving our current and potential clients," says Nadia Letey, who sits on the EDCUtah board and executive committee as a representative from CBRE.
EDCUtah greatly appreciates the continued support of CBRE Group, Inc. For more information, visit www.cbre.com/slc or call 801-869-8000. - April Torres
8th Annual Governor's Economic Summit (Grand America Hotel, Salt Lake City) Schedule
Utah City Management Association Spring Conference (St. George Hilton Garden Inn)
EDCUtah Executive Committee meeting (Location TBD)
Utah League of Cities and Towns Mid-Year Conference (Dixie Center, St. George)
Hays Whiteboard Seminar Series #2, "Health Plan Funding & Catastrophic Claims Management?" (Little America Hotel, Salt Lake City) from 1:30 - 4 p.m. Speaker: David Ross, executive vice president of underwriting services. RSVP by emailing email@example.com or calling (801) 505-6508.
Governor's State of Sports Awards, (Energy Solutions Arena)
UTC Annual Meeting, (Little America)
Industrial Asset Management Council (Pinehurst, NC)
AUVSI's 2014 Unmanned Systems Conference and Trade Show (Orlando)
EDCUtah Board of Trustees meeting (Location TBD)
ICSC RECON (Las Vegas)
SAMPE Tradeshow (Seattle)
2014 Governor's Energy Development Summit (Salt Palace Convention Center)
EDCUtah Golf for Grants Tournament 2014 (Eaglewood Golf Course, North Salt Lake)
EDCUtah Executive Committee meeting (Location TBD)
EDCUtah Quarterly Investor Update (Location TBD)
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The EDCUtah Economic Review is a weekly publication of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. It is distributed to EDCUtah partners and selected other government and civic organizations interested in Utah's economic development.
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In the News
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