Wednesday, May 25, 2011

StairMaster to move its corporate headquarters to Vancouver

Merger of two fitness equipment giants creates 100 jobs for Clark County

Vancouver, WA - The merger of two leaders in the fitness equipment industry will create 100 new jobs in Clark County.

Star Trac, an Irvine, California-based leader in developing advanced commercial equipment for the fitness industry and StairMaster, a former Nautilus brand, will be consolidating a number of operational functions to StairMaster's headquarters in Vancouver, Washington. "This will allow us to streamline our business process to be more efficient and effective for our customers," stated Dustin Grosz, President of Star Trac and StairMaster. While the company's fitness equipment will continue to be manufactured in China, StairMaster picked Vancouver over Irvine for the location of its new 26,000 square foot corporate headquarters. The new offices, located at 4400 NE 77th Avenue, will house the company's executive, administrative, and customer service functions. "Cultural fit is very important to our business and Vancouver meets all of our needs" said Grosz. "The Portland-Vancouver metro is the nation's hub for outdoor and fitness equipment enthusiasts which allows us to have access to the type of workforce we want to grow and shape our company."

The recruitment of StairMaster was a community effort. The City of Vancouver took the lead, pulling the Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) and Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council (SWWDC) into the recruitment activities. The group worked collaboratively to compel StairMaster to locate its new corporate headquarters in Vancouver. "Using the team approach, we were able to put forth a convincing business case for StairMaster," said City Manager Eric Holmes. Additionally, the City, scheduled to move to the new city hall in September, will seize a unique opportunity to move some of their departments currently housed at the NE 77th address to the new city hall by three months. This cooperative effort between the building property owner, city staff, and the city hall contractor will allow StairMaster to be in their new headquarters by June 1st.

SWWDC will assist the company in attracting highly-skilled and adaptive employees that match Stairmaster's driven and dynamic culture. SWWDC will work with the company and WorkSource throughout the summer to provide candidate recruitment and screening.

CREDC provided research and data information and worked closely with the Washington Department of Commerce to secure relocation assistance for StairMaster. As a result, Governor Gregoire allocated $100,000 of the Governor's Strategic Reserve Fund to help off-set relocation costs and provide change management support. "The consolidation of StairMaster's California and Washington offices to Vancouver is a great success," said Eric Fuller, Board Chair of the CREDC. "This is a globally recognized brand name in a billion dollar industry and the Governor's support is evidence of her commitment in creating jobs."

Vancouver, Washington sits on the north bank of the Columbia River directly across from Portland, Oregon. This commercial seaport is less than 100 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. It is the second largest city in the Portland-Vancouver MSA with a 2010 estimated population of 165,500. The City has a diversified industrial base ranging from computer, electronic and steel fabrication, to bulk exports and luxury motor yacht manufacturing. Vancouver is home to an exceptional workforce with knowledge and experience garnered from local industries such as HP, Thompson Metal Fab and Frito-Lay. The City combines the excitement of a major metropolitan area with small-town charm and abundant recreational opportunities. For more information, visit

Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) is a proactive, results-oriented non-profit assisting businesses with relocation and expansion in Clark County. With over 130 investors from the public and private sector, the CREDC is charged with promoting job creation and investment while maintaining the county's exceptional environment and high quality of life. The CREDC serves as a "one-stop shop" specializing in site location and acquisition, business data and demographics, and process facilitation. The CREDC achieves its goals through visionary thinking and strategic relationships. Since 1982, the CREDC has created over 20,000 jobs and $5 billion in capital investment, representing over $1 billion in annual wages for the region. For more information, visit

Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council (SWWDC) provides leadership and resources for a trained and productive workforce in Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties. Led by a diverse board of representatives from business, labor, education, community-based non-profits, and government agencies, the SWWDC serves local employers and residents in the tri-county area. For more information, visit

Thursday, May 19, 2011

News Release: Port of Vancouver to recruit SAPA Profiles

State board invests more than $800,000 for Port of Vancouver to recruit SAPA Profiles

Project to relocate Canadian manufacturing facility will create up to 100 jobs and draw $8 million in private investment.

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) today announced an $800,000 public infrastructure investment targeting business growth and job creation in Clark County.

The investment supports plans for SAPA Profiles, the world’s leading provider of solutions using extruded aluminum profiles, to relocate a Canadian manufacturing facility to the Port of Vancouver industrial park. SAPA’s move to Clark County will create up to 100 permanent family wage jobs and invest over $8 million in private funds for the installation of manufacturing equipment and facility improvements.

“The revitalization of the Port’s Kotobuki facility and the addition of a new industry will have long term benefits to a distressed county and a community struggling with the highest unemployment rate in the state of Washington,” said Port of Vancouver Executive Director Larry Paulson

Since 1982, CERB has committed nearly $150 million to local jurisdictions across the state, an investment generating more than 36,000 jobs.

The release of CERB funds to this Port of Vancouver project is contingent upon completion of specific pre-contract requirements, such as finalizing other funding sources and obtaining necessary permits.

As Washington’s strategic economic development resource, CERB is focused on creating private sector jobs in partnership with local governments by financing public infrastructure improvements. These improvements encourage new business development and expansion. In addition to funding construction projects, CERB provides limited funding for studies that evaluate high-priority economic development projects. Learn more about CERB here. CERB receives administrative support from the Washington State Department of Commerce.