Employer commits to Quincy, breaks ground for plant
Raceways Technology Inc. broke ground in Quincy on Aug. 14 for a new plant that is expected to create 50 to 60 jobs locally.
The Port of Quincy invited local leaders to the site in northwest Quincy to introduce and welcome the company and its leadership to the community. The Port worked for two years on a deal with Raceways that will have the Port build on nine acres the Port owns – on the southeast corner of Columbia Way and Intermodal Way – and lease it to Raceways.
Raceways Technology is a third-generation family-owned business based in Tacoma. It makes PVC conduit and pipe for many applications, and the Quincy location will be a significant expansion for Raceways into Eastern Washington.
Raceways owner Josh Paul said he intends to exercise his option in the 20-year lease to purchase the Quincy property.
The groundbreaking event brought together a couple of dozen people to the site – bare ground now – for brief speeches and a ceremonial turning of the dirt with golden shovels. In attendance were the three Port commissioners, representatives from Quincy Valley Chamber of Commerce, representatives from Washington Trust Bank, Rep. Tom Dent, and others.
Port of Quincy Commissioner Brian Kuest began by introducing people and welcoming Raceways and the Paul family. Then Josh Paul spoke about Raceways, introduced company officers and his family and said he hopes to give back to the community. He also thanked everyone who had a part in making the Quincy project happen.
He introduced Ben Cruz, who will be the plant manager in Quincy. Paul said Cruz will move his family to this area next summer.
Kuest invited Dent to say a few words, which he did.
Raceways makes products and distributes similar products that are widely used in data centers, in water works, irrigation, by the Department of Transportation, and in the fiber optics industry, for instance, Paul said.
Paul said the location in Quincy will be attractive to customers in Eastern Washington and easier to reach than Tacoma, where Raceways is well-known. In Quincy, even smaller customers will be able to pick up products easily.
Within the first six to 12 months, Paul said he expects to hire 50 to 60 workers and added that there may be possibilities for overtime and a second shift, depending on demand.
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Brian Kuest, pleased that the long process reached a successful conclusion, said, “now we can tackle the hospital and wastewater,” referring to other projects on the Port’s list.
After starting discussions with Raceways a couple of years ago, Kuest said, the more the Port pursued it, the clearer it became that it was a worthwhile project.
“It gives us economic diversification,” Kuest said.
He called attention to the participation of Washington Trust Bank, providing financing to the Port for this project. Chera Anderson, vice president and team leader of Moses Lake Business Banking, was one of the officials from Washington Trust present. She said she thinks Raceways will be a great addition to the business community.
The apparent good fit for the company and the Paul family helps, Kuest said – the Pauls are already a part of the Crescent Bar community.
In fact, the Pauls have been spending time in the area for several years. They own a home in Crescent Bar.
“We really enjoy it here,” Tracie Paul said.
Coincidentally, the day of the groundbreaking was the fifth anniversary of Josh Paul’s father passing. Josh has run the company since.
“His dad would have been really excited,” Tracie Paul said about the groundbreaking in Quincy.
Josh’s grandfather Steve Paul Sr. was the founder of the company in 1979, Josh Paul said.
Larry Julius, of the engineering firm Gray & Osborne, which is designing the project from the ground up, said the contractor is Black Rock Construction & Development LLC of Moses Lake. A firm date for starting construction had not been set. The pre-engineered steel building will be toward the north end of the acreage, with a driveway on both streets.
Pat Boss, the Port’s director of business development and public affairs, was in on the early discussions with Raceways, covering such things as infrastructure, possible employees in the area, and quality of life.
“As we got deeper into it, it was just a good fit for them,” Boss said. “From a distribution standpoint this is a really good location.”
He said this was a good example of not rushing and of the patience of the Port.
“We try to basically take companies through a lot of these site selection questions … and we have gotten pretty good at it,” Boss said. “We found the right spot, and they found the right spot.”
By Dave Burgess, firstname.lastname@example.org