Traded Sector Stories

Nike & Hydro Graphics, Inc.

When the University of Oregon football team took the field at the 2012 Rose Bowl, television viewers across the nation were awed by the new Nike Pro Combat uniforms. Particularly notable were the one-of-a-kind Liquid Metal helmets.

Nike partnered with Newberg-based Hydro Graphics, Inc. (HGI) to develop the eye-catching finish for the helmet. HGI developed a mirrored appearance using a proprietary HydroSkin water transfer printing technology to create the highly reflective surface, fittingly named HydroChrome.

“Working with Nike to develop these iconic helmets that were seen by millions of viewers around the country was huge for us. Without that partnership, we never would have had that opportunity,” says Chris Thom, HGI President.

HGI was founded in 2006 as an extension of their previously established painting facility, Finish Line Industries, which began operations in 2001. HGI currently has 37 valued employees.

“Working with a small firm like HGI gives us the flexibility to do something really unique and special,” says Nike’s Global Creative Director for Football Todd Van Horne. “We can tap into special talents and processes by partnering with small firms such as HGI.”

The Standard & Alyssa Gasca

Founded in Portland in 1906 by German immigrant Leo Samuel, The Standard provides life, disability, dental and vision insurance and financial management services nationwide. Because most of its 7 million customers are located outside the Portland-metro area, The Standard is considered one of the largest traded-sector service companies in the region.

The Standard generates more than $660 million in annual economic activity in Oregon, including $347 million in personal income. The company employs 2,400 at its headquarters in Portland, and generates 3,000 other jobs through contracting and purchasing of goods and services – often with small, local companies.

One example is Alyssa Gasca’s organizational consulting business. The Standard regularly uses Ms. Gasca’s firm to help with strategic planning and professional development. The relationship has allowed Ms. Gasca to grow her company with local hiring to meet The Standard’s needs.

“This is a virtuous cycle,” said Ms. Gasca, “The Standard’s national presence translates into more jobs and the resources to hire a firm like mine here in Portland. In turn, my firm helps The Standard to be even more successful as they compete on that bigger national stage, meaning they provide even more economic activity here at home.”

Boeing & PECO Manufacturing

Boeing is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. Boeing’s Gresham operation employs about 1,700 people and serves as the company’s center of excellence for complex machining, gear systems and pilot controls for all Boeing Commercial Airplane programs. It ranks as one of the largest profile milling facilities in the world and produces some of the most critical machined parts and structures for Boeing’s jets.

Founded in 1938 as an aluminum and zinc die cast job shop, Portland’s PECO Manufacturing has been building components used in Boeing’s commercial and military aircraft for more than 50 years. Boeing is PECO’s largest and also one of its longest-standing customers.

“PECO builds components that are used in a range of Boeing products,” said Boeing’s Portland General Manager, Perry Moore. “Their products go into airplanes that are sold and operated around the world.”

Because of its strong ties to Boeing, PECO has been able expand its product line and markets. Today PECO employs about 250 people at its Southeast Portland plant.

“We make very specialized products that require highly skilled workers,” said Steve Scheidler, PECO President. “Our product isn’t something that you buy at the corner store. Without Boeing’s global market reach, our employee count would be far less.”

PCC Stucturals & BOWCO

Headquartered in SE Portland, PCC Structurals manufactures large and small castings in nickel, titanium and stainless steel for aerospace, medical and other industries.

A division of Precision Castparts Corp., PCC Structurals was founded in the early 1950s, growing from a business that originally made chainsaw parts. By 2011, the company had diversified to highly engineered castings for the aircraft propulsion, aerospace and other industries. Today the company has sales of $7.2 billion, more than 21,000 employees and 120 manufacturing facilities worldwide.

Casting metal requires accurate wax molds and when PCC Structurals needs one they often turn to BOWCO Industries, a provider of precision engineered molding services.

Founded in 1990, Canby, Oregon-based BOWCO has 20 employees.

“Parts we make using BOWCO molds end up in aircraft engines and other highly engineered products sold literally across the globe,” said Steve Duea, Vice President of Human Resources for PCC Structurals.

“The parts PCC Structurals makes with our molds end up in products made by GE Aviation, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce,” said BOWCO President Doug Bowen. “We’re able to pay better wages and create more jobs through the connection with PCC Structurals than we could if we were only supplying to the local market.”