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Local manufacturer
prospers with expanded Port site, builds number of family-wage jobs

    When the Port of Walla Walla added a new 7,680 square foot building to Reiff Manufacturing’s airport complex it set the stage for new efficiency and continued growth for the fiberglass fabricator.
    David Reiff, President and General Manager of the firm, explains that the $540,000 Port investment allowed consolidation of all manufacturing processes to a single site instead of operating from two locations a “block and a half ” apart.
    According to Reiff, having its multiple building complex in one location added needed efficiencies in the manufacture of a variety of custom-built products. The mix includes fiberglass shelters, antenna covers, cisterns and fish rearing troughs and tanks.
    Even though annual sales to worldwide markets have grown to an estimated $3 million, Reiff insists his is a “small business.”
    Reiff Fiberglass operates with a staff of 20 people. The total annual payroll is some $700,000.
    David Reiff says his family-owned business is staffed by familyoriented people. “I’d say most all of our employees are here to earn a salary that meets a Walla Walla family’s needs.”
    It’s not just the individuals who work for the manufacturer who benefit. Reiff is particularly committed to other local businesses to help make his a success.
    “We rely on as many as 100 vendors on a regular basis - suppliers, electricians, welders - craftsmen who help us build quality products that are competitive on an international scale,” Reiff explains. “And as many as 50 or more of those are Walla Walla based. It’s just important that we help each other grow together.”

    Reiff Manufacturing was started in 1963 by David’s grandfather, Norwood. Later, his father Steve Reiff took over the reins. David and his wife, Michelle, assumed ownership and management of the company in March, 2011.

Amcor plant up and running - Once vacant WW building houses international firm's bottle manufacturing facility

    A once vacant warehouse in the Port’s Dell Avenue Industrial Park is now home to a state-of-the-art bottle maker operated by an international packaging company.
    Since February, 2011 the Amcor plant has been manufacturing PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles for juices produced by Cott in the next-door plant formerly owned by Cliffstar.
    According to Jeremy Larson, site manager for Amcor, the highly automated plant produces as many as 6,600 bottles an hour in 64-ounce, 96-ounce and gallon-sizes.
    From start to finish, bottles are seldom, if ever touched by human hands. The sophisticated system is operated by a two-person crew per shift, with each keeping a close eye on equipment that’s finetuned to maintain high speed output with uncompromising quality. Once wrapped and stacked, the bottles are stored by the thousands awaiting use by Cott.
    Larson says the Walla Walla plant is one of 78 similar Amcor operations in 13 countries around the world. “We’re counting on growing our service base beyond Cott’s Walla Walla plant to other users in nearby Northwest sites,” Larson said.
    Improvements costing an estimated $100,000 were completed to ready the building for Amcor. The renovations were funded through an Economic Development Sales Tax Grant via an agreement between the Port, Walla Walla County and the City of Walla Walla.

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