October Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union is growing fast (if you want to join us check out our careers page). The main reason for that is the great service our amazing employees provide our members. Our October anniversary celebrants are always hard at work to provide the best possible member service.

One employee not highlighted below is our CEO Robert Blumberg who celebrated 10 years of leading the charge for WCU on October 1st. Look for a blog from Robert later in the month looking back at the last 10 years, and forward towards the next 10.

Sharon Borgardt – 23 Years
What is your current position?
As the Chief Human Resources Officer I supervise the HR Department; serve on our executive team; oversee hiring, employee benefits, payroll and legal compliance regarding employment; and assist all employees to ensure their needs are heard and addressed. Our employees are what sets Wauna apart. Making sure we hire the right people to serve our members—and making sure those employees have what they need to succeed—is a responsibility I don’t take lightly.  I especially appreciate Wauna’s dedication to providing growth opportunities for our employees.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I have it every day. The most gratifying part of my job is helping our employees.  This includes ensuring that our employees have great benefits.  One benefit that means a lot to our employees is our Sick Leave Donation program that allows employees to donate Sick Time to an employee in need, who has exhausted their Sick Time due to a serious medical condition.  I love being able to inform an employee in need that their generous and caring co-workers donated enough Sick Time to cover their absence.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I enjoy spending time and traveling with family and friends.  Between us, my husband Ron and I we have great 5 kids and 4 wonderful granddaughters.  We rescue Great Pyrenees dogs; our current fur babies are Bob and Mica, and they are very special to us, too.  I have lived in Astoria for 23 years and it’s been amazing to experience the growth of the area. We love all the arts and really delicious food options in the area, while still being so close to nature!

Sharon and her husband Ron with dogs

Sara Kulp – 6 Years
What is your current position?
I’m currently the training manager, my position is to train our new internal members and provide ongoing training for the credit union. WCU really believes in giving all team members the foundation to build their career, which makes this an incredibly rewarding position. I also support oncoming projects and help implement the training process. Previously I was the branch manager for our St. Helens branch. It was tough to give up the face-to-face interactions with our members, but great to know I’m helping teach people how to give the same friendly service I would.

Sara in Hawaii

What is your favorite WCU memory?
This past year I had the opportunity to put together and host our in-service day. It’s a day where all if the employees get together and kick off the year, talk about successes and what will be happening in the next year. We all had a blast and I will never forget the energy and excitement that we had that day.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I love to travel, read and spend time with family. I have three sons. One graduated and is now proudly serving our country in the Air Force, the other two are still at home and keep us so busy with all their activities.

Kailynn Daum – 6 Years
What is your current position?
I am a Training Specialist. I get to use my experience from being on the front line to teach our internal members (employees) in a variety of areas to help them better serve our members. I love that Wauna is committed to education and opportunity, and that I get to be a big part of that.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite memory with the credit union is becoming certified and facilitating our most recent TMA seminar for 28 of our newest employees. The Member Advantage is the service philosophy that we have adopted here at Wauna, and just one of the ways that the Credit Union invests in our employees success. I love being a part of our employees growth and development and it was so rewarding to see the Training Team’s hard work pay off.

Kailynn in Greece

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I am not at work I love to travel and experience the world with my husband, Alex. When we’re not out exploring, I enjoy practicing yoga, kayaking, spending time with friends and family, and being a dog mom to my three pups.

Samantha Wiser – 5 years
What is your current position?
I’m an MC III in the St. Helens branch. I am proud that I get to assist the members in my community with their financial goals. It is very rewarding for me to see our members achieve their dreams!Sam taking a selfie

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I like to have fun while helping our members and teammates. My fun memories are all about laughing and making coming into the credit union a good time, instead of a chore.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
If I’m not at work I’m outside playing. Whether it’s hiking, camping, or rafting I like being active. My favorite thing to do is Kayak the sloughs on the Columbia and explore Sand Island. I’ve been going there since I was a kid!

Marti Gwin – 1 Year
What is your current position?
I’m the internal auditor at Wauna. My job is to look at processes within the credit union to evaluate if we are effectively managing risk. My goal is to provide feedback that gives insight to managers about their areas of operation in a way that enhances and adds value to what they do. I like to say I’m an extra pair of eyes to help us be the best we can be and do the best that we can do for our members. Prior to being an employee, I was a member of Wauna’s Board of Directors. The Board works with our CEO Robert and the rest of the Leadership Team to set the roadmap for the credit union. It really is a rewarding experience.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I recently had the opportunity to help at the Wauna booth during one of the 13 Nights on the River concerts in St. Helens. It was fun hanging out with Josh and Stephanie from the Marketing Team while listening to great music and greeting people as they wandered by the booth. The Wauna kazoos where a big hit with everyone and we even gave a few kazoo lessons!

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I love to spend time with other people. Hanging out  with my husband of 31 years is a favorite past time, I also teach a weekly women’s Bible study at my house, regularly visit a few older friends who can’t get out any more, and I try to make arrangements to meet a friend for coffee or a meal every week. People energize me!

Marti and the Ops team


  • Diana Phipps – 4 Years
  • Summer Douglas – 1 Year

The Equifax Breach – A Comprehensive Guide Part 2

There’s been a lot of news about the Equifax breach recently. We put together a guide to help our members understand what happened, and how to protect your information.

Our CEO Robert Blumberg has written a letter on the steps we are taking to ensure our members are protected. You can find the letter at https://waunafcu.org/blog/robert_blumberg_letter/. 

Who is Equifax?

Equifax Logo

Equifax is a consumer reporting agency and one of the three largest credit bureaus in the nation. These bureaus retain the aggregate credit information of some 800 million American and Canadian citizens, including more than 88 million businesses internationally.

Why would they have my sensitive information?

Credit card companies, banks, credit unions, retailers, auto lenders, and mortgage lenders all report details of your credit activity to credit reporting agencies. Whenever you open an account extending credit, that company or entity reports to these bureaus.

What happened?

In May of 2017, hackers trolling the internet discovered an Equifax server using outdated Apache software vulnerable to attack.

What was stolen and how many were compromised?

Social Security numbers, birth-dates, addresses, names, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, and other documents. This breach is affecting more than 143 million US-based users.

Have I been breached?

Many of our members are wondering if they are affected, and if so what to do. The FTC has provided some guidance, but we have included some main steps below. If you do find that you were included, don’t worry, but protect yourself and take advantage of the Equifax services for those whose information was made available.

What do I do?

Guarding your personal information is a huge priority for Wauna Credit Union. By using advanced fraud-monitoring technology, our committed staff is watching your accounts. Although in the wake of the Equifax breach, thieves may be more prevalent in their attempts to steal your information. They might try one or many of the following:

  • Fraudsters are sourcing phone numbers to contact the Credit Union (caller IDs are displaying member’s actual phone number).
  • Impostors are saying they are members. They are providing accurate information when we ask questions to ID them.
  • Placing fake travel notifications. Fraudsters are then using cards outside of our members’ normal usage areas.

We understand how overwhelming identity theft can be. But there are ways to protect yourself, including steps you can take right now.

1. First of all, finding out if your data has been exposed is where you need to start. You can do this by entering your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number at Equifax’s website*.
*As of 09/29/2017 this service has been listed as “temporarily unavailable”. Continue to check regularly as Equifax catches up to mass inquiries.

2. Whether or not you’ve been compromised, U.S. Equifax consumers are eligible for year of free credit monitoring and other services**. The site has provided a date when you can come back to enroll.
**Equifax has confirmed people who enroll in the credit monitoring program as a result of the breach would not waive their right to class action.

3. Using strong passwords is helpful. Also important is being aware of the information you provide when transferring secure information.

4. Reviewing your free credit reports is essential. Get started here.

5. Monitoring your accounts for unusual activity is key! Accounts on your credit reports that you didn’t open, or credit inquiries from entities you’ve never contacted are red flags. If you find evidence of fraud, let us and/or the appropriate financial institution know right away.

6. Open a “My Social Security account”, preventing bad guys from creating accounts in your name.

7. In addition, consider placing a credit freeze. Placing a credit freeze makes it more difficult for a thief to open an account in your name. A credit freeze will not stop a thief from changing your accounts.

8. Setting a fraud alert. This requires creditors to verify your identity before issuing a credit card, opening a new account, or increasing a credit limit on an existing account. A fraud alert will not stop a lender from opening credit in your name. Yet it does require lenders to take additional steps in verifying your identity. Better to be safe than sorry.

9. In the event that your identity has been compromised, file an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at identitytheft.gov or by phone at 1-877-438-4338.

10. Because of increasing attacks, some people are theorizing that we will see an increase in tax return fraud. If possible, file taxes early this year.

Also, be vigilant in watching accounts you have outside of the Credit Union and don’t click on suspicious links or open attachments. Additionally, do not respond to emails, text messages, or phone calls that are soliciting your information — no matter who the caller is claiming to be.

In the meantime, Wauna Credit Union is working around the clock to safeguard your finances. We are here to answer questions and address concerns.

For a list of FAQs regarding the breach, please visit https://goo.gl/tGWzP2, and as always, we are here if you have questions or concerns you wish to discuss.

Jobs at WCU – Careers With Growth

Wauna Credit Union has been growing like crazy. That growth, and our belief in promoting from within, means we have a bunch of new jobs throughout Clatsop County and Columbia County.

If you thrive on helping others, consider a career at Wauna Credit Union! Our employees are proud of our “people helping people” philosophy. They work hard to make a difference for others through Wauna CU’s mission and vision. Jobs at WCU are career opportunities in a growing credit union that believes in serving members.

Oregon Business Magazine even recognized us as a “Top 100 Nonprofit” to work for in Oregon.

Oregon Business 100 Best nonprofits to work for in Oregon 2015 Oregon Business 100 Best green workplaces in Oregon 2016

We put together a video to highlight what working for WCU is all about.

A more detailed listing of all job openings can always be found on our Careers Page: https://waunafcu.org/about/careers.shtml

If you’d like to see all of our current openings, please visit our website https://secure2.saashr.com/ta/WFCUG16.jobs?ShowAllOpenings 


September Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union is growing fast (if you want to join us check out our careers page). The main reason for that is the great service our amazing employees provide our members. Our September anniversaries work in a variety of departments at WCU.

Audrey McTague – 4 years
What is your current position?
I’m currently a Lending Support Specialist II, but I’ve worn a few different hats in my time at the credit union. I’m an underwriter/lending admin for our consumer loans and our mortgages.  Our members are the auto, RV, and toy dealers and branches.  If you have a loan question, call lending admin.  One of the things that makes Wauna great is we look for ways to do loans and not decline them.  We’re experts in the credit union’s offerings. Sometimes members come in asking for one thing, and we’re able to recommend a product that will help them even more.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite memory is back when I was a Member Service Officer, when an older member came in after her husband died and thought she was going to have to give her car back because it wasn’t in her name and didn’t know what she was going to do.  We were able to help her and she was in tears of joy, beside herself and was so glad she came to talk to us.  She was very sweet and brought us homemade treats at Christmas time.Audrey McTeague

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I’m not at work, i’m home doing gardening, reading a book or visiting family.  I love doing all three.

Laura Lovegren – 2 Years
What is your current position?
As of October 1st I am the Financial Center Manager for the Clatskanie Branch. Prior to that I was an ETF Clerk. As the FCM, I make sure that everything is running smoothly, so we can provide our members with the care they have come to expect from WCU. Whether that’s helping a member with a financial issue, coaching the great group of Member Consultants become leaders, or simply listening to members tell me stories about what is important to them. I grew up in Clatskanie, and this branch has always been an important part of the community, as well as are headqLaura with the teamuarters. It’s an honor to work here.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
There are so many great memories over the years, but my favorite memory just happened. It’s starting my role as the Clatskanie Financial Center Manager. I’m excited to set new goals for our branch, and help serve the community.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and four dogs, clam digging. Growing up here really led me to enjoying all the community has to offer.

Hannah Coffey – 1 Year
What is your current position?
I’m a Member Consultant at the Astoria Safeway Branch. My job is to help members with their day to day transactions, as well as help them get set up with new accounts, loans, and any other needs they may have. Working at the Safeway Branch is great because I get to see so many members of the community. I always like to remind them to add milk to their grocery list.Hannah

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite memory at WCU so far was LSI training. The two day training began about a month after I started. At the time, all of the information was a little over my head, but it made me excited to work here. Everyone came together and turned a long two days into something fun and exciting. I love working for a company that strives to keep not only it’s members happy, but it’s employees as well.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I’m not at work, you can find me outside! I enjoy activities like fishing, hunting, camping, – and most of all – hiking. I’m always looking for new places to explore, especially places that my dog can enjoy too.


  • Danea Passmore – 12 Years
  • Dawn Miller – 4 Years
  • Ian Wiggins – 3 Years
  • Brittany Warren – 2 Years
  • Lidia Sanchez – 1 Year

Call for Nominations for Board of Directors

The thing that sets a credit union apart from other financial institutions is that we are governed by our members, not our shareholders. That means each year we elect a Board of Directors from our membership. Today Wauna Credit Union is announcing it’s annual Call for Nominations for candidates for the 2018 elections for its member-elected, volunteer Board of Directors. Elected officials help to set the direction and policies for our member-owned, member-directed financial institution.

Download the application here.

Qualifying candidates must be a current Wauna CU member, at least 18 years of age, their membership shall be in good standing, and any potential conflict of interest does not exist, such as a close personal relationship with a Wauna CU official orWauna Credit Union's 2017 Board employee. Other conditions may apply. Qualifying candidates will be interviewed by the Credit Union Governance Committee, which is responsible to select the final slate of candidates for the 2018 election. Candidate applications are now available at any branch, by mail (call to request: 800-773-3236), and on our website. The deadline to submit a completed application is close of business Friday, November 10, 2017. The By-Laws do offer a petition option; petition deadline is February 8, 2018. There will be no nominations from the floor during the 51st Annual Meeting.

If you have questions, please contact the Board Governance Committee Chair, Chrissy Johnston, at 503-728-6124 or by email at gcomm@waunafcu.org.

The next elections for open positions on the Board of Directors will be conducted by electronic ballot, commencing February 14, 2018, and concluding at Midnight, March 14, 2018. Election results will be announced during the business meeting of the 51st Annual Meeting, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 6:30 p.m. at the Wauna Credit Union Learning Center, 49249 Hwy 30, Westport, Oregon.

The Credit Union Difference

Wauna Credit Union was formed, and continues to act, for the purpose of serving our communities of Clatsop, Columbia, and Western Washington Counties in Oregon, and Pacific County in Washington. We talk a lot about our charity, and about serving our members. What we spend most of our day-to-day work on is being a financial institution that is working to help our members achieve their dreams. A huge part of that is being a not-for-profit credit union instead of a for profit bank.

We put together a video on what that difference means for us. Check it out to hear about the Credit Union Difference.

In addition, ECONorthwest created an independent analysis that analyzed the gross economic impacts of credit unions in Oregon and Washington. The study measured the jobs, economic output, and income Wauna Credit Union contributed to the economy in 2016.

Wauna Credit Union's Economic Impact Wauna Credit Union Impacts Direct Member Benefit 21, 564 number of members Jobs 90 jobs Income $5,426,000 income to credit union employees economic contribution $10,277,00 spending and compensation total economic impacts direct member benefit $1,899,00 Jobs 269 jobs Income $11,699,000 income supported by credit union employees Economic contribtuion $25,634,000 spending and compensation

August Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union is growing fast (if you want to join us check out our careers page). The main reason for that is the great service our amazing employees provide our members. We consider Wauna Credit Union a family, and caught up with a few family members having their anniversary this month.

Gina Dines – 10 Years
What is your current position?
I am the Financial Center Manager for the Clatskanie Branch. I make sure that everything is running smoothly, so we can provide our members with the care they have come to expect from WCU. Whether that’s helping a member with a financial issue, coaching the great group of Member Consultants become leaders, or simply listening to members tell me stories about what is important to them. Gina and members of our board of directors golfThis is our oldest branch, and I’m honored to have an important role in something that is a big part of our community.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
There are so many great memories over the years. We have such a fun environment at the Clatskanie Financial Center, so many of my memories involve helping members while still having a good time. One of the more recent memories is being part of the leadership team as we remodeled and redesigned the Clatskanie Financial Center. The grand re-opening was amazing. We put in so many hours to make sure our members had a branch they could be proud of, and one that represents modern financial management, while at the same time staying true to our roots as a local institution.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I have three daughters, who I love and adore and am very proud of. I have two granddaughters who light up my life. I also recently got engaged, and am looking forward to adding even more to my family.  I love being a grandma! I’m also very active in the Clatskanie Community. I am President of the Clatskanie Chamber, and am on the Heritage Days Board, and help plan and run the events that highlight what makes this such a great place to live.

Megan Gillespie – 10 Years
What is your current position?
I am the Operations Lending Specialist and part of our Operations Department. I handle the behind-the-scenes details of loans such as title work, maintenance. I get to work with the rest of our stellar Operations and Lending teams, make sure the loans our members get work correctly aMegannd go as smoothly as possible. We want our members to be able to kick back, relax, and enjoy their loan experience in total confidence that Wauna Credit Union is there for them 110%.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
Every time we are able to solve an issue that makes a member’s life easier becomes my favorite Wauna memory. One that stands out is a member who works abroad and was in Australia at the time of our EMV card conversion to, which made all of our debit and credit cards more secure. The member was getting ready to leave Australia and head to Europe but the old cards they had were no longer going to be valid.  To complicate matters the card from their other financial institution was not working either. Together with the rest of the amazing Operations Department, we got a debit card and a credit card rushed to the member in Australia just days before they left for their next location. We also got the member a limit increase to help make up for the non-working card from their other institution. It was a lot of moving parts and took a lot of teamwork but ultimately we managed to pull it off so the member had no interruption in service and ended up being able to continue travelling for work with no stress (at least regarding their cards).

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I enjoy spending time with family. Reading, travel, cooking, and photography are also activities I enjoy when I’m not with my Wauna family.

Mike Chapman – 7 Years
What is your current position?
I’m the Predictive Data Analyst. It’s a new role we created to analyze, interpret, and provide reports & recommendations in order to help keep Wauna CU strategically positioned on the leading edge of the future needs of our current and potential membership. Especially as we grow it’s important for us to make sure we are offering people the best products to help them realize their financial (and personal) goals.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I have fond memories of being part of the teams associated with building and opening our new facilities, which all provide greater convenience, security, and pride for the membership. These facilities include the new branches in Scappoose, St Helens, Astoria Safeway, Warrenton, Clatskanie, and the Mortgage Origination Office in Long Beach. Mike poses against a Wauna banner at the annual meeting

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I am an avid grandparent to a young granddaughter and grandson, and I enjoy shopping with my wife for bargain antiques and collectibles.

Jennifer Kenney– 5 Years
What is your current position?
I’m the Operations Support Manager.  I supervise our back office staff.  Our department handles the mail, funds transfers like wires and direct deposits, title items like DMV docs and paid off loans, IRAs, Escrow accounts and many other processes that help the front line employees help our members. Jenn at the beach with her daughters

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I have many memories about helping our members overcome difficult financial situations in ways that would help make a tough situation better.  I have had so many fun times with my co-workers, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries as well as various accomplishments by my teammates.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I like to spend time with friends and family.  I love to travel and spend time outdoors.  My daughter is an athlete, so I enjoy watching her play sports. Basketball is her favorite right now.


  • Amy Stocky – 4 years
  • Anna Bennett – 2 Years
  • Ana Dering – 2 Years
  • Bonnie Moss – 1 Year
  • Amanda Wolf – 1 Year

July Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union is growing fast (if you want to join us check out our careers page). The main reason for that is the great service our amazing employees provide our members. We consider Wauna Credit Union a family, and caught up with a few family members having their anniversary this month.

Richard Bighill– 21 Years
What is your current position?

I am the Lending Support Clerk in the Lending Admin Dept.  My job is to support the rest of the department, who fund and underwrite loans.  I send Welcome Packets to all our new members to let them know everything their ownership of Wauna Credit Union gets them. I prep loan accounts and open share accounts as needed.  I also do Property Inspection Reports (including taking property photos) and appraisals for the Mortgage Dept.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite WCU memory was when my manager Sharon, who recently became our Security Officer, surprised me with my 20th anniversary present at celebration we had in July of last year for hitting $200 million in assets.  She gave me an official Seahawks jersey, with #13 Bighill!  My favorite number is 13.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I love working with my hands, whether it’s detailing cars or doing yard work I like to spend my free time making things look good. I also spend as much time as possible with my wife of almost 25 years Shelly.

Carli Lyon– 12 Years
What is your current position?
My title is AVP of Virtual Services. I supervise and manage the Communication Center and Virtual Center of Wauna Credit Union.  Both these departments assist our members by providing exceptional service virtually via phones, email, chat, and soon through video!Carli and the Virtual Team

What is your favorite WCU memory?
After being here 12 years, there are so many memories to choose from it is hard to narrow it down to just one or 2. But what I can tell you is that I truly love investing time in my employees. Coaching them to greater heights and encouraging them to break the law of limited performance. I pride myself in Carli, her husband and kids on the riverbeing part of their growth and upward movement. There are a group of employees that I have either hired or coached that have went on to very successful in their careers here at Wauna. I like to think I played a small role in that.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
My hobbies outside of work consist of anything outdoors such as hunting and fishing and being with my family.

Heidi White– 5 Years
What is your current position?
I’m a Member Consultant in the Clatskanie branch – which means I listen to members needs and wants to help them find a solution, whatever it may be. I’ve always been somebody that focuses on helping people, so this is a great opportunity for me to really get involved with our members, and see their successes.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
The Clatskanie Branch went through a huge remodel last year. I got to assist with that from beginning to end. One of the great things about working here is they expect you to be involved no matter what your title is.  It was great to see the branch change to a modern financial center, built to meet our members’ needs.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
Anything where I can spend time with my two girls (ages 5 and 6 months) and my husband Zach. We’re homebodies so mostly we do little projects around our house. Right now we’re fixing up the backyard to take advantage of the great summer weather.

Kristen DeForrest– 1 Year
What is your current position?
I am the Astoria Safeway Member Service Manager. In this position I am responsible for building relationships with members, assisting them with their financial needs, and also helping my team members learn and grow in their position. We have a great team here, and it’s so rewarding to watch people grow.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I have many great memories over the last year, but I will share about a young girl names Maddy.  Maddy is about 8-years-old and always stops by for stickers and coloring pages. She has wanted a stuffed eagle for several years and in October 2016 (International Credit Union Day) we were able to give her one of her own. I have never seen her smile so big. She wrote us the cutest thank you card and then even invited us to her birthday. She loves to come see us and we look forward to seeing her. I believe she will be a member for life because of the WOW service.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I enjoy spending time at home with my husband, Cory. We enjoy having friends over, a good BBQ, and stay up to date on all our favorite TV Shows. We are Survivor fans J I also sell LuLaRoe clothing as a side business.


  • Sue Whitton – 10 Years
  • Jan Durie – 7 years
  • John Moore – 4 Years
  • Shayla Frahm – 1 Year

Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center Partners Announced

There was major news announced earlier in the week about a partnership that means more jobs for Columbia County. A group of seven companies with ties to manufacturing along with three universities announced that they have officially signed on as partners at the new OMIC (Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center) in Scappoose.

The full press release surrounding the news is below, but this is great news for the community, and for the possibility of increased employment in the area.

Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center secures industry commitments to launch major manufacturing partnership

Seven leading manufacturing companies and three Oregon universities are partnering on R&D at new Scappoose facility

Scappoose, Oregon; June 29, 2017 The Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC) has taken another major step forward with the formal signing of a multi-party collaboration agreement, bringing together manufacturing industry partners with three Oregon public universities in a research and development (R&D) facility being developed in Scappoose, Oregon. This collaboration will launch OMIC’s mission to develop advanced metals manufacturing technologies that are expected to increase commercial productivity and augment state and regional capabilities for industry growth and innovation.

Pledging their commitment to the launch of OMIC R&D are companies with headquarters in Oregon, Washington and across the country:

OMIC R&D will provide economic, strategic, and technological solutions for its industry partners, bringing together the best talents and capabilities of manufacturing and three universities: Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech), Oregon State University (OSU), and Portland State University (PSU). The partnership – scheduled to launch its initial projects in 2017 – will provide “outside-in” applied research, technical advice, and support driven by manufacturing enterprises of all sizes to define the R&D focus. The facility will support new supply chain linkages, provide a critical mass of innovation, and promote the region as a major source of engineering and manufacturing expertise. Membership within OMIC R&D is expected to grow with several national and international companies already expressing interest in becoming part of the collaboration.

“This project represents an exciting opportunity for Boeing and other industry partners,” said Bill Gerry, program manager with Boeing Global Technology. “The partners are pooling resources and experience to problem solve, while also creating opportunity through research and development as well as training. The role of R&D is critical – with industry partnering with Oregon Tech, OSU and PSU – and will be instrumental in bolstering economic growth and deepening relationships with metals-related industry. This provides a glide path for Oregon manufacturers to be more competitive in the global market.”

OMIC R&D will be a state-of-the-art facility comprised of talented engineers and technologists as well as university faculty, and undergraduate and graduate students. All members of the collaboration have a track record of problem-solving related to industrial manufacturing, and access to a collective of world-class technology and equipment. OMIC has already received commitments from international machine tool and equipment manufacturers for the donation of state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment to be used in execution of the R&D projects.

“This industry-driven collaboration is unique, offering significant leverage for industry project dollars. This gain comes from OMIC R&D’s shared equipment, as well as access to the top engineering research faculty in the state,” said Laura McKinney, vice president of Oregon Tech’s Portland-Metro Campus and a lead on OMIC R&D development. “The university research and industry members are in this for the long run, expecting to create economic value for the partners, the state, and further afield. Oregon Tech is honored to be an academic research member in the R&D facility with such top industry partners, and is proud to serve as the host university for this important initiative.”

OMIC will coordinate its R&D facility research projects with hands-on “earn and learn” training programs led by Portland Community College, to be located in a nearby facility that PCC is building. The PCC-OMIC Training Center, scheduled to open in fall 2019, will emphasize craftsmanship, professionalism, and placing graduates into high-wage, high-demand jobs.

Senator Betsy Johnson, whose district includes Scappoose where OMIC is located said, “OMIC is the most exciting economic development effort that Oregon has seen in a long time. OMIC R&D is an Oregon asset that will have a ripple effect across the state. I anticipate that OMIC will bring jobs and new industries to Oregon as the research results begin to accelerate and grow manufacturing.”

OMIC has the strong support of trade unions, including the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, which recognize the importance of training and apprenticeship programs in growing high-skill, high-wage manufacturing jobs in Oregon via innovation and industry growth. Metals manufacturing is a cornerstone industry for the Greater Portland area, with current employment estimated at nearly 28,000 and approximately 600 small, medium and large metals manufacturing companies. OMIC presents a significant opportunity for the retention and expansion of these firms and the workforce in the region.

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About the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center

OMIC is a world-class collaborative environment bringing together industry, higher education and government in partnership to develop new tools, techniques and technologies to address near-term manufacturing challenges through applied research and advanced technical training. OMIC is modeled after the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (AMRC) in partnership with Boeing in Sheffield, England. The collaborative partnership includes: AFL-CIO, Business Oregon, City of Scappoose, Columbia County, Columbia County Economic Team, Greater Portland Inc, Manufacturing 21, Portland Community College, Portland State University, Oregon Employment Department, Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Oregon State University.