Yakima County Development Association - Made in the Yakima Valley! Manufacturing Vital at Home and Across the Nation

Jonathan Smith

The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news. 



Made in the Yakima Valley!  Manufacturing Vital at Home and Across the Nation

Made in the Yakima Valley! Manufacturing Vital at Home and Across the Nation

August 31, 2011

There is little doubt that manufacturing companies are absolutely critical to our local, state and national economies. The United States is the largest manufacturing economy in the world. We produce 22 percent of the world's manufactured products (versus second place China at 13 percent). Nearly 12 million Americans work for industrial companies. Production companies generate big economic impacts. For every dollar of sales a manufacturing company generates another $1.40 in sales is generated in other support sectors (ex. retail).

Here in the Yakima Valley manufacturing companies add tremendous value to our local economy. This sector employs approximately 8000 or about seven percent of our workforce. Because of the relatively good wages paid in this sector, manufacturing generates over nine percent of total payrolls within the region. Add in ripple impacts from this sector and it is more likely that local industry supports 15-20 percent of the Valley's total payroll.

We are extremely proud of our local manufacturing community. There are over 200 production companies in our Valley. Many of these firms make unique products that put our community on the map:

  • Manhasset Specialty Company makes some of the finest music stands in the world;
  • Ljutic LLC produces some of the best shotguns on the market today;
  • Kwik Lok invented the first bread tie closure for plastic bread bags and they sell the machinery to produce these ties to customers all over the planet;
  • Yakima Bait makes the popular "rooster tail" lures; and
  • Sims and Marq Packaging have invented and perfected fruit sizing and sorting machines.


New Vision puts a lot of time into helping our local manufacturing sector. We visit 40-50 companies each year. Our goals with these visits are to see how they are faring, to send them a message that our community cares about their operations, and to offer any specific help that businesses would benefit from. There are a wide variety of tax credits, financing, workforce training, and business development resources that companies can tap into to support their growth and ongoing success.

 Our ultimate goals are to help address issues impacting our local manufacturing sector and to help companies address specific issues or opportunities. A lion's share of future jobs in our Valley will come from local business, so tending our own garden and ensuring that manufacturers in particular are healthy is New Vision's top ongoing priority.

If you know a company that would benefit from connecting with us, please put them in touch with our office at 509-575-1140 or have them email Tammy Everts, our business development director, at tammy@ycda.com.

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"...we definitely have the best of both worlds with the rural communities and the urban areas - we have everything right here." - Clara Jimenez, Toppenish City Council