Steigerwald Commerce Center hopes to bring jobs

CEO: 75 new hires at Steigerwald likely to be local

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The owner and chief executive officer of two companies that could locate in the Steigerwald Commerce Center said those businesses would bring 75 living-wage jobs, with annual average salaries of more than $60,000, to the Port of Camas-Washougal.

Tom Leaptrott, CEO of Columbia Forge and Machine Works, said more than 95 percent of the workers would be expected to reside locally.

Leaptrott also is the CEO of Next Machining Solutions and Quantum Leap LLC, a company seeking preliminary site plan approval from the city of Washougal to construct two industrial/warehouse buildings on a 1.72-acre site in Steigerwald Commerce Center, 3925 S. Lincoln St. Each building would be approximately 10,000 square feet.

Port of C-W Executive Director David Ripp said Quantum Leap is interested in purchasing the 1.72 acres from the Port. That purchase would be subject to the approval by the Port of C-W commissioners.

Leaptrott, a 12-year resident of Washougal, said Columbia Forge has been fulfilling industrial and government contracts for custom products of carbon, alloy and stainless steel for more than 50 years. Next Machining Solutions, a high-tech machining company, opened in 2013.

Leaptrott said the “Washougal Washington Jobs and Industrial Site Project” would create an apprentice program with Clark College and the Washougal, Camas and Evergreen school districts, for new job growth in machining and engineering fields.

Stainless Cable and Railing Inc., of Vancouver, is interested in purchasing a 2-acre lot from the Port of C-W and constructing three buildings in the Steigerwald Commerce Center, across the road from Building 18. One of the buildings would be a 22,850-square-foot space, while the other two would be 5,000 square feet each.

The potential purchase by Stainless Cable and Railing would be subject to the approval of the Port of C-W Commission, and Ripp said commissioners would discuss a purchase price at that time.

Of the 100 acres in the Steigerwald Commerce Center, approximately 75 are available to lease or purchase.