Expanding Capacity, Capability, and Mission
As Chinook Enterprises begins its 40th year in operation, it’s clear to see how a strong vision cleared a path for mission expansion. This ‘mission expansion mindset’ began when founder, Rob Martin, pounded the pavement (literally) to find lawn maintenance jobs for a small crew of six people with disabilities. Under the leadership of CEO, Steve Reed, 2020 begins with a revitalized expansion mindset; one that is focused on growing Chinook’s Production Divison to drive its mission further. “We’re excited to have two new customers this year already and in active conversations with seven more,” said Reed, “It’s quickly shaping up to be a busy year.”
A Look-Back at 2019
Reed’s first goal when he joined Chinook last January, was to expand both capacity and capabilities in Chinook’s Manufacturing and Assembly Division. A big driver was the need for additional manufacturing space. After months of planning and creative thinking, the wire division relocated and now operates in an 8,000 square foot space leased in the Port of Skagit, in Burlington. The larger space not only tripled the division’s production area but allowed for better workflow and an increased capacity to meet growing customer demand. “We’ve used lean manufacturing principles to improve our process and use of space in both locations,” Reed stated. “It’s been great to work with a team eager to learn and implement new processes.”
The move of the wire division made room for new a 60-Ton CNC Press Brake at Chinook’s production headquarters in Mount Vernon. Chinook purchased the press brake from MC Machinery, an industry leader in the manufacturing of metalworking and metal fabrication machines. The press brake expands Chinook’s capabilities in metal fabrication and custom metalwork. Reed explained: “We were fortunate that MC Machinery connected with our mission. This equipment expands our team’s capabilities and offerings to current and new customers.”
2020 Starts Off Strong
In our renewed efforts to grow and diversify, Chinook will continue to expand its capacity and capabilities. Doing so will not only create job and training opportunities on the production floor but will continue to support Chinook’s primary mission of helping people with disabilities find gainful employment in the community.
Here’s to 40 more years of matching abilities with opportunities!