Celebrating 100 Kilmer at Your Company Visits

Before coming to Congress I spent a decade working in economic development, meeting with about two-hundred businesses a year to help them grow, succeed, and stay in our region. Because helping small businesses grow and create good jobs remains one of my top priorities, that’s a practice I’ve kept up with as your Representative. After all, our local employers are the backbone of our economy.

Despite spending about 30 work weeks every year in Washington, I was able to visit over 100 businesses during both my first term and second term in Congress. During these ‘Kilmer at Your Company’ visits I get to hear from local employers about how the federal government impacts their business (for good and for bad). What’s more, in my view it’s important to let local employers and their workers know that they’re appreciated. If there’s a company you’d like me to visit don’t hesitate to reach out to my office and we’ll try to schedule a visit.

Read on for a snapshot of some of the great places I’ve visited. These stops give me hope that the future of our region is bright and that more than anything, Congress needs to get focused on supporting the kind of job creation that I see when I’m out in our community.

A Few Kilmer at Your Company Visits:

Hesco Armor (Grays Harbor)

I was invited to join Joe Kawaky and Hesco Armor for what turned out to be my 100th Kilmer at Your Company. Hesco is growing steadily and now employs over 70 residents of Grays Harbor County. I can’t wait to see their continued success in the years ahead. Thanks for being a new staple of this community.

Metagenics (Gig Harbor)

Another great visit I had was at the Gig Harbor campus of Metagenics. I got to tour their facility, got to wear a fashionable lab coat, and had an awesome conversation with the team regarding health care policy and the Food & Drug Administration. Metagenics is at the leading edge worldwide in dietary supplement nutrition, and they employ over 200 people locally. I look forward to seeing their continued growth.

Sierra Pacific (Shelton)

A great thing about spending time meeting and listening to businesses is you get to see projects go from a hole in the ground to a new plant, factory or store. In the past two years I’ve visited Sierra Pacific’s Shelton mill a few times and am excited about the progress it’s been making. So much has changed over the past year.

On one stop I met with the Shelton Sierra Pacific team at their new mill site downtown for a conversation and tour of their operations. When this new state of the art mill opens it’ll produce 500 million board feet of lumber, employ up to 200 people and will run with the highest standards of efficiency and environmental cleanliness.

This year I was also honored to join Senator Cantwell at the new mill site in Shelton to discuss innovative new wood products. We have a fantastic group of energetic thinkers working to move forward an initiative that I like to call “Timber 2.0”, so we can connect rural economic health with green building practices in a 21st century economy.

SAFE Boats (Bremerton and Tacoma)

We are lucky to have companies like SAFE Boats that provide hundreds of local skilled workers with good jobs and do so much to support the community. Thank you for building some of the greatest boats in the world for our the Coast Guard, Customs & Border Patrol, the Navy, and other law enforcement agencies and congratulations on producing a boat that was named one of the 10 best of the year in Work Boat Magazine.

State Farm (Tacoma)

I’ve gotten to hear firsthand how businesses are expanding too. Earlier this year, State Farm announced that they’ll be hiring another 200 folks in downtown Tacoma. We talked about that among other things when I visited with employees to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly in our nation’s capital.

FKC Screw Press (Port Angeles)

This year I spent some time in my hometown with FKC Screw Press. They are a great local company about to undertake an expansion. I even learned about a chemical process called flocculation. Putting that on the list of “Big Words Derek Learned in Congress.” Thanks to the FKC team and Mayor Downie for taking time to discuss the company’s success.

Olympic Medical Center (Clallam County)

In places like the Olympic Peninsula, access to quality and affordable health care is incredibly important, but can pose some unique challenges. Thankfully, we are blessed that Olympic Medical Center in Clallam County is continuing to step up with innovative solutions and facilities to meet the needs of the community. I was honored to chat with a few of the nearly 1300 professional staff that are the heart and soul of OMC. In addition to the fact that I was born at the OMC hospital in PA just a few decades ago, I cannot thank OMC employees enough for their role in this community.

Again, I’m committed to doing all I can to support job growth in our region. If you know of a local employer that I should reach out to, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We want to see employers grow, succeed and stay here in our region.