Boeing Supplier To 'Anchor' New L.A. Manufacturing Campus

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) — A fast-growing, local company that supplies parts to Boeing and other aerospace companies will be the "anchor" tenant for a new composites manufacturing campus, the Port of Port Angeles said Wednesday.

The port said Angeles Composite Technologies Inc. has signed a letter of intent to lease two new buildings the port will build on the campus at its Airport Industrial Park.

The port will issue bonds to pay for the $4 million project, which it says should create 100 jobs and attract other high-tech companies to the Olympic Peninsula city.

ACTI will invest "several million" dollars in the expansion, said company president and CEO Michael D. Rauch.

ACTI, founded by Rauch in Port Angeles in 1996, currently has a 75,000-square-foot plant at the airport. In addition to Boeing Co., its customers include defense giant Lockheed Martin and Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier.

It primarily makes flight control surfaces, such as leading and trailing edges for aircraft wings and tails. Boeing uses its products on its 737, 747 and 777 jetliners, Rauch said.

The port plans to build three, 25,000-square-foot buildings on the campus, with the first to be completed by the end of next year and construction to start on the second in mid-2012.

Rauch said his company, which employs 109 people now, intends to triple its size within 5 years. If things go as planned, it probably will occupy all three buildings, he said.

Port Angeles has long been known for wood products, fishing and as the gateway to Olympic National Park, but Rauch said its composites industry has been "a well-kept secret."

Westport Yachts, which makes extensive use of carbon fiber in its luxury boats, has a shipyard in Port Angeles, while several area manufacturers also use the material in sporting goods.

More companies, including some ACTI suppliers, may be coming, he said.

"I've spoken with two at least that are very interested in relocating or setting up divisions here in support of our manufacturing efforts," Rauch said.

Gov. Chris Gregoire congratulated the port and ACTI, saying such well paying jobs will help the state climb out of the recession.