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Pacific Cabinets expands, utilizes funds to train

It's Your Business 2017

A sign off the town of Ferdinand’s Main Street points customers to Pacific Cabinets, located one mile from Main Street on Front Street.  A portion of their  office and facility is seen here.

Photo by Lorie Palmer
A sign off the town of Ferdinand’s Main Street points customers to Pacific Cabinets, located one mile from Main Street on Front Street.  A portion of their office and facility is seen here.

— Last year, Pacific Cabinets Inc. (PCI) constructed a new 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. This new facility is in addition to the existing manufacturing building. PCI has been in existence for nearly 38 years.

The new building was purposed to automate the manufacturing of Corian countertops, plastic laminate tops, medical headwalls, and all of the highly custom items such as nurse stations Pacific Cabinets manufactures for healthcare and laboratory projects. According to a recent press release, by removing these functions from the existing plant and automating processes, the existing facility increased cabinet production by approximately 30 percent. This expansion was necessary to keep up with the $20 million dollars PCI has under contract. Along with the expansion, the work force and has been increasing is expected to continue to increase.

PCI continues to expand into other market areas such as Hawaii and Alaska. In addition, the health care, and Biotech markets continue to have growth potential. PCI budgeted a single project in the Seattle area which has more than $14 million in products and is to be manufactured in the Ferdinand plant in late 2017 through 2019, if awarded.

Pacific Cabinets was founded on the premises of employing people from the local communities. In an effort to continue to strive for this goal PCI has teamed with the Idaho Department of Labor, CEDA, and local school districts, to establish a formal training program. According to company president Steve Frei, this will allow the company to continue to have a well-trained professional staff hired from the local communities. The intent of this formalized training is to bridge the gap between education and industry.

Pacific Cabinets, Inc.

Pacific Cabinets, Inc.

2010 Front Street

PO Box 81

Ferdinand, ID 83526-0081

Phone: 208-962-5546

Fax: 208-962-3038

In 2016, PCI used a $63,170 Workforce Development Training Grant from the Idaho Department of Labor to train 11 new and retrain 11 current permanent, full-time workers.

New positions included engineer technicians, CNC (computer numerically controlled) programmers, finish carpenters and fabricators. Average hourly wages for the new workers came in at $15.64 plus employer-assisted medical benefits. Hourly wages for existing workers – project engineers, managers, supervisors – increased to an average of $22.18 per hour plus employer-assisted medical benefits.

Some funds went toward train-the-trainer programs for company staff to develop in-house structured on-the-job training for new and existing workers.

Idaho’s Workforce Development Training Fund, established in 1996, is used to reimburse businesses for the cost of training new workers or retraining existing workers who would otherwise be laid off. Eligible businesses must produce a product or service sold outside their region, and the jobs must pay at least $12 an hour and include employer-assisted health insurance. The fund is financed by a 3 percent set-aside of the unemployment insurance taxes paid by businesses each year.

“Training of this nature will offer additional opportunities for local students to seek a career in a manufacturing-related business,” Frei said.

Arnzen Building Construction was the general contractor on the new expansion.


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