Governor Inslee Spotlights Spokane Production and Manufacturing Academy Graduate

January 15, 2020

In his State of the State Address, Governor Jay Inslee not only touted the success of the Production and Manufacturing Academy, but honored the program’s top graduate, Olivia Perkins, with personal recognition and a seat in the gallery.

The Production and Manufacturing Academy is a consortium of manufacturing and education entities lead by Wagstaff, Inc, Greater Spokane, Inc., East Valley School District, and the Spokane Workforce Council to actively address the ongoing shortage of skilled workers in the trades.

The Academy is one of the success stories resulting from Washington’s innovative and life-changing Career Connect Learning initiative. The goal of the initiative is to involve business, labor, community colleges, universities, K-12, philanthropy, and local and state government to help people find new or meaningful careers through non-traditional paths.

Governor Inslee related how highschooler, Olivia Perkins, “joined the Production and Manufacturing Academy to get exposure to hands-on welding. She wanted to create and sell her own metal artwork. Because of her efforts, she received a full scholarship to Spokane Community College and will become a professional welder because of her academy experience.”

The Production and Manufacturing Academy is the successful result of collaboration between normally competing local manufacturing companies that recognize the need to encourage and develop a skilled workforce. The program introduces students to conceptual product design, prototyping, production scheduling, supply chain management, and quality control, followed by marketing and sales of their actual products.

The Production and Manufacturing Academy is planning a similar program in 2020. The Academy and its supporters are champions of organic growth in trades education and workforce development in the Spokane Area. Their goal is to continue to provide opportunities for young people to explore these fields.



Media Contact:

Turina McClelland
Wagstaff Marketing and Publications Manager
509 981 5098


Business AfterSchool At Wagstaff, Inc.


Business After School is a series of workshops sponsored by Greater Spokane, Inc. (GSI) and held by local business to give students in grades 6-12 experience in a variety of career environments.  The workshops are presented by business professionals to help students explore career opportunities and get exposure to working in different employment options.

Wagstaff is hosting the first Busines AfterSchool event of the season with a variety of interactive stations, which include welding simulations, computer-aided drafting, (CAD), CNC machining, assembly, 3-D printing, and testing.  In addition, Spokane Community College will be giving a presentation about options for education in the modern workforce. 

More than 75 students attended the Business AfterSchool event in 2018.  For 2019, the number of slots has increased to 150.  Wagstaff’s vision is to educate youth about careers in manufacturing and engineering and recently successfully hosted the Production and Manufacturing Academy summer program where 20 junior and senior high school students graduated.  This program offered a 4-week hands-on experience working with various aspects of production, manufacturing, engineering, and business, and provided four students with scholarships to two-year trades programs at local community colleges.

The Business AfterSchool workshop will be held at Wagstaff, Inc., October 8, from 3-5 p.m. Free t-shirts, food, and swag will be available to attendees.

For more information on the GSI Business AfterSchool program, go to

To register for the Business AfterSchool event at Wagstaff, go to


Media Contact

Turina McClelland
Wagstaff, Inc.
509 981 5098



Aug 15, 2019

(Article by Natasha Nellis) The Production & Manufacturing Academy graduated its inaugural class of 20 high school students this month. 

The academy, which started in July, is an intensive training program for students across Spokane and Kootenai counties to gain first-hand experience in the manufacturing and production industries. Read More...




Twenty high school students will graduate from the first‐ever, Production and Manufacturing Academy this Friday after spending four weeks in this interactive trades immersion experience. The students spent time with local area manufacturers with a goal to gain an understanding of the trades and to explore potential future careers. The graduation ceremony will take place at 10 a.m., Friday, August 2 at East Valley High School.

The Production and Manufacturing Academy was founded this year to provide an avenue for young
people to gain exposure to careers in the trades within the Spokane area. Lead by Wagstaff, Inc., Greater Spokane, Inc., East Valley School District, and the Spokane Workforce Council, a group of manufacturing and education entities joined forces to actively address the ongoing shortage of skilled workers in the trades. Wade Larson, Director of Human Resources at Wagstaff emphasizes the importance of exposure to skilled trades, “There are numerous opportunities in the trades for good paying jobs that can provide steady employment that don’t require a 4‐year degree.”

The manufacturing and education community of Spokane Valley pulled together to produce a program that allowed high school juniors and seniors to experience what a trades career could provide in the way of creativity, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and reward. Over the course of the program, participating students were introduced to conceptual product design while working alongside design engineers. The students’ designs were then prototyped using 3‐D printing during an additive manufacturing session at local technology company, Quest Integration. To accomplish the output requirements set forth at the beginning of the program, students were broken into groups, which were then introduced to production
scheduling, material supply chain, and quality control. Finally, the students learned how to market and sell their products to potential customers.

The products completed by the apprentices included a mobile music amplifier, cutting boards, corn hole game boards, and bird houses. The students sold their finished products at the sponsor companies’ facilities and at East Valley High School. With only 36 hours’ notice, students were given the assignment to sell their products in only 2 hours of operation time. The teams sold their inventory and raised $1,540 in revenue in those 2 hours.

The Production and Manufacturing Academy is planning a similar program in 2020. The Academy and its supporters are champions of organic growth in trades education and workforce development in the Spokane Area. Their goal is to continue to provide opportunities for young people to explore these fields.

Students will make presentations on their experiences at the graduation ceremony. Representatives set to attend include officials from Governor Inslee's office, Representative McMorris Roger's office, local chambers, school districts, academy sponsors, GSI, and others throughout the community.

For information on the Academy and the Manufacturing Consortium, see

Greater Spokane, Inc.
East Valley School District
Spokane Workforce Council
Pyrotek, Inc.
Mackay Manufacturing
Altek, Inc.
Quest Integration
Spokane Public Schools
Central Valley School District
West Valley School District
Freeman School District

Media Contact
Turina McClelland
Wagstaff, Inc.
509 981 5098


The Production and Manufacturing Academy in the news

July 22, 2019

Wagstaff takes a leading role in the Production and Manufacturing Academy, providing incoming high school juniors and seniors hands-on experience in engineering, designing, 3D printing, technology, welding, machining, production, and management. 


By Amy Edelen

THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW - Wagstaff launched its four-week production and manufacturing academy earlier this month for incoming high school juniors and seniors to learn about engineering, design, welding, production, assembly and management. Read more…


Shellie Allen Succeeds Scott Johnson as Manufacturing Director at Wagstaff


Shellie Allen has been promoted to Manufacturing Director at Wagstaff, Inc.  In addition to serving as a manufacturing manager for the last 5 years at Wagstaff, Shellie has extensive experience in manufacturing management in the telecommunications industry.  Shellie succeeds Scott Johnson, who recently retired after 38 years at Wagstaff.  Scott began working for Wagstaff in 1980 as a CNC Programmer, and held various positions over his career, including Information Technology Manager before retiring on May 31.


Wagstaff Receives Community Leadership Award

Wagstaff was recently honored with the Northeast Washington Association of School Administrators’  (NEWASA) Community Leadership Award in recognition of their community service to the youth of Washington State. The award recognizes individuals for Outstanding Community Leadership and Service to Education and the Young People of Washington.

 Wagstaff was recognized for their commitment to providing educational opportunities for high school and college students in the region such as, their internship programs, the Production and Manufacturing Academy, their partnership in the CNC scholarship program, and their involvement with the Business After School programs.

NEWASA is committed to educational excellence and leadership in providing equity and excellence in student learning, and leadership in developing competent, ethical and visionary leaders.

Recipients from Wagstaff included Kevin Person, CEO, Wade Larson, Director of Human Resources, Paul May, CEO (Ret.), and Cal Christen, Technical Training and Development Specialist. Pictured on the right are West Valley School District CTE Director, Vicki Leifer, and Superintendent Dr. Gene Sementi. Photo courtesy of Steve Witter.


Wagstaff expands in Spokane Valley

(Article by Alla Drokina) Wagstaff is adding a 55,900-square-foot building at its flagship facility at 3910 N. Flora Road, as the company anticipates market growth both domestically and abroad. read more...


AWB honors six employers for overall excellence, innovation

OLYMPIA —The Association of Washington Business, the state’s largest and oldest business association, presented its top awards to six employers Wednesday at the third-annual Evening of Excellence.

A total of 18 finalists from throughout the state were recognized at the formal event at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. The six award winners were recognized more


Wagstaff Named Finalist for State Award


SPOKANE VALLEY, WASHINGTON, USA, November 20, 2018 -  Wagstaff, Inc., was recently named a finalist for the “Employer of the Year” award, a distinguished recognition of a Washington State business who has implemented innovative job retention, creation, benefits, and compensation plans that foster a thriving work environment.  The awards are presented by the Association of Washington Business, and the winners will be announced the Annual Evening of Excellence, November 28 in Seattle.

With more than 400 employees worldwide, Wagstaff strives to be an employer of choice in the Spokane area, in Washington State, and in the global aluminum industry.  This is done through new programs recently implemented to bolster the employee experience at the company.  These programs include options for employee health insurance, financial and physical wellness, continuing education, professional development, and community involvement.

The employee wellness program includes incentives to help employees make healthy choices in lifestyle such as stress management and regular exercise.  An all-new onsite gym with treadmills, stair climbers, cycles, and weightlifting equipment was added in 2016.  The company hired a professional personal trainer and offers incentives to participate in onsite fitness classes.  Employees can reduce their healthcare costs by reporting workouts, engaging in wellness activities, and improving personal biometrics.  This program has contributed to the overall health of the company by lowering employee and employer costs and by increasing the wellbeing of employees.

Wagstaff has been a long supporter of manufacturing careers at its plants in Spokane Valley, Washington and Hebron, Kentucky.  Partnerships with local skills centers and high schools have begun an ongoing conversation in the community around careers in Manufacturing and STEM.  Good careers are available in the manufacturing sector, and Wagstaff is making youth awareness and preparation for these careers a priority by hosting open houses, sponsoring events and facilitating Wagstaff manufacturing specialists to participate in local education at the high school and college levels.

A high-quality manufacturing and STEM workforce is vital to Washington State and to the Spokane and surrounding areas and is a priority for Wagstaff, Inc.  It takes a multi-faceted strategy to deliver high-tech, industrial systems to customers in 58 countries from Spokane, Washington, and a cornerstone to that strategy is the people of Wagstaff.  Wagstaff is fully committed to working alongside the local community on workforce development and education efforts, and will continually strive to create an exceptional employee experience.


Media Contact

Turina McClelland
Marketing and Publications Manager
1 509 891 8058

About Wagstaff –

Wagstaff, Inc. is a 72-year-old, family company that builds custom industrial equipment for aluminum producers.  Wagstaff’s core business provides customized, advanced systems to companies around the world who transform molten aluminum into solid shapes for further processing into everyday products such as cans, foil, and airplane bodies.  Wagstaff offers casting machines, mold systems, process automation, molds, auxiliary equipment and technical service and support to all sizes of aluminum casting operations.

About the Association of Washington Business –

Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes nearly 7,000 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, more than 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit

Wagstaff Inc. Hosts Business AfterSchool Event for Local Students

November 1, 2018 - This week Wagstaff Inc. hosted a group of over 100 interested and engaged middle and high school students, parents, and educators at their Spokane Valley Headquarters in conjunction with Greater Spokane Incorporated’s Business AfterSchool program. The program showcases Spokane’s multiple business and industry environments while providing students, teachers, and parents a real-world glimpse into a variety of occupations.

Tours, demonstrations, and hands-on events provided participants a first-hand understanding of the varied and highly skilled career paths necessary for Wagstaff to meet the demands of the global aluminum industry and specialty manufacturing division. Eleven separate stations were setup to highlight specific tasks related to engineering, manufacturing, fabrication, assembly, programming, and inspection. Each small group rotated through the various stations where they participated and asked questions about everything from the level of education required to how much they could expect to earn.

Parents and educators alike praised the event, saying “Business After School was a great event. It was a fast-paced, engaging way to give students a lot of information about the manufacturing industry, and the different career paths available to them should they choose to go that direction!”

Community Colleges of Spokane and First Robotics League participated in the event with informational booths, while representatives from Greater Spokane Incorporated and Spokane Public Schools were also present in support of the event.

For more information, contact:

Turina McClelland

Wagstaff, Inc.

509 981 5098


Wagstaff Makes Moves to Increase Manufacturing Efficiency

Spokane, Washington USA, February 23, 2018 - The recent purchase of a high-speed, advanced machining center is one piece of Wagstaff’s efforts to increase productivity and efficiency in its 170,000 square-foot manufacturing center in Spokane Valley, Washington. 

Wagstaff’s goal to streamline machining processes prompted research into the latest capabilities of today's high-performing machine centers. That research lead the manufacturing team to the advanced five-axis machining centers built by H & H Machine Tools in Campbellfield, Australia. H & H is recognized by a number of industries as a leader in machine technology and is capable of large-format, heavy jobs as well as precision accuracy in highly-engineered products.

To maximize efficiency in operations, Wagstaff chose an H & H ULTRA5, featuring high torque motor spindles, a large Z axis for taller jobs, and custom features suited to augment the current capabilities of Wagstaff’s manufacturing facilities.  Wagstaff plans to use this machine to manufacture aluminum casting molds as well as custom machining jobs. 

Scott Johnson, Wagstaff’s Manufacturing Director explains, “This machine will eliminate hours of part setup and manual finishing time for every job. Compared to our current CNC machining capabilities, this has the potential to perform at least 1/3 faster.”

Wagstaff is constructing the foundation at its Spokane Valley manufacturing center for the anticipated delivery of the H & H ULTRA5.  The ULTRA5 is expected to be brought online this summer.

About H & H Machine Tools -

H&H is an innovative engineering company that specializes in the design, engineering, manufacturing and marketing internationally of five-axis gantry milling machines.

  • H & H has developed processes that represent an optimal solution for industries in aerospace, defense, precision engineering, transport, medical, and mold/die, with their high quality standards.
  • H & H’s focus is on customer requirements and working to customer specification.
  • H & H is recognized by aerospace companies with its leading edge technology.

About Wagstaff, Inc. –

Wagstaff, Inc. is a 71-year-old technology and manufacturing company that provides customized, advanced aluminum direct-chill (DC) solidification solutions to rolling ingot and extrusion billet producers worldwide.  Wagstaff offers casting machines, mold systems, process automation, rolling ingot tooling, extrusion billet tooling, auxiliary equipment and technical service and support to all sizes of DC aluminum casting operations in 58 countries around the globe.

For more information:

Turina McClelland

Wagstaff, Inc.

509 891 8058


2017 Best Places to Work Inland Northwest

For the second consecutive year, Wagstaff, Inc. was named as one of the Best Places to Work Inland Northwest. The 2017 list of the Best Places to Work Inland Northwest was created by the Journal of Business and Best Companies Group.

This survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best employers in the Inland Northwest, benefiting the region’s economy, workforce, and businesses.

To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

- Be a for-profit, not-for-profit business or government entity

- Be a publicly or privately held business

- Have a facility in the Inland Northwest region (Spokane, Pend Oreille, and Stevens counties in 

  Washington State; and Kootenai and Bonner counties in Idaho.)

- Have a minimum of 15 full-time or part-time employees working in the Inland Northwest

- Be in business a minimum of 1 year

Companies from across the region entered the two-part survey process to determine the Best Places to Work Inland Northwest. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems, and demographics. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process, analyzed the data, and determined the final rankings.

The list-making companies will be honored at an awards ceremony on October 5 at the Spokane convention center, and the rankings will be published in the September 28th issue of the Journal of Business.

For more information on the Best Places to Work Inland Northwest program, visit

For more information on Wagstaff Products and Services, go to

To learn more about Wagstaff Applied Technologies division, go to



Wagstaff Participates in Metef and Aluminium 2000

Wagstaff exhibited at Metef 2017, the event that succeeds at bringing aluminum industry professionals together from Europe and around the world in Verona, Italy.  The 4-day event in June was the center of the Italian foundry and casting sectors of the aluminum industry, and was accompanied by the concurrent conference, Aluminium 2000, for the first time. 

Aluminium 2000 is a technical conference that has become a critical component to aluminum producers in the region and around the world that included full breadth of content for all perspectives of the aluminum value chain.  Topics in extrusion, metallurgy, recycling, logistics, and foundry made up a full schedule that did not disappoint delegates from commercial to manufacturing technology viewpoints. Adam Anderson, Research Metallugist for Wagstaff, Inc., presented the in-depth overview of Wagstaff's billet casting offerings in his paper, "The Latest in Direct Chill Capabilities from Wagstaff". 

Metef captured impressions of the biennial event from Wagstaff Area Manager, Dr. Manfred Lück:

More informaiton can be found on the Metef and Aluminium 2000 websites. For more information on Wagstaff Products and Services, see or email



Using 3D Scanning and Laser Tracker Technology for Large-Volume Measurements

Aluminum tech leader Wagstaff Inc. meets big challenges head on

By Ryan E. Day

April 18, 2017

For manufacturers, big parts pose big challenges. How does one measure parts that are in excess of 15 ft and also have complex geometry? Design and inspection are part and parcel of all manufacturing operations, but as product size more



Alexin Starts Production of Aluminum Ingot for Rolling

Alexin LLC commenced operation of rolling ingot (slab) casting at its Bluffton, Indiana, casting plant (watch a vignette of the first ingot cast in the video below). The $2.2 million project was approved in February of this year with final equipment installation and commissioning completed in mid-October. Alexin is now capable of producing 5xxx and 6xxx series rolling ingot up to 28 inches in thickness and 75 inches in width, enabling it to serve the automotive flat-rolled products market.

“Just as we have done with the new diameters of extrusion log we commissioned in the past, the addition of rolling ingot to our already broad product offering will make Alexin read more...



Wagstaff, Inc.
3910 North Flora Road
Spokane Valley, WA 99216 USA
Phone: 1(509) 922-1404
Fax: 1(509) 924-0241

© 2017 Wagstaff Inc. All rights reserved