Last month, ColoradoBiz Magazine announced that Reynolds Polymer Technology won 2019 Top Company in the manufacturing category. Like many manufacturers, Reynolds Polymer makes products you don’t necessarily think about, but you see them all around you. The company manufactures acrylic panels for aquaria, architectural projects and the aerospace industry. Its work can be seen in over 2,000 installations in about 60 countries across the world. If you’ve had the opportunity to step inside a military-grade flight simulator, you might have seen its product there as well.
Reynolds Polymer was originally founded in California in the mid-80s. It moved to Grand Junction, Colorado, in 1994, taking advantage of the then-bust energy industry to move into a 75,000 square foot factory space and hire a qualified labor pool. Reynolds Polymer became known for creating large acrylic panels for aquariums and zoos. Since then the company has expanded in multiple ways – bigger facilities, a more diverse client portfolio and adding more international markets.
Reynolds Polymer is not the only manufacturer to find success in Grand Junction by adapting to new markets. Wren Industries, voted Aerospace Manufacturer of the Year by the Colorado Manufacturers Association earlier this year, started out as a company that made parts for the rock-climbing industry. When Mike and Shannon Sneddon purchased the small manufacturer in 2008, they realized they would not be able to sustain the business in such a niche market. They came up with a new business model that ventured into more diverse industries and ultimately became a well-known supplier to the aerospace and defense industries. The company is currently one of only nine parts-suppliers to NASA’s Orion Spacecraft project.
Tackling more earthbound transportation is another Grand Junction manufacturer, Leitner Poma of America. Leitner-Poma, a North American subsidiary of Poma S.A., a corporation headquartered in France engineers, manufactures, installs and services all types of ropeway systems for the ski industry. More recently, however, the company has partnered with municipalities to solve public transportation issues by providing an airborne solution based on its gondola systems.
These companies, and many more, settle in Grand Junction for several reasons. Real estate and overall business costs are low. Distribution is made simple with air, rail and highway access. There’s a consistent stream of qualified workers graduating from Colorado Mesa University. And local economic development organizations provide 360 degrees of support to companies, their employees and employees’ families when relocating to the area.
But for most businesses, including the ones mentioned above, the idea of headquartering in Grand Junction starts simply with a visit to Colorado’s Grand Valley and falling in love with all it has to offer.
“Our employees appreciate the quality of life here, which makes for an excellent work environment,” says Mike Sneddon of Wren Industries. “Great talent appreciates not having to commute hours to work in traffic. They also love that this is a fantastic place to raise a family.”
Would you like to explore Grand Junction and Colorado’s Grand Valley for your business? Contact GJEP today.
Photo courtesy Leitner-Poma of America.