OBI’s Manufacturing Council of Oregon is thrilled to recognize Epic Aircraft, Radius Recycling and the Tillamook County Creamery Association as the recipients of the inaugural Manufacturer of the Year Awards. The awards recognize excellence in manufacturing in three areas:
Innovation: This award recognizes a manufacturer that demonstrates outstanding achievement in product design, use or production. The 2023 honoree, Bend-based Epic Aircraft, manufactures a single-engine turboprop that seats six and offers jet-like performance without jet-like fuel consumption. The E1000 GX is capable of cruising at 34,000 feet and can fly over 300 knots on less than 50 gallons of jet fuel per hour. Like its product, Epic Aircraft’s manufacturing operation is innovative. The E1000 GX’s performance is derived in part from its lightweight carbon-fiber construction. To minimize supply-chain disruptions, meanwhile, Epic Aircraft has integrated vertically to an unusual degree. Epic manufactures many parts that other aircraft makers tend to outsource. These include not only structural components, but also interiors and even wiring harnesses.
Environmental Sustainability: This award recognizes a manufacturer that demonstrates outstanding achievement in creating new products or processes that advance more environmentally sustainable solutions. The 2023 honoree, Radius Recycling (formerly Schnitzer Steel), collects, processes and delivers recycled metals to customers around the globe. Radius also owns and operates Cascade Steel Rolling Mills, which produces finished steel products using the recycled metal obtained from the company’s Oregon operations. All of Radius’ facilities are run by net-carbon-free electricity and have reduced greenhouse-gas emissions by 24% since 2019. In 2022, Radius, via Cascade Steel, introduced one of the nation’s only net-zero carbon steel products – GRN Steel. In 2023, Radius Recycling was named the most sustainable company in the world by Corporate Knights, a publication that studies sustainability in business and economics. And recently, Radius was named to TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential companies of 2023.
Workforce and Community Impact: This award recognizes a manufacturer that demonstrates outstanding achievement in advancing development or community engagement. The 2023 honoree, the Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA), aims to invest at least 4% of its net income in the community annually, focusing its support on agricultural advocacy, food security and healthy children. In 2022, TCCA distributed grants and products to 100 community organizations totaling 4.8% of its net income. TCCA has hosted its own scholarship program for over 20 years and supports the next generation of farmers by contributing to local 4-H Clubs and Future Farmers of America programs. TCCA has made larger multiyear commitments to many programs, including $1.5 million for Oregon State University’s Dairy Sciences building. Additionally, the cooperative prides itself in many targeted smaller donations to causes that typically don’t get the attention of larger foundations, such as Food Roots, Equitable Giving Circle, Tillamook YMCA and Sauvie Island Center. TCCA supports employee generosity as well, paying eight hours of volunteer service annually and matching up to $500 per employee donation per year.
Epic Aircraft, Radius Recycling and the Tillamook County Creamery Association will be recognized during OBI’s Manufacturing Day Event, which will take place Oct. 6 at Columbia Distributing in Wilsonville.