Industry Partners Come Together for Manufacturing Innovation


We all in know that there are more jobs to fill than craftsmen that are able to fill them. It can be frustrating as an employer when you know you could do more work if you could just find the team to get it built right! Madden Industrial Craftsmen is helping to bridge labor gap with several different innovative programs. This includes their involvement with the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC) in Scappoose – the state’s most significant manufacturing-training facility, being built right now!


The new center aims to create new technologies and processes for manufacturers while developing a brand new generation of manufacturing workers. It will be a research and development facility that brings together a collaboration of several different manufacturing industry partners, along with three Oregon public universities. Here’s some more details about the new facility, and how it will help bridget the labor gap in Oregon and our industry as a whole:


Collaboration Partners

The concept is that these partners are better able to problem solve by pooling their resources and experience, while also creating opportunity through research and development, as well as training. The original partners were ATI, Blount, Boeing, Damler, Hangsterfer’s Labs, Silver Eagle Manufacturing, and Vigor. Plus they have the additional support of the trade unions and partnerships with PCC. They now have 24 members as a part of that research pool.


The Mission

The mission for OMIC is to create a state-of-the-art research and development facility, comprised of talented engineers and technologists as well as university faculty, and undergraduate and graduate students. The facility hopes to inspire and education the next generation’s manufacturing workforce, and is expected to help manufacturers of any size to become more competitive by introducing advanced techniques, technologies and processes.


Research & Development Model

The concept of OMIC is modeled after the Advanced Manufacturing Research Center established with Boeing at Sheffield University in England. Similarly, faculty and university students undertake what they call an “outside-in” approach. This means they apply their research to solve real production problems, while also training the of engineers and technologists to meet the high demand for skilled workers. This advances the next generation of craftsmen!


Fosters the Trades in Oregon

OMIC will coordinate its Research & Development facility projects with hands-on “earn and learn” training programs led by Portland Community College, to be located in a nearby facility that PCC is building. Plus it supports Oregon Workforce, as OMIC is anticipated to bring jobs and new industries to Oregon as the research results begin to accelerate and grow manufacturing.


Making an Impact Now  

The initial projects already began in 2017 while the facility is currently being built in Scappoose. OMIC R&D’s shop floor and laboratories will feature state-of-the-art milling and machining equipment. Facility is scheduled to be complete in 2021


If you’re feeling the labor gap a little more than normal lately, and finding it difficult to hire the perfect person for your next building project, Madden can help! We can show you top craftsmen that are a match for doing work that your clients need. Give us a call, and let us help you find just the right craftsman with the connections we have through our many programs and initiatives like this.