Just another corporate move? Think again | Guest op

For the Reporter

For the first time in company history, the masthead for Orion Industries says, "Auburn, WA." We've moved, effective today, and we're delighted, excited and just a little bit in awe.

When Orion opened its doors 57 years ago in Renton, it was the brainchild of a handful of parents whose teenage and adult children with disabilities were struggling to find living-wage jobs.

The company has come a long way since then, but the premise is the same – we're impacting lives.

The move from our current locations in Federal Way to Auburn carries with it all the traditional benefits of a corporate move – we're increasing efficiencies by bringing together staff who had been spread out into three separate facilities, and we're able to continue our growth without worrying about space constraints. The over-riding benefit for us is we can grow our mission of helping people with barriers to employment through job training and job placement.

"We welcome Orion to Auburn and thank them for investing in our city. Their mission of changing lives of people with barriers to employment will fit in perfectly in our community. We wish their business every success," said Mayor Nancy Backus.

"We expect our aerospace and contact center businesses to continue to grow," said John Theisen, Orion president & CEO. "This projected growth allows us to increase the capacity for training additional program participants in our Aerospace manufacturing division and our Contact Center Services division. Once they have mastered a skill and have worked with our vocational counselors and job developers on soft-skills for entering into the job arena, Orion job developers work to help program participants interview for jobs at various employers in the community."

Once hired, program participants earn a living wage and are able to get off of government subsistence.

In 2013, Orion served more than 300 people in our programs throughout the Puget Sound area.

More about Orion

Founded in 1957 as a vocational program for students with disabilities, Orion is headquartered in Auburn, where it runs two businesses – aerospace manufacturing and contact center services – and a training and employment division.

Orion's state-of-the-art aerospace manufacturing enterprise supplies precision machined parts and sub-assemblies to aerospace customers throughout the world. Orion is certified to the international aerospace manufacturing quality standards ISO 9001 and AS 9100, and is the recipient of the Boeing 2011 Supplier of the Year award, as well as receiving Boeing's Performance Excellence Award for four consecutive years, from 2010 until 2013.

Orion is at 1590 A St. NE.

To learn more, visit

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