Esco thrives in green PDX


In a city better known for green manufacturing, heavy equipment maker Esco Corp. specializes in “wear parts” meant to be used for a short period.

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In a city better known for green manufacturing, heavy equipment maker Esco Corp. specializes in “wear parts” meant to be used for a short period.

“Esco’s one of the best-kept secrets in Portland,” said Calvin Collins, president of the company’s engineered products group, “especially when you consider the economy and the jobs we provide.”

Esco, which still pours steel in a Northwest Portland foundry dating from 1913, is anything but a has-been in terms of business expansion. Amid Oregon’s high unemployment, the company has hired nearly 200 people in Portland this year. In an era of services and outsourcing, Esco remains a local heavy-industry manufacturer, employing about 900 in Portland out of its global work force approaching 4,700.

Esco is privately held, owned by a handful of families, with a major share going to Henry “Hank” Swigert, grandson of the founder. Managers don’t disclose annual sales, which are probably below $1 billion. Collins said the company aims to repeat a recent trend of doubling revenues every five years.

Read more at OregonLive.com.

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