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New Apple headquarters has Penticton connection

A Penticton company supplies earthquake protection bearings for the new Apple headquarters building in California city councillors heard recently.
October 13, 2017 - 5:30 PM

PENTICTON - Penticton city staff shared "not often heard" business success stories with city council recently including a local foundry's contract to provide parts for an earthquake system at the new Apple headquarters in California.

Economic development specialist Jennifer Vincent discussed four Penticton businesses enjoying recent success, some on the international business scene, as part of an economic development report made to council.

Vincent talked about a recent contract by long-standing firm Penticton Foundry to supply parts for earthquake isolation bearings to Apple’s new headquarters in California.

She said the full service foundry, established in 1935, traditionally serves the oil and gas and natural resources sector, but on a recent visit she was shown one of the company’s latest projects.

The foundry is currently producing parts for an earthquake isolation bearing, Vincent told council, noting the parts are cast in Penticton, then shipped to California where they are assembled into earthquake isolation bearings.

Four thousand of the bearings were used in the construction of the new Apple Headquarters in Cupertino where they act as building shock absorbers that allow up to four feet of movement in any direction.

“Penticton Foundry is the sole supplier of the components that go into that product,” she said, adding the foundry currently employs 70 people.

Vincent also noted the Okanagan Cosmetology Institute, operated by Nathan and Carolyn Roy. The company provides internationally recognized industry training to students of all ages, in hairstyling, makeup and nails. The business now employs six full time and three part time staff.

The institute trains more than 30 students each year and operates a full service salon and spa where students can hone their skills. More than 200 students have attended the school in the past six years. The students come from across the country and even from Hawaii. The school is one of only four accredited with Red Seal training in B.C.

Alex Ross is a young local entrepreneur who lives with chronic illness. She became aware that medical products that support people with illness or mobility issues were functional, but not pleasing to use, and started a fledgling company known as Sick Goods.

“There’s nothing nice about the plastic pill box you have to pull out every day,” Vincent noted, adding Ross found a way to blend her fine arts training to create everyday medical items to be more beautiful, and more fun.

“She’s an example of a very early stage start-up,” Vincent said.

Struthers Tech was founded by Chris Struthers who now employs 15 people. The company designs and coordinates installation of electrical power systems for power generation of hydro, wind and diesel, as well as designing for mining and industrial projects.

The company works internationally about 20 per cent of the time, having completed projects in Kurgistan, Turkey, China, Mongolia, Guatamala and Indonesia.

The company’s affiliation with local business has resulted in a spinoff of $2 million in contracts to local Penticton manufacturing businesses. Vincent said the company also facilitated the export of several hundred thousands of dollars worth of manufactured equipment to international destinations, in addition to being community focussed.

“Chris speaks highly of the quality of graduates from UBC Okanagan the engineering program is now producing, and the funnel of good talent has meant that two recent hires have been able to remain in the region with excellent jobs,” Vincent said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2017

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