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Praegitzer expands factory

Circuit board manufacturer will increase work force by 45

WHITE CITY -- Praegitzer Industries is building the second of three additions to its factory and is acquiring land for further expansion.

The manufacturer of circuit boards is planning to add 45 employees over the next year, bringing the total to 410, said Allen Broderick, vice president for business operations.

The 40,000-square-foot project will enable the company to build products with more layers, he explained.

It's a higher technology of printed circuit board, he added.

Pfeiffer Construction of Salem is building the addition, scheduled to be running by August.

The company completed a 17,000-square-foot expansion two years ago and is scheduled to start the third phase, a 30,000-square-foot addition, next winter.

That will enable us to increase our total capacity, Broderick said. — then, the plant will total 105,000 square feet on its existing 7-acre site.

2003, Broderick says about 600 workers could be employed there.

Meanwhile, Praegitzer is scheduled to buy 10 acres from the parent company of Allweather Wood Products next week.

That would accommodate a 200,000-square-foot facility, he added. The land is on the west side of Pacific Avenue, across from Praegitzer's existing plant.

The company reported $148 million in revenues in its most recent fiscal year and is spending 14 percent of revenues on facilities and equipment. It's among the largest 750 American circuit board manufacturers in a $7.5 billion industry.

It has the world's largest network of printed circuit design service bureaus. It provides circuit boards to a range of industries, including computers, instrumentation, medical, telecommunications, automotive and business systems. Customers include Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola and Xerox.

Praegitzer, founded in 1981, went public in 1996, raising $19.5 million in a public stock offering. The company's stock trades as PGTZ on Nasdaq, closing at $9 a share on Wednesday.

The White City plant, acquired from Northwest Printed Circuits in 1990, is one of four fabrication facilities. All have been certified under ISO 9002 quality standards. The company's headquarters and main plant are in Dallas, Ore.

Mike Benderski, left, and Mike Jardine of Pfeifer Construction work on the second floor of Praegitzer Industries' 40,000-square-foot addition in White City. The manufacturer of circuit boards is planning to add 45 employees over the next year. - Photo by Andy Atkinson