A carnival ride in the foreground, in the back left is a livestock feeder and trailers stacked in the back gives a glimpse of what Production Technology manufactures on a daily basis. Rod Boam | Cache Valley Daily
PRESTON – Production Technologies Inc. moved from Logan to Preston and built a shop to continue to serve its growing client base. The company, with its 35 employees, can take projects from start to finish with in-house fabrication, manufacturing, engineering, composite and prototyping. They also have a 3D printer.
“We were out of space, we needed more yard and more room in our building,” said Production Technology owner Calvin Sharp. “Preston City Economic Director Shawn Oliverson came to us when he found out we were looking to move and got us some great incentives to come to Preston.”
The state of Idaho offered additional incentives to move and bring jobs to Franklin County. There are always a lot of factors that go into a decision like this, Sharp said. Having a manufacturing business is good for the tax base.
“Shawn spearheaded the effort and he was the key that made it work. We had a lot of hurdles before we got with him,” Sharp added. “He brought in city officials, state officials and Rocky Mountain Power that gave us rebates.”
With the total package, it made Sharp rethink building in Utah.
“Me and half the people that work for me lived in Franklin County,” Sharp said. “We needed more yard space, a bigger facility; we had no room to grow in Logan.”
The company is still building and expanding. When they are finished, the structure will be 55,000 square feet. In their Logan facility, they were maxed out at 40,000 square ft. Sharp shopped across the valley from Hyrum to Smithfield and Preston was way down on his list. But when Oliverson approached him with all of the incentives it soon became evident Sharp could make the business work in Preston.
“We are fortunate we didn’t lose one employee or one client when we moved here,” he said. “We have people driving from Logan, Tremonton and other places to work here.”
With companies creating jobs in Franklin County that means fewer people leaving the county to go to the Utah side of the border to work.
“We can create jobs in our hometown so people can stay here and work,” Sharp said. “We opened up in mid-September and have plenty of work.”
A large part of Production Technology’s business currently is building large commercial solar projects across the country. They also build heavy duty trailers, livestock containment and shelter products as well as carnival rides.
“We are a solutions company. When someone has a problem building something, they come to us,” Sharp said. “We even manufacture rollercoasters, rock climbing walls.”
The company has grown 25 percent a year. Even with the COVID shutdown they still had sizable growth. Trails West, a trailer manufacturer in Preston, hires the same types of professionals, painters, welders, and other trades to build trailers.
“It is not our intention to compete with each other,” he said. “It’s all about getting people to stay home in Franklin County instead of leaving to work.”
He had people tell him it is too far to drive from Logan to Preston. In reality, it is only 10 minutes more.
“We expect to grow to 45 employees by mid-summer. I’m getting ready to hire five more people in the next month and a half,” he said. “It’s good to be home.”