Orion Industries, and 265 jobs, will move to Auburn

Orion Aerospace and Manufacturing is located at 33926 9th Avenue South in Federal Way. - Courtesy photo
Orion Aerospace and Manufacturing is located at 33926 9th Avenue South in Federal Way.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Orion Industries will move 265 employees to a new 100,000-square-foot facility in Auburn, according to the company.

Located on 9th Avenue South in Federal Way, Orion specializes in aerospace products, including aircraft parts for Boeing.

The non-profit company’s mission is to find permanent jobs for local people with disabilities or personal troubles.

“We will still offer services in Federal Way, and anticipate being able to serve even more people after we move since we’ll be able to take on additional statements of work,” said Orion spokeswoman Kelly Maloney. “We haven’t yet decided whether we will retain our facility here in Federal Way. If we do, it’s possible we’ll lease it out.”

The city fought long and hard to keep Orion in Federal Way, said city spokesman Chris Carrel.

“The city worked very hard to try to make it possible for Orion Industries to find a suitable location within the City of Federal Way. Working with local brokers and Orion’s broker, city staff analyzed several potential sites, offering creative solutions to each site’s issues,” Carrel said in an email to The Mirror. “However, the company had very specific needs for its manufacturing facility, in terms of its size and location, that were unable to be satisfied with available properties in the city.”

Orion has been an integral part of getting out-of-work Federal Way residents back on their feet with its training and employment divisions. The company expects to continue to grow because of its status as a sub-contractor for Boeing, which has a seven-year global backlog of airplane orders.

In 2011, Orion was also the recipient of the prestigious Boeing Supplier of the Year Award.

Here in Federal Way, Orion saw a 20 percent annual growth for nine years, and outgrew its current facilities in Federal Way, prompting the move to Auburn.

Carrel noted that the loss of Orion will be offset by the arrival of DaVita, a kidney care company that will bring 350 finance and accounting sector jobs to the city. Carrel noted that Federal Way has been making strides in attracting employers to the city, citing Kiewit, Morphotrak, the Affiliated Computer Services call center, and Tommy Bahama as recent victories in bringing jobs to Federal Way.

Orion’s Auburn facility is expected to open in November 2013. The facility will be built on 6.5 acres of undeveloped property in Auburn on 15th Street NW, bordered by the Auburn Airport and a Metro Park and Ride, according to the company.


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