Two plastics firms operate in northern California's Shasta County, whose Economic Development Corp. believes its advantages can attract others.
The region's business economics, its Interstate 5 market access and recreational opportunities appeal to Skyway Machine Inc. in Redding and Newport Bio Systems Inc. in Anderson.
Skyway operates five injection presses molding nylon composite Tuff Wheels casters from 4-24 inches for the health-care, lawn and garden and bicycle industries. The business moved to Redding from San Fernando in 1977.
President Ken Coster cites ``labor rates, clean environment, competitive power rates and a beautiful place to live'' as advantages of being in Shasta County.
Coster said the city-controlled Redding Electrical Utility supplies power to Skyway at rates below those of public utilities. ``The city has worked with us with time-of-use meters to help keep our rates down,'' he said.
The nearby City of Shasta Lake also owns its electric utility. The municipalities get hydroelectric power locally; they generate their own energy and buy it from others.
Mostly, lower costs drive a company to relocate, said Jim Zauher, president of the Shasta County EDC in Redding. Sixty local companies provide EDC with financial support.
Locating in the county can lower a company's operating costs 25-30 percent vs. more urbanized areas of California, Zauher said. Those costs include rent, labor and water and electric utilities.
Newport Bio Systems President Rod Roberts developed his first sterile plastic bio bag in 1985, operating in his garage in Redwood City in the San Francisco Bay area. He moved the business to Red Bluff in Shasta County in 1992 to accommodate his interest in the region's lifestyle and better economics in land, rent and labor.
Compared to the Bay Area, ``everything was more cost effective for us,'' Roberts said.
In 2002 the firm moved from a smaller Red Bluff site to a 17,000-square-foot plant in Anderson with a 3,000-square-foot clean room.
Newport converts low density polyethylene film into Biobags with 0.5- to 2,500-liter capacity for clean room applications and tissue culture media storage. It also supplies quality-control sampling bags, fluid transfer tubing, filter assemblies and mixing liners.