Biz Bits: SEL looks to hire more than 100 | Business

PULLMAN – Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories will make job offers on the spot at an open house it is holding this week to recruit assemblers to work at its Pullman and Lewiston manufacturing operations.

The event, which is part of an effort to hire more than 100 employees, will be from 3-8 pm Wednesday at the SEL Event Center, 1825 Schweitzer Drive, Pullman.

Employees of SEL’s manufacturing and human resources teams will answer questions, conduct job interviews, review benefits and extend job offers at the event, according to an SEL news release.

Many of the openings will be filled immediately. The start date for some positions falls after graduations of area high schools, colleges and universities so applicants can complete their education before starting their jobs.

No experience is required for assembler positions. The jobs have starting wages of $ 18 per hour and full benefits that include participation in SEL’s employee stock ownership program.

SEL provides its new staff members on-the-job training that teaches them how to assemble, solder, inspect and test SEL products. Assemblers work with SEL professionals from all parts of the company “to identify creative methods for building products used by customers around the world,” according to the news release.

SEL is the largest private employer in the region with 2,400 employees in Pullman and 650 in Lewiston. The company invents, designs and builds digital products and systems that protect power grids around the world. The technology prevents blackouts and improves power system reliability and safety while reducing costs.

Gritman expands with orthopedic practice

MOSCOW – Gritman Medical Center in Moscow is expanding, with the addition of an orthopedic practice.

Dr. Marvin Kym, an orthopedic surgeon, and Sunshine Huffman, an orthopedic certified nurse practitioner, are the two providers in a new clinic called Gritman Orthopedic Surgeons.

Kym and Huffman were previously in private practice in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley and are now Gritman employees.

Gritman Orthopedic Surgeons offers services such as joint reconstruction and replacement, ligament reconstruction, sports medicine and joint injections.

“We do a lot of total joint replacements: knees, hips, shoulders,” said Kym, who has nearly 30 years of experience as an orthopedic surgeon.

“We do a lot of repair and reconstruction: rotator cuff repairs, anterior cruciate ligament repairs, sports injuries,” he said. “With the ability to help people function better, I think we can bring that to this community.”

Kym and Huffman have worked together for almost two decades.

“That’s the beauty of what Dr. Kym and I bring as a team that’s been together for so long, “said Huffman, who has worked in orthopedic surgery for more than 20 years, including as a surgical assistant.

“We can always know what the other is saying,” she said. “We’re always on the same treatment page.”

The office of Kym and Huffman is at 2301 W. A St. in Moscow, (208) 883-1135.

In addition to Kym and Huffman, Gritman lists four other orthopedic surgeons on its website: Dr. Kyle J. Hazelwood, Ph.D. Mathew Taylor, Ph.D. Edwin M. Tingstad and Dr. Aaron Vandenbos.

They are part of a different independent practice, Inland Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Clinic, which has offices in Pullman and Moscow.

All of the orthopedic surgeons at Inland Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Clinic have privileges at Gritman, Pullman Regional Hospital and the Moscow Surgery Center, an outpatient facility.

Engineering firm adds eight to staff in Lewiston

HMH Engineering has added eight employees to its Lewiston office since opening it a year ago.

The location is one of seven the firm operates in Idaho, providing engineering for site development, transportation, water and sewer facilities, material testing and geographic information system mapping and surveying.

The business took over a space previously used by Arbor Bar at 324 20th St. N. in Lewiston, remodeling it and adding a full-service testing laboratory.

The new staff members include three engineers in training, Jade Williams, Luis Garcia and Harrison Holly; office manager Jen Blood, an engineer; materials sampling and testing inspectors Dagon Hall, Dillon Hill and Jacob Rader; and administrative assistant Michelle Hopkins.

The other HMH offices are in Meridian, Sandpoint, Coeur d’Alene, Ponderay, Wallace and Twin Falls.

Second generation joins The Country Stitch in Clarkston

A Clarkston business alterations will undergo a remodel this year after a change in ownership.

Cindy Zeliff has joined her mother, Tammi Smith, as a partner in The Country Stitch at 731 Fifth St., in Clarkston. The venture will remain open during the upgrade.

Zeliff learned to sew from Smith and has helped as needed at the business since she was in grade school. She is also a licensed massage therapist and will continue to see clients at the Eclips Salon and Day Spa in Clarkston through the end of April when she transitions full time to Country Stitch.

“I am so excited that she has decided to become partners with me, which has been a dream of hers, which means some day I will be able to retire,” Smith said in a Facebook post. “My business that I have put my heart and soul into will continue on.”

Zeliff and Smith both learned how to sew from their mothers. Smith used to help her mom make Western shirts for old-time fiddlers and square dancers.

The word about her sewing skills spread around her hometown of Troy, Idaho, when Smith was a junior in high school. She was an aide in a first-grade class and the teacher hired her to repair some of her clothes.

When she and her husband, John Smith, got married in 1980, they purchased a fabric store that was going out of business.

Initially, they operated the business in Troy before they moved it to the Sunset Center across the street from the Lewiston Albertsons and later to its present location, that they purchased from the Clarkston Chamber of Commerce in 1989.

Company recognized for asphalt project in Spokane

POST FALLS – Poe Asphalt Paving Inc. in Post Falls won a 2021 quality in construction award for excellence of its asphalt paving work on Bigelow Gulch Road in Spokane from an industry group.

The project included the widening of the road from two to four lanes with a center turn lane, according to a news release from the National Asphalt Pavement Association, which gave the honor.

“The company placed varying lift depths of hot asphalt mix on the milled pre-existing surface and on the newly constructed base,” according to the news release. “Using a material transfer device for paving consistency, (Poe) produced a smooth, high-quality asphalt pavement.”

The association has more than 1,100 companies that are members and was founded in 1955.

It supports research to improve the quality of asphalt pavements and paving techniques for the construction of roads, streets, highways, parking lots, airports and recreational facilities. It also provides technical, educational and marketing materials to its members.

Utility that serves north central Idaho and southeastern Washington honored for ethics

SPOKANE – Avista Corp. has been named one of the world’s most ethical companies for the third consecutive year by Ethisphere.

It was among 136 honorees in 2022 in 22 countries and 45 industries, according to a news release from Avista.

The company’s operations include Avista Utilities that has 406,000 electricity customers and 372,000 natural gas customers in north central and northern Idaho, eastern Washington and parts of southern and eastern Oregon.

“Avista serves our customers with an electric generation mix that’s 60% renewable,” said Avista President and CEO Dennis Vermillion in the news release.

Last year Avista set a new natural gas goal to be carbon neutral by 2045 and is working toward providing its customers with 100% clean electricity by the same year, according to the news release.

“We strive to improve the lives of our customers through safe, responsible, and affordable delivery of energy, in a way that is trustworthy, innovative and collaborative,” Vermillion said.


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