Smith-Root breaks ground on new facility

Brad Carlson

In addition to allowing for a bit more elbow room, Smith said the new facility (located at 16605 NE 50th Ave.) will allow the company to expand its product line and to meet growing demand.

“The demand we’re seeing today actually came about as a result of the recession we had not too long ago,” Smith explained. “One of the things we decided to do as a company was to change our business plan. We decided that we needed to look beyond the American economy. That’s when we purchased one of our competitors in Europe, brought them on board as part of the company, and did the same thing in Australia.”

After broadening the company’s marketplace, Smith-Root shifted its focus to the development of new products. These new products, Smith said, are now fueling much of the company’s growth.

“We’ve branched out into things like marine mammal control and fish anesthesia using electricity,” he said. “For years, the industry has been using chemicals, which has a mortality rate of anywhere from 10 to 20 percent, depending on application and species. Our new technique has zero mortality and doesn’t require any chemicals. We are also working on new electrical fish barrier approaches.”

Smith-Root, which is now celebrating its 50th year in business, has added 17 positions in the past 18 months alone – high-wage positions ranging from project management, to science and engineering professionals. In total, the company employs 57.

“We’ve really brought the true brain trust to Smith-Root to handle fisheries research,” said Smith. “This has brought about some new products and new approaches. The markets that we deal with out there have been very receptive to the new mouse traps we’ve been building, so to speak.

“We are probably one of the best kept secrets not only in Washington state, but across the U.S.,” he added.

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