Business Leaders Discuss Economic Development

By Paolo Cisneros, The Sheridan Press, January 18, 2013. Reprinted with permission.

Local business leaders gathered at the Black Tooth Brewing Company Thursday to revel in the success story of Vacutech and discuss ways in which the business community might continue to develop in Sheridan.

The investor update was hosted by economic development group Forward Sheridan and attended by members of both the public and private sectors.

A consortium of local investors, FS acts on behalf of the Sheridan business community by serving as a collective voice in addition to providing some of the more practical tools necessary for start-ups and newly relocated companies.

“This is a team sport,” said FS chairman Anthony Spiegelberg. “And we’re a player in that.”

Vacutech CEO John Tucker was asked to speak at the event since his company benefited greatly from the services provided by FS. A manufacturer of high-powered vacuum equipment, the business relocated to Sheridan from Colorado after Forward Sheridan officials convinced company leaders the city could be a beneficial base of operations.

Tucker told the audience that after having lived in cities and towns across the country, it was a pleasure to find an atmosphere as welcoming as Sheridan.

“This has been a lifelong journey trying to get here,” he said.

Vacutech saw 26 percent growth in 2012 and even more the year before that. Since opening their facility at the Wrench Ranch Business Park late in 2011, the company has hired 50 Sheridan residents – about 25 more than owners expected – and Tucker said he expects that growth to continue.

“We’ve had an opportunity to find some of the finest people (in Sheridan),” he said. “Everything we’ve needed, we’ve found here.”

Tucker said he predicts continued growth for Sheridan companies thanks to a community of business leaders and elected officials that places a premium on economic development.

“After the experience we’ve had so far here in Sheridan, we’re not afraid to do anything,” he said. “We’re going to continue to grow as we’ve done in the past.”

Tucker recently founded a second Sheridan business that specializes in car-wash machinery. Vacutech is also set to break ground on a new facility next to their current building later this year.

If all goes according to plan, Tucker said he wouldn’t be surprised to have more than 10 employees within the next two years.

“We see an opportunity in our country right now,” he said. “I have no question we’re going to make it.”

Following Tucker’s address, FS executive director Jay Stender updated investors on the organization’s recent efforts to study potential railroad re-routes, develop solutions to improve the quality of commercial air service to the area and improve local access to broadband Internet.



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