Sealy factory set to open in April in Hawks Prairie

rboone@theolympian.comNovember 20, 2012 

Mattress manufacturer Sealy, which announced last week that it was relocating its Portland factory to Lacey, is set to open here in April, according to the Thurston County Economic Development Council. The Thurston EDC announced Monday that it had worked with the state Department of Commerce to bring the company to South Sound.

Sealy is expected to create about 110 family-wage jobs with benefits, and hiring for the new jobs will begin in the next few weeks, EDC executive director Michael Cade said.

The jobs, including positions in manufacturing, sales and shipping, pay from $11.50 per hour to as much as $30 per hour, he said.

The company will occupy warehouse space in Hawks Prairie on Willamette Drive that was formerly used by mattress manufacturer Spring Air.

Spring Air vacated the 170,000-square-foot location in about 2006, Cade said.

The Portland Business Journal reported last week that Sealy’s Portland plant was moving and that it employed 128. A few employees will transfer from Portland to Lacey, but the rest will be hired from the area, Cade said.

A spokeswoman for North Carolina-based Sealy could not be reached Monday.

The Portland Business Journal also noted that Sealy was being acquired by Lexington, Ky.-based Tempur-Pedic International Inc.

Cade said reasons for the company moving its Portland operations to Lacey included a lower cost of doing business and that the Lacey-based warehouse was “facility-ready” for another manufacturing operation.

It’s also another business for the Hawks Prairie area of Lacey north of Interstate 5, an area of the county that has shown growth during the recession.

In addition to Sealy, the area is home to a new Providence medical office building, environmentally friendly cleaning products manufacturer Earth Friendly Products, and distribution centers for Harbor Wholesale Foods and Trader Joe’s.

“It’s a pretty vibrant employment center out there,” Cade said.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 @rolf_boone

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