OGDEN -- A new location provides an electronics company with more space to work and plenty of room to grow.
Over the Christmas break, contract electronics manufacturer, EMS Solutions, moved into their new digs in Business Depot Ogden from their old location in Layton.
The new location let the contract manufacturing company grow from 15,000-square-feet to a 45,000 square-foot facility.
However, over the next few years, EMS Solutions wants to double its size again, expanding its space to occupy the full 90,000-square-feet available and increasing its workforce to up to 350 employees.
"The new facility will allow EMS Solutions to continue with our growth and our history of providing superior quality, on-time delivery and customer service," said EMS Solutions founder and president Dave Woodbury in a news release. "Our company now offers a full range of products and services that includes Turnkey or consignment, proto and production volume, Printed Circuit Board Assemblies, cables, rework and sub assembly/box build products. The new facility will allow us to add additional equipment and services that will enhance our value added services at a competitive price."
Vice President of Business Development Bruce Miller said the company is bringing up electronic assemblers, technicians and engineers, as well as warehouse and stockroom employees to the Ogden-area.
"We have been successful in bringing stuff back to the U.S.," Miller said. "There are companies that want it made in the U.S.A."
Although they brought many employees from Layton, in the future the company will need more employees to match the proposed growth.
EMS Solutions is not the first technology-based company to come to the area.
BDO is now home to Homedepot.com and online furniture retailer Wayfair. They join Northrop Grumman and ATK, which have been long time residents of the Top of Utah.
Ogden business development manager Steve Fishburn said other companies, such as MarketStar also depend on a high-tech component.
"They are extremely important jobs to the community because they tend to pay a certainly much higher salary," Fishburn said.
But by far, the biggest employer for technological jobs in the area is Hill Air Force Base.
Business development leaders are busy promoting the positive points of moving to the area such as affordable housing, the FrontRunner and low cost of living, as well as the outdoor amenities, such as skiing and rock climbing.
"We need to make sure people are aware of that," Fishburn said.
Such amenities helped grow areas such as Austin, Texas, whose nightlife and atmosphere brought many professionals out of Silicon Valley.
However, the most important resource for any company lies in the local talent.
Just like Austin had the support of the University of Texas to provide future employees and expertise, the Top of Utah needs to provide a larger knowledge base.
To do so, Hill Air Force Base approached Weber State University to begin an engineering program.
"Three years ago there was those jobs, but there really was no one to fill those jobs," electronics engineering program coordinator Justin Jackson said. "It's hard for companies to move to a city where they have to attract from the outside."
Since then, the school has begun to graduate students trained in design, electronics and software engineering.
"We think it's so critical to be proactive to have our own talent," Fishburn said. "We're starting our own programs to develop our own talent."
After three years, the program will earn accreditation in August and can therefore provide more employees for Hill Air Force Base.
At this time, most of the high-tech jobs are related to the needs of the U.S. Department of Defense, but as the talent pool increases, community leaders hope more will look to establish themselves in Northern Utah.
Unless more students pursue those careers the shortage of qualified employees will continue to worsen.
As baby boomers retire, there will be even more job openings in the tech industry.
"Certainly there is not the supply they need and it's just going to get worse in the future," Jackson said.
Jackson said companies are looking to hire and train new people now, before years of intellectual property walks out the door.
EMS Solutions will also need those high-skilled employees as it works for companies needing circuit boards and cable assemblies for medical equipment, lighting, consumer products and communication, built in the United States.