Monday, May 20, 2024

A better way to build

| February 21, 2024 1:06 AM

POST FALLS —  Advanced thermoplastic composite manufacturing is bringing sustainable aerospace materials to the industry, said Chief Executive Officer Jacob Bonwell.  

During a Post Falls Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday, Bonwell said the company's goal is "doing more with less" and creating a sustainable process that can bolster the economy.

The company works out of a 67,000-square-foot facility in Post Falls, but plans on expanding to 215,000 square feet, Bonwell said.

He said the company has had to think outside the box to exploit artificial intelligence to benefit students.

Bonwell is also working with North Idaho College, the University of Idaho, Gonzaga University and other regional colleges to help create a standard manufacturing curriculum for newer materials like thermoplastics and composites.

He said they want to work with public schools.

"There's a big initiative with the company to work with local kindergarten-through-12th-grade institutions," Bonwell said.  

This means they can offer more detailed training for students and, in the end, embolden the workforce, he said.

Bonwell said the COVID pandemic hurt the company, and they have recovered and implemented growth. ATC, founded in 2004, has doubled its workforce numbers since he took over.

New aircraft are increasingly being built using thermoplastics and ATC's leaders are confident their company will be part of that growth. 

Bonwell said empowering employees to identify inefficiencies and provide feedback has been a catalyst for stability.

"It's really been a blessing to have the team we have working for the company," he said. "Because if we don't have them, we don't have product or customers."

    Matthew Davis with the Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation and other guests grab a plate of food during the Tuesday Post Falls Chamber of Commerce luncheon at The Club in Post Falls.