West Portal Industries wants you for Craig manufacturing
There’s a small manufacturing business in Craig with big plans for the future.
Having recently secured a contract to make small parts for a major Department of Transportation supplier across multiple states, Jim Stoddard and his West Portal Industries wants to help put Craig on the manufacturing map.
“We are teaming up to put people to work and make people some money,” Stoddard said.
Their shop isn’t large, but their ideas are. Stoddard has enlisted the help of an inventor and entrepreneur, Rich Foster, who helped design West Portal’s new guardrail part for a large Department of Transportation project. Foster’s part helps prevent worker injuries and saves time on the job site as the part facilitates the handling of multiple guardrail sections at one time.
“There’s never a need to have your fingers in between or under any of the guardrail panels,” Foster said of how his patented part works.
Stoddard has extended an invitation to inventors and entrepreneurs across the Yampa Valley to work with West Portal Industries to make their inventor dreams a reality. Stoddard has filled his website with patent and project ideas, marketing information, and lots of plans for the future. He said over the past few years he’s invested almost six figures into acquiring the machines it will take to make Craig a light manufacturing hub, but has started a kick start campaign to acquire a few more of the expensive manufacturing pieces.
“It’s all my personal funds that have gone into this,” Stoddard said of the machines currently in his small shop.
Craig might also be a hub for the manufacture of light plastic parts, if Stoddard has anything to say about it. He’s hired Jeremy Rentola, an injection molding and plastics expert, who says he plans to fill a needed niche for non-metal, light manufacturing in high volumes.
“Any type of knowledge of non-metal things, Craig lacks,” Rentola said.
Stoddard also has plans to partner with Colorado Northwestern Community College on possible offering classes for credit or as part of the college’s community education program to teach residents how to manufacture light parts.
“It’s in our grasp to partner with the college and teach people how to tool with CNCC machines,” Stoddard said.
For more information, visit westportalindustries.com.
Twenty years ago, as a sophomore at University of Colorado Denver, Nathan Brough wrote an economics paper on hemp’s potential to grow the nation’s gross domestic product.