Aerospace machine shop Cobalt to expand to Lake Stevens site

LAKE STEVENS — Cobalt Enterprises is buying a 25,000-square-foot building in Lake Stevens and moving most of its operations from Granite Falls to the new site.

The machine shop will also expand, growing its workforce from 98 employees to 120, said Paul Clark, Cobalt’s vice president and one of its owners.

Cobalt has seen heavy growth for years. The company has experienced on average a 34 percent increase in sales for 11 straight years and expects to see that number go up to 44 percent this year.

Most of the work is for aerospace manufacturers.

“We’ll tackle heart-attack-type jobs,” Clark said. “The company has built it’s reputation on those types of jobs.”

The company expects to spend $3 million with the purchase of the building at 3316 Old Hartford Road, Lake Stevens, along with renovations and moving costs. The company expects to move its assembly and paint departments by the end of this year and move the machining department by next year.

In all, 110 workers will be located in the Lake Stevens site.

“We are very excited for a variety of reasons,” said Jeanie Ashe, Lake Stevens’ development coordinator. “This is bringing to our community ultimately 110 jobs — those are employees who will spend money in our community.”

She also praised Cobalt as a good corporate citizen. The company, founded by Fred Schule in 2004, was awarded Washington’s Small Business of the Year in 2014 by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“Cobalt as you know is a very well respected manufacturer and we’re hoping that we can attract parts of their supply chain or other manufacturers to community,” Ashe said.

Cobalt owns two buildings in Granite Falls at 10917 Mountain Loop Highway and plans to continue to keep about 10 to 15 workers at the site, Clark said.

The company has a retail motorcyle shop that it plans to move to the Granite Falls location and will continue to operate a hydraulics departments there. The company is looking for other uses for the property.

He said the new Lake Stevens building was an “amazing building — very, very close to exactly what we need.”

“For us, it’s not a lot of hoopla,” Clark said. “Manufacturing at this level is very direct. After the move, we’ll just want to get back to work.”

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