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Bright Wood ranks as Central Oregon's second largest private sector employer

GRAPHIC COURTESY EDCO - Economic Development of Central Oregon released its annual list of top employers in Jefferson County.

A few companies shuffled places on this year's list of top employers Economic Development of Central Oregon released this week.

Warm Springs Tribal Government added nearly 300 employees putting it as the top employer of the county, ahead of Bright Wood and Jefferson County 509-J School District.

Plateau Travel Center dropped off the list completely because its numbers folded in with Indian Head Gaming. Some other consolidation might explain the increase of employees at Warm Springs Tribal Government.

The closure of Culver's EartH2O took that company off the list, making space for two other companies in the top 25: Wilbur-Ellis Agricultural Services, and Les Schwab Tire Center.

PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIGHT WOOD - Engineered door rail produced at the Madras Bright Wood plant.

With 1,030 employees regionally, Madras-based Bright Wood is the second largest private sector employer in Central Oregon, second only to St. Charles Health Systems.

EDCO Interim Director Jon Stark says this year's list tells more than one story.

"A story of companies finding it difficult to grow due to labor force availability," Stark said, "some that may be still recovering from the pandemic while others are finding ways to expand their labor force to meet customer demand. We are excited to see how this post-pandemic economy takes shape, especially given the resilience and diversification of the Central Oregon mix of industry."


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