Wing Inflatables wins big military contract

ARCATA – An Arcata business was recently awarded a big military contract.
Wing Inflatables has been building boats in Arcata for more than twenty years.
What began with half a dozen employees in 1995, now boasts more than one hundred skilled manufacturing jobs.
“Every day you’re building something different,” Quality Control Official Michael Bishop said. He continued, “You might be building something going in to outer space, or you might be building something going 100 miles offshore. And it’s an American-made product. There aren’t many of those any more.”
Supervisor Joe Bean said, “I was in the Navy for five years and so this place really hits home for me. It takes a lot to build these. Dedication. Commitment.”
Wing builds a range of recreational and commercial equipment and currently about 75% of its business comes from military contracts and purchase orders.
After six months of evaluation, the company won a competitive bid process to supply the U.S. Navy with up to sixty boats over the next five years.
Wing will earn more than $2.1 million under the contract.
Vice President of Human Resources Lisa Zambas said it takes contracts like these as well as help from local, state, and federal partners to keep Wing on the North Coast.
Zambas said, “Small businesses become large businesses. That’s what happened here. So if we can continue to support manufacturing we can stay here and raise our families.”
Wing said that if current trends continue the company may expand.

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