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Category: Technology


Finnish ice breaker departs Tacoma area for Alaska

A Finnish multi-purpose ice-breaker that spent much of last weekend in Tacoma and at the entrance to Quartermaster Harbor off Vashon Island departed early Monday for Dutch Harbor in Alaska.

After a brief, early morning stop in Seattle, the MSV Nordica headed out the Strait of Juan de Fuca for the 49th State.

The bulbous-bowed, 381-foot-long vessel is contracted to Shell Offshore by Arctia Offshore Ltd. for use in exploration activities in the seas off the north coast of Alaska.  The Nordica and its sister ship Fennica are part of a flotilla of ice-breakers, anchor-handling ships, supply vessels and tankers

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Tacoma-built high-technology fishing boat heading for Alaska

A boat whose bright blue hull had become a landmark along Tacoma’s Thea Foss Waterway over the last few months has bid goodbye to Tacoma and the shipyard that built it.

The Northern Leader, the largest commercial fishing boat built in the Northwest in the last two decades, left its moorings at J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Co. Sunday afternoon headed to Seattle for some brief final outfitting.  The vessel, 184 feet long and 42 feet wide, will then sail to Alaska where it will begin its working life.

The vessel’s departure was marked by a relatively rare occurrence, the raising of

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Boeing to lay off 266 more workers in the Puget Sound area

Boeing issued layoff warning notices to 266 more workers in the Puget Sound area Thursday bring to more than 1,500 the number of workers it has told they will be losing their jobs this year.

The latest notices were the fourth round this year by the aerospace company. Boeing has said it is trimming its forces here as work on major developmental projects such as the 747-8 and the 787-8 and 787-9 airliners diminishes.

The company has said it will lay off as many as 1,700 engineers and technical workers this year.

The workers receiving notices this week will be

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Paris Air Show yields three strong business prospects for Pierce County

A sales trip to the world’s most important gathering of aerospace industry businesses, the Paris Air Show, has yielded three strong business leads for Pierce County, say local officials who made the trip.

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy and Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board Chief Executive Officer Bruce Kendall said Thursday that two European avionics companies and one American testing concern have shown strong interest in Pierce County.

McCarthy and Kendall were part of a 100-member Washington delegation to the air show at Le Bourget airport outside Paris this week.

The two said they had meetings with 31 companies over

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Pierce County, Economic Development Board hosting second Aerospace Summit July 17

Aerospace industry leaders and government officials will receive updates on the health of the aerospace business in the South Sound  and tips on how to attract more business in mid-July at Pierce County’s second Aerospace Summit.

The summit will be held July 17 at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood.  Participants can register at

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy and the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County are so-sponsoring this year’s event.

“Pierce County is home to a Boeing plant and more than 80 companies that work in the aerospace supply chain,” said McCarthy. “We will continue to connect

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Enumclaw inventor, 83, wins $40,000 prize for 3D printing advance

An 83-year-old Enumclaw inventor has been named the winner of an international desktop fabrication competition sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation, Maker Education Initiative and Inventables.

Hugh Lyman won $40,000, a 3D printer and a computerized milling machine for his invention of a device that will likely greatly lower the cost of 3D automated printing.

Lyman’s Filament Extruder II converts plastic pellets into filaments for use in low-cost 3D printers.  The extruder is open-sourced and can be made for less than $250.

“While the price of 3D printers has dropped dramatically in the last few years, the plastic filament used by

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Boeing to lay off 253 more workers

Boeing continued culling its Puget Sound workforce this summer, sending layoff notices Tuesday to 253 workers due to be laid off by mid-July.

This week’s layoff notices were the third set of workforce reductions Boeing has scheduled thus far in 2013.  The company earlier this year issued layoff notices to 939 workers for layoffs effective June 7 and to 99 workers for layoffs effective June 21.

The company has said it is trimming its workforce of extra engineers, technical workers and others made redundant by cutbacks in work on the 787 and 747-8 airliners.

Boeing had hired hundreds of workers

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Tacoma Web design and application development firm named to Inner City 100

SiteCrafting, a 15-year-old Tacoma-based Web design and application development company, has been honored as one of America’s top inner-city firms by The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City  and Fortune magazine.

This year is the third year Sitecrafting was named to the select list of fast-growing urban companies.

The Inner City 100 program recognizes successful inner city companies and their chief executives  as role models for entrepreneurship, innovative business practices and job creation in America’s urban communities, the initiative said.

SiteCrafting reported 2011 revenues of $2.1 million and an annual growth rate of 20 percent. It was ranked 66th on

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