Ribbon-cutting at nLight celebrates expansion

By Gordon Oliver, Columbian Business Editor

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Laser manufacturer nLight celebrated its latest expansion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday afternoon that drew a crowd of well-wishers, including U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, state Rep Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, and city officials. The event at the company’s east Vancouver headquarters and factory celebrated nLight’s recent acquisition of $25 million in investment funding, which it’s using to pay for its new Vancouver factory and other expansions.

The company says it is adding 100 new jobs in Vancouver, with 25 of those employees already hired. NLight CEO and president Scott Keeney, pictured with Herrera-Beutler, said the company’s lasers are used by the military in helicopters and for other functions, as well as in smartphones.

Keeney said the company, with 600 employees worldwide and 350 in the Vancouver-Portland metro area, is making inroads in the $100 billion machine tool industry.

“That’s a place we’re going to play in,” Keeney said.