Picture of Growth
Just as Clark County's over-reliance on one industry for job growth -- housing -- would spur the worst local recession in more than a generation, Columbia Vista Corp.'s over-reliance on one line of business left it teetering on the verge of ruin. To save the company, president Bob Lewis resolved to transform it. A new business plan would undergird everything. Click through the gallery to learn more about how Columbia Vista succeeded.
About seven years ago, Columbia Vista had to fight to protect the "heavy industry" designation it needed to keep operating.
The company's main plant, where the sounds of saw blades fill the air, is one of its most important assets.
The encroachment of homes near the sawmill threatened the company's long-term viability.
When the Japanese lumber market collapsed, the company survived by diversifying, building better relationships with suppliers and customers and reconnecting with employees.
The business plan would attract banks with money to loan and pay for worker training.
The company now spends $300K each year on training and education for its workers. Skilled workers are more productive and engaged.
"We have banks calling us all the time," president Bob Lewis said. "If you're perceived as a good risk," banks will issue loans.