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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Oregon Workforce Partnership


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Workforce Challenge

Earth2O, in Culver, is the top selling bottler and distributor of spring water in the Pacific Northwest and the third largest branded water sold. In order to expand its market, the company needed to set up systems and processes to document the quality of its product at every step of the bottling and distribution process, a costly proposition for the small company. Earth2O turned to the local workforce system for help.

Workforce Solution

By working with the workforce system, Earth2O obtained an Employer Workforce Training Fund matching grant to help with the cost of hiring trainers to put the Safe Quality Food (SQF) 2000 system in place. The project took hours of training, documentation and system development. The cost of implementing this type of quality control system is significant. Steve Emery, CEO and Co-Owner of Earth2O, states that Earth2O couldn’t have done it on its own. The process is daunting and labor intensive and the cost of hiring trainers is financially prohibitive for small companies, even though it is the best way for them to compete.

Outcomes & Benefits

Through the use of the training funds and training from the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Earth2O earned a Level 3 SQF certification, the highest available. It is only one of six bottled water companies with this distinction. “By having that level of certification, we’re getting better contracts,” stated Emery. As a result, Earth2O has added three staff and is planning to add five more, a significant impact in a town as small as Culver. Steve Emery was chosen as the 2010 Oregon Small Business Person of the Year by the US Small Business Administration.

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