By David Benda, Record Searchlight, May 2013

A recent Time magazine cover story trumpeted “Made in the USA” — companies that manufacture goods here and the home-grown jobs that come with them.

The north state has its share and eight will be honored in the inaugural “Nor-Cal 100” — manufacturers making economic contributions to our area.

Innovate North State announced the first 100 companies last week. The inductees will be celebrated Thursday inside the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Big Room in Chico.

The companies are located in an area stretching from Pleasanton to the Oregon border.

The eight that made the cut in Shasta County are: Cook Concrete Products; Eko Research; Innespace Productions; Op-Test; Shasta Green; Ted Pella Inc.; VSS Emultech; and Yaley Enterprises.

Innespace makes the Seabreacher, a personal water rocket that can dive 6 feet below the surface and can be tailored to look like a dolphin, shark, killer whale or probably any other sea creature you want. The company calls the combination
jet boat and submarine “the ultimate diving machine,” with a nod to German automaker BMW.

Op-Test made news last month when we reported the firm had outgrown its longtime home on Twin View Boulevard and will move to a larger plant in the Mountain Lakes Industrial Park. Founder Dan Morrow said his company is an example of reverse
outsourcing, jobs once plentiful overseas that are coming back to the homeland. How cool is that?

Op-Test tests LED lights and also makes a product used in the semiconductor industry. The company expects to double its workforce to some 30 employees within five years.

You could say Yaley Enterprises is a glowing success. So we did back in 2005, when former “Buzz” partner Marc Beauchamp profiled the family-owned business.

The firm sells candle-making gear wax for industrial and commercial use and is headquartered near Redding Municipal Airport. The Yaley family founded Paragon Wax in 1937. Paragon was sold in 1989. Tom Yaley Sr., whose grandfather founded Paragon
Wax, started Yaley Enterprises in 1970 and moved the company to Redding from South San Francisco nearly 20 years ago.

Eko Research is the parent company of TechniSoil, which manufactures a product that turns decomposed rock into hard surfaces. The company was founded by Sean Weaver. Municipalities, the military, golf courses and weekend warrior do-it-yourselfers
are among TechniSoil’s market.

TechniSoil has been featured on DIY network’s “Yard Crashers” and “Insights with Terry Bradshaw,” a show hosted by the NFL Hall of Fame quarterback.

Like Op-Test, Ted Pella Inc. is an example of Shasta County’s high-tech capabilities. Working out of the Mountain Lakes Industrial Park in north Redding, Pella makes and distributes scientific instruments and other products that are used in
highly specialized labs around the world.

Shasta Green was established in 2002 after R.G. and Dianne Franklin of Franklin Logging purchased a sawmill in Burney. Franklin Logging feeds Shasta Green with logs it harvests off private and public lands.

Cook Concrete in Redding manufactures precast products for contractors and was established in 1955. Cook’s products have been used in projects in California, Oregon and Nevada.

VSS Emultech is an asphalt emulsion company headquartered in West Sacramento with plants in Redding, Bakersfield and White City, Ore.

For more information, including how to attend Thursday’s event in Chico, go to or call 892-1707.