Concrete Works to move production plant to SBIP

Statue maker plans to hire 15 people for operation, which is to open in March

By Linn Parish
Spokane Journal of Business

Concrete Works Statuary Inc., of Spokane Valley, has leased space in the Spokane Business & Industrial Park and plans to move its manufacturing operation there from the Airway Heights Correctional Center.

The 8-year-old company expects to hire about 15 people to work in the plant, which is scheduled to open in the 16,000-square-foot leased space next March, says Laura Grenz, who owns Concrete Works with her husband, Curtiss Grenz.

Concrete Works makes a variety of concrete statues and other decorative concrete products typically used as yard decorations, Grenz says. The company has four year-round employees.

Currently, the company contracts with the Washington state Department of Corrections to have its manufacturing operation inside the West Plains prison facility, with prisoners working as its laborers.

Grenz says the company decided to move out of the prison so that it can have more control over its production facility.

“It’s too hard to work inside the jail,” she says. “The cement trucks were unable to get into the facility when there was a lockdown. The workers obviously couldn’t leave to help unload trucks at our Valley store.”

The company paid wages for prison workers that are comparable to market-rate wages, Grenz says.

Concrete Works has two retail stores, one at 205 S. Pines in Spokane Valley and one in the Tri-Cities, that are open April through October.

The company also operates temporary stores for the holiday season in the Spokane Valley Mall and NorthTown Mall.

Grenz says the company eventually would like to open a retail store that is open year-round, but doesn’t have any firm plans to do so yet.