Railway Supply Community to Law Makers: Don’t Impose Regulations

Rail Supply IndustryThe Willamette Valley Company has joined a growing group of industry leaders within the railway supply community and prominent rail industry trade associations to speak out against the Surface Transportation Board‘s proposal on reregulatory efforts, including so called “reciprocal switching” and commodity reregulation.

Congressional leaders John Thune, Chairman, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and Bill Nelson, Ranking Member; and Bill Shuster, Chairman, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Peter DeFazio, Ranking Member, have received a letter signed by dozens of suppliers and contractors pointing out the STB’s “recent trend of imposing regulations first, and discovering the consequences later.”

“As the collective voice of businesses that serve railroads and provide the equipment and technologies to enhance the efficiency and safety of their operations, we know…over-involvement of the federal government in the day-to-day business decisions of railroads once pushed this sector and the larger railroad ecosystem of customers and suppliers to the brink of collapse,” the letter states. “Without the wisdom to partially deregulate the industry in 1980, America would have lost a privately owned and maintained economic engine that provides quality jobs to support families and communities, affordable and environmentally friendly options for businesses to move goods and critical infrastructure to support passenger railroads.”

Here are more excerpts from that letter:

“We are deeply concerned that this regulatory effort could greatly cut into capital spending by the railroads. Past analysis by the Association of American Railroads found that a similar proposal could affect an estimated 7.5 million carloads of traffic, placing nearly $8 billion in revenues at risk. Reduced revenues mean reduced money for investment in the rail network and reduced demand for businesses like ours. Continued investments are critical for maintaining a safe and efficient rail network and allow us to provide strong employment opportunities in our communities.

The railroad supply community plays an integral role in maintaining the world’s safest, most efficient and highly competitive freight railroad system. We also provide high-paying and high-skilled manufacturing jobs in our communities.

We support a transparent and efficient STB and believe that the agency maintains an important role in maintaining a proven regulatory structure. But we do not support the STB’s recent trend of imposing regulations first, and discovering the consequences later.”

Click here to read more.



Step Up Your Halloween Decorating Game with These Easy Craft Projects


Chillier weather and the changing colors on the leaves means that autumn is here, the holiday season is just weeks away and it’s time to get “crafty”!  October is the month with perhaps the most craft-focused holiday of all, Halloween.

Ready to step up your spooky decoration game this year? Here are some simple Halloween projects you can take on this weekend using Ecclectic products and adhesives.

DYI Halloween Skulls

Nothing says Halloween like spooky skulls, does it? These Dazzling Halloween Skulls will add some much needed scares to your home. With their sugar skull design you can also use them as Dia de los Muertos decorations!

Creepy Spiderweb Vases

Spiderweb vases complete with giant spiders? A must-have for your next Halloween party!

Custom Day of the Dead Plate

Dia de los Muertos begins right after Halloween! These stylish plates are bound to be a hit.

Eeeek! Anatomical Paper Mache Hearts

It wouldn’t be Halloween without a good scare, and these creepy decorations resembling human human hearts will certainly deliver.

With our friend Mark Montano and our very own Eclectic Products, there is no shortage of DIY projects that you can undertake. Check back soon for more fun DIY and Craft projects and tips!

About Eclectic Products, Inc.

Headquartered in Eugene, Oregon, Eclectic Products specializes in adhesive/patch/coatings and repair products ranging from 0.18 oz. tubes to industrial totes and drums. The company offers powerful brands with exceptional performance and high-level technical R&D abilities. Eclectic Products has earned numerous awards for product performance, innovative design and excellence from organizations such as theNational Retail Hardware Association, HGTV Magazine and Handyman Magazine. Eclectic’s manufacturing facility based in Pineville, Louisiana has also been recognized by the State of Louisiana for demonstrating exceptional quality of work and a commitment to community. All products are proudly made in the U.S.A.

Football Season Is Here! Go Ducks!

Go Ducks!

Since many members of the WVCO family are University or Oregon grads and fans, we thought this would be a good time to say “GO DUCKS” now that football season is underway. Here in Eugene, U of O Football is practically a religion!  You should see us on game days, this town (and WVCO’s facility) practically bleeds green and yellow!

The Ducks have been a shining star in college football circuit these past few years under the the leadership of Chip Kelly and now Mark Helfrich (from Coos Bay!). We’re happy to say that things are looking better than ever for our Ducks, it’s time to win the National Championship!

Think you know the Ducks? Here’s some fun facts to show off at your next viewing party.

  • The Oregon teams were originally known as the Webfoots until it was officially changed in 1978.
  • The football program got its start in 1893. The first game was played in February 22, 1894 and resulted in a victory over Albany College! The score? 46 – 0.
  • 2014 was a record setting year for the Ducks, with 13 wins breaking the school record.
  • Donald Duck, the Duck’s mascot, is the only sports mascot that uses a Disney character.
  • The Ducks have never won a National Championship (yet!).
  • The duck has never been displayed on the team helmet, despite popular belief. The helmets have either been blank, displayed a number, an interlocking U & O, or just the Oregon O.

photo credit: University of Oregon Ducks spring football game. Eugene, OR 2016 via photopin (license)

Did You Know the First Company Certified to Manufacture Cross Laminated Timbers is in Oregon?


Oregon company D.R. Johnson made history in September of 2015 when they became the first American company certified to produce Cross-Laminated Timber.

For the uninitiated, Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) is a sustainable modern building material that brings tremendous benefits to constructions and the surrounding environment. Such benefits include affordability, reduced construction time, a lowered environmental impact, durability, and heat insulation.

To be able to produce CLT panels for construction, a company must first become certified by the American Plywood Association and the American National Standards Institute. This is no small feat and a great achievement accomplished by D.R. Johnson Lumber.

CLT manufacturing brings tremendous potential not only for Oregon but for the country as a whole. CLT constructions are growing in such popularity that many experts believe we are entering a “Timber Age” of construction. More projects and structures are embracing the material, and D.R. Johnson is always providing CLT panels for two of them in Oregon alone; the Albina Yard Project in Portland and the Woodcock Education Center in Monmouth.

UBC's Earth Sciences Building - Photo Source See-Change.net

UBC’s Earth Sciences Building – Photo Source See-Change.net

Established in 1951 in Riddle, Oregon, D.R. Johnson is a family-owned wood product manufacturer now lead by sisters Valerie Johnson and Jodi Westbrooks. The company’s vast experience producing riddle laminators (structural glue laminated beams) has undoubtedly served them well as they transitioned into producing Cross-Laminated Timber panels. Their infrastructure, tools, and local timber bounty will undoubtedly serve them well in this exciting venture.

Making history is an exciting event in its own right and we can’t help but look towards D.R. Johnson’s future endeavors with Cross-Laminated Timber with excitement. We know we’ll be seeing more and more wooden constructs in the very near future.




Master the Art with Mark Montano

Mark Montano

“It feels natural for me to be creating and making. I get depressed if I’m not in the middle of a project to be honest.” – Mark Montano

Mark Montano is literally a man of many hats. Just look at his resume; he’s been an interior designer, a clothing designer, a TV host for The Style Network and The Learning Channel, a columnist, a published author, and most recently a youtube-hit with his channel, Make Your Mark where he frequently uses our favorite craft glues (like the E6000 line) and other DIY products from our very own Eclectic Products.

Mark’s passion and infectious creativity have brought success in every medium he’s immersed himself in, but it’s his desire to inspire others that have truly brought him to the limelight.

It all began at the young age of 14 when Montano aided his mother and aunts in the sewing of their clothing. “Sewing is so wonderful and meditational. Since I was from a small town with no real way to get great clothes, I had to make them and that’s what I did.” Years later this very mindset took him to acquire a masters in Costume History from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Paired with his Bachelors degree in business, Montano was ready to take the design world by storm.

Mark Montano went on to intern for Oscar de la Renta and found himself in the heart of design world. His New York surroundings inspired his work and became a staple of the boutique he established. His creative sensibilities would soon find a very different audience than the high fashion world of New York when he took on the position of contributing editor for Cosmo Girl! Magazine. His design tips helped define many a teenage girl room from that moment onward.

It was his transition to TV, however, that truly brought Mark to the everyone’s homes and face to face (so the speak). As a designer on the hit TLC show While You Were Out, Mark Montano would transform people’s homes while they were away for the weekend. By the time he became host of My Celebrity Home, it was hard not to recognize Mark Montano’s unique style and vibrant attitude.

Mr. Montano is a thoroughly creative individual, one with the unwavering capacity to master whichever medium he embraces. It’s his gift for sharing, however, that truly renders him incomparable from so many other creatives. From his Cosmo Girl! tips to his design shows to his YouTube Channel, Mark has always done everything in his power to inspire others to create and to give them the tools to do so. We name him our “Featured Innovator of the Month” and look forward to sharing more videos and tips from Mark in the future. Don’t forget, you can always find the latest from Mark Montano in his Youtube Channel. Now, go create something!

Note: Mark Montano does not work for Willamette Valley Company.






Innovators We Admire: Dirk Ahlborn


Photo Source CrowdFundInsider.com

“New technologies and new ideas, can create a better passenger experience while solving these issues through new monetization strategies and business models, with the Hyperloop and all other forms of transportation.” – Dirk Ahlborn

Innovation can’t thrive in a vacuum; external factors, opposing views, tools, and resources must come together to create the breakthroughs that propel us forward. Few know that as well as Dirk Ahlborn, Founder and CEO of JumpStarter Inc. which operates JumpStartFund  and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT).

Ahlborn’s mission was to create a new platform for scientific funding and the bringing together of minds. “We already have a process to help create a physical startup. Why not do that online?” asks Ahlborn. “Why not create an online crowdsourced incubator? This way we allow tech-disconnected hubs to connect with the best technology hubs and co-found new companies. It’s all about building communities smarter and faster.” It’s this collaboration of communities and hubs that have lead the way for Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

Watch as Ahlborn discusses his ideas about the world’s next breakthrough in transportation on the news program, Business Rockstars.

The term Hyperloop, a concept popularized by super innovator Elon Musk (most famous for Telsa), is a system of transportation that uses tubes and air compression to reach incredible speeds. Inspired by this idea, Dirk Ahlborn and Jumpstarter Inc. built HTT, a research crowd collaboration company working to develop a high-speed transportation system.


Photo Source Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

HTT aims to create a high speed intercity transport that travels close to 800 miles an hour as well slower, inter-suburban travel. The project would have a capacity of 15 million passengers a year. Putting this into further context, an airplane travels at most at 500mph and most trains at 200mph. Beyond its speed, the Hyperloop boasts many other proposed benefits, such as being self-sufficient through renewable energy, a greater emphasis for safety, lower construction costs, and affordable travel.

This may sound like a far-off fantasy but it’s closer than one may think.  In a partnership with Deustche Bahn, HTT will be working to create an “Innovation Train,” a conventional train powered through the technology of HTT for greater efficiency. One such piece of tech would be the creation and use of Augmented Reality windows, as seen below.

Dirk Ahlborn knows that innovation can’t thrive when it’s isoated, it’s only when great minds come together that breakthroughs occur. This philosophy is already bringing about changes to the transportation industry and will only continue from here. For these reasons and many more, we name Dirk Ahlborn our “Featured Innovator of the Month.”

If you’re looking to hear about more incredible innovators bringing the latest breakthroughs to the transportation industry, be sure to take part in AREMA’s 2016 Expo.

Note: Dirk Ahlborn does not work for Willamette Valley Company nor is he affiliated with our company.


Hyperloop Transportation Technologies




Five Fun Projects to Kick Off The School Year in Style

Allure E6000

Now that summer is winding up, we thought this would be a great time to share some stylish kid friendly back-to-school project ideas using top-of-the-line adhesives produced by Eclectic Products’, a division of Willamette Valley Company.

The E6000® line of adhesives can be found in most arts and crafts stores and offer a wide range of products to suit all your adhesive needs, including Fabri-Fuse, Jewelry and Bead, Stitchless, and Spray Adhesive to name a few.  These five Back-to-School project ideas, presented by our good friend Mark Montano of Make Your Mark, are fun ways for the kids to kick off the new school year in style.

No Sew! Easy Rag Rug Pillows

The great thing is that with Fabri-Fuse, No Sew really means No Sew! A bit of adhesive and some materials and you’ll end up with stylish rag rug pillows worthy of sale in even the trendiest of artisanal markets!

Recycled Paper Jewelry

DIY jewelry is a fun and relaxing way to get ready for the new school year. When you can make creative, wearable jewelry out of old magazines and adhesive, it’s even better!

Octo Love DIY Sweater

Now, if you’re somehow Octo-opposed, don’t worry, you can use these same techniques to create all sorts of fun patterns on sweaters and fabrics! Your kids will have a blast coming up with different designs to create!

Allure-Ing Fabric Bracelets

This project is named after E6000®’s Allure Dimension Design Adhesive Paint in Gloss! As you can see, beyond simply sticking things together you can use E6000 to create some fun designs and bring out the true “Art” in “Arts and Crafts.”

How To: Ginger Jars

Create some fun jars to keep around the house for decoration and a sneaky place to store school supplies!  You can pattern these however you see fit to bring out the unique style you’re after.

Five fun ways to use E6000®, five very different projects to make with your kids! Click here for more uses and fun project ideas!

About Eclectic Products, Inc.

Headquartered in Eugene, Oregon, Eclectic Products specializes in adhesive/patch/coatings and repair products ranging from 0.18 oz. tubes to industrial totes and drums. The company offers powerful brands with exceptional performance and high-level technical R&D abilities. Eclectic Products has earned numerous awards for product performance, innovative design and excellence from organizations such as theNational Retail Hardware Association, HGTV Magazine and Handyman Magazine. Eclectic’s manufacturing facility based in Pineville, Louisiana has also been recognized by the State of Louisiana for demonstrating exceptional quality of work and a commitment to community. All products are proudly made in the U.S.A.

Are You Robotic Industries Association Certified?


“Our experience and capabilities in robotic programming will be further recognized through this certification. It demonstrates our continuing commitment with providing customers arc welding and cutting solutions for a completely automated system.” – Justin Percio, Business Manager, Welding Automation Systems, Lincoln Electric

Robotics are a fundamental part of WVCO and of our shared passion. Our PRE-TEC division builds custom and pre-engineered robotics, from multi-axis robot arms and end-of-arm tooling, to conveyance systems, and safety hardware —backed by all the support, training, programming, and maintenance you need. Beyond our own manufacturing, however, we are also a member of the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), a relationship that has enabled us to better serve customers by giving us access to the latest technologies, methodologies, and resources.


RIA is the only North American trade group dedicated solely to robotics and robot safety. It was first founded in 1974 in an effort to “drive innovation, growth, and safety in manufacturing and service industries through education, promotion, and advancement of robotics, related automation technologies, and companies delivering integrated solutions.” They’ve succeeded in their endeavor, providing companies with a venue to seek help, answers, information, and certification.

RIA Certified Robot Integrator

RIA certification is an invaluable way for robot integrators and inventors to highlight their experience, capabilities, and aptitude to users, suppliers, investors, clients, and partners alike. It demonstrates that they’ve met the critical criteria determined by the RIA, which in turn means they’re an expert in best practices.

The certification is relatively new, first established in 2012. Prior to it, end users struggled to determine robotic integrators’ expertise and business requirements.  The certification plays a crucial role in establishing an industry standard for end users to evaluate vendors and ensure the best possible partnerships.

“The RIA certification program doesn’t only benefit end users, however. It’s the perfect opportunity for certified robot integrators to differentiate themselves,” says Armando Barry, certification consultant to RIA. “Achieving RIA certification will reflect a significant commitment by robot integrators, that elevates their technical expertise in applying robots in a consistent manner,” Barry concluded.

PRE-TEC Robotics

How to Become Certified

In order to become certified, integrators go through a rigorous process which includes an on-site audit, safety training and hands-on testing of key personnel among other important criteria.

There are three basic parts to the on-site exam and audit:

1. Hands-On section
2. Expert Response Section: (Participant industry tenure & biography)
3. On-site audit of business infrastructure per completed “Self Score Card”. Supporting evidence will be gathered before any certification date is scheduled.

The entire certification process demonstrates the requisite level of technical knowledge required to execute robotic system projects and tasks in a safe, efficient, and economical manner. It also signifies not only the company, but the technician has the ability of working with various codes and standards.

To learn more about this certification, we hope you will visit the RIA Certified Robot Integrator Program page. For more information on RIA, membership and the certification program, please contact RIA Headquarters at 734/994-6088 or visit Robotics Online at www.robotics.org.




Latest SpikeFast® Products to be Unveiled at 2016 AREMA Expo

Railroad SpikeFast It is widely agreed among transportation industry leaders that the WVCO Railroad Division is among the best in providing innovative new products and application systems for today’s railroads. Our proprietary product, SpikeFast®, is considered to be the industry’s most reliable product for plugging spike holes. Other solutions include railroad tie products for wood and concrete ties, and unique application systems.

In just over a month, team members from our WVCO Railroad Division will arrive in Orlando, Florida to demonstrate our railroad products and POLYQuik Roadway Repair materials to railway engineering professionals representing all segments of the industry, at the AREMA 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition August 28-31, 2016.

This annual event attracts generations of leaders in the railroad industry who go there to network, attend technical presentations, seminars and more. This is a unique opportunity for us to see and hear all that is new and innovative across the entire rail supply industry while developing solutions to some of the many challenges facing the transportation industry.

The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) is one of the outstanding organizations WVCO has partnered with; thus enabling us to better serve our customers by giving us access to the latest technologies, methodologies, and resources. The 5,500+ members that comprise AREMA include a diverse group of railway and transit engineers, consultants, contractors, suppliers, academicians, federal and state governmental employees and others.

If you are attending this year’s expo, please be on the lookout for our team at Booth #301 on the interactive expo floor!

The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) was formed as the result of a merger of three engineering support associations, namely the American Railway Bridge and Building Association, the American Railway Engineering Association and the Roadmaster’s and Maintenance of Way Association, along with functions of the Communications and Signals Division of the Association of American Railroads. The rich history of the predecessor organizations, each having over 100 years of service to the rail industry, is the legacy of AREMA.

Featured Innovator: Charles Marohn, a man building Strong Towns


Charles Marohn presenting his TedX talk – Photo Source Governing.com

“When we look at our cities today, we see that we have been so obsessed with getting that dollar for that grand huge project that we’ve just overlooked the pennies, the nickels and the dimes that are just waiting to be picked up in our core neighborhoods.” – Charles Marohn

Charles Marohn, founder and president of Strong Towns, will be a keynote speaker at this year’s APWA PWX conference. For those unaware, Strong Towns is a national media nonprofit that hosts events, publishes articles, and shares weekly podcasts all with the goal of rethinking how communities can generate long-term prosperity. Charles Marohn should know; he’s Professional Engineer, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a published author, and has been considering this very question for a while now.

“After I got out of engineering school I was ready to go build a great America. It was actually going out and working for an engineer for a number of years and seeing that even in places that were experiencing incredibly high rates of growth, that growth was not making us wealthy. It was not giving us prosperity,” says Marohn. “I started asking some really hard questions. Why, even though we’re doing these projects and we’re creating jobs and economic development and all the things that these programs are set up for, are we’re not seeing the long term success? That got me asking questions about the money we spend, the money we get back, how the tax systems encourage certain types of investments and not others.”

Strong Towns works to address the issues of America’s land use and the financial procedures to allocate funds to different communities by advocating for: a functioning transportation system that promotes prosperity in a community, job creation and economic growth as a result of a healthy local community, long term prosperity through financial solvency, the proper management of land and resources, and other beneficial principals that strengthen communities.

To date Strong Towns has released over 300 podcasts, published posts on the daily, and had over 6,000 people attend Strong Towns events in 23 states and Canada in the last year alone. To fully understand the influence Strong Towns has, however, one need look no further than the testimonies of their members.

“Our community has recently gone through an assessment of our downtown to attempt to revitalize. Strong Towns gave me tools and language to address our planning committee and planners, and resources to point to as I began to engage city officials. It also equipped me to begin this process, identify who to approach and how, get involved in local government, not as a partisan but just as a concerned citizen who can work for change.” ~ Curran Bishop, Carbondale, IL

“Strong Towns has the potential to cut through all that murkiness with its clear, concise explanations of how we got here and move us more quickly to the path of recovery. They are performing a vital service to our country.” ~ Susan Horst, Bellingham, WA

Innovation is most often all about rejecting complacency and constantly questioning our prescribed methods and procedures. Charles Marohn and Strong Towns do just that, challenging the status quo in order to create stronger local communities with a chance for long-term prosperity and possibilities. This is why we’ve named Charles Marohn our “Featured Innovator of the Month.” We are very excited to hear him speak at PWX 2016!

Note: Charles Marohn does not work for Willamette Valley Company nor is he affiliated with our company.


Strong Towns


Fergus Falls Journal

Ledger Inquirer

Broken Sidewalk