A $4 million taxiway upgrade at the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport that started the first week of September is scheduled to be finished by Nov. 20.

Crews completed a critical stage of the work on time that required the airport’s primary runway used by commercial passenger aircraft to be temporarily closed for part of the last week of September.

The project, covered entirely with Federal Aviation Administration money, involves removing a taxiway and moving it west to a better location, airport Director Michael Isaacs said.

The taxiway is heavily used by commercial passenger planes and was in the safety zones of the airport’s two runways.

Lights are replacing reflectors on one taxiway and a portion of another leaving only one of the airport’s six main taxiways illuminated by reflectors. The surfaces of some taxiways are being revamped with new asphalt.

“It’s a major safety improvement,” Isaacs said.

Higher pay being offered at SEL

The region’s largest private employer has raised its starting wage for the second time in a year.

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories now pays entry-level U.S. staff members $18 per hour along with benefits such as a stake in the company through its employee stock ownership plan. Employees and their families also receive free health care at onsite clinics and use of the company’s fitness centers at no charge.

In the spring, SEL increased its starting wages from $15.50 to $16 per hour.

The company employs about 2,450 at its Pullman headquarters and about another 630 in Lewiston; the two sites have a combined 50 job openings.

SEL invents, designs and builds digital products that protect power systems around the world.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to increase our production and meet our customers’ growing needs and are excited to continue to hire the best and brightest folks to help us achieve our mission,” said Edmund O. Schweitzer III, SEL’s founder, president and chief technology officer in a prepared statement.

Life Care Center administrator promoted

The former executive director of Life Care Center in Lewiston has been promoted within her company.

Tiffany Goin was named a vice president at Life Care Centers and has responsibilities in its newly formed Inland Region.

Goin oversees operations at Life Care’s locations in Lewiston, Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint, as well as Alderwood Manor in Spokane and Life Care facilities in Kennewick and Richland. She is based at Lewiston’s Life Care Center at 325 Warner Drive.

Goin was the executive director of Life Care Center in Lewiston for nine years and has been with Life Care for more than 17 years.

Golf company becomes a part of Vista Outdoor

Vista Outdoor has completed the acquisition of Foresight Sports after announcing a proposed deal to purchase the company in September.

The parent company of Lewiston ammunition maker CCI/Speer paid a gross purchase price of $474 million with cash on hand and available liquidity under its asset-based line of credit.

Foresight Sports is a 150-person company in San Diego, Calif., that designs and manufactures golf performance analysis, entertainment and game enhancement technologies. Its products include launch monitors and golf simulators used in retail stores, driving ranges and homes.

It joins more than 30 Vista Outdoor brands that already included Bushnell Golf, a company that entered into an exclusive domestic partnership with Foresight Sports before the acquisition for pro-level launch monitor technology for recreational golfers. The Launch Pro is being released at Bushnell.com and certain golf retail outlets this fall.

“The market growth opportunities in this space, combined with its impressive operating margins, make our combined golf business a powerful financial engine for delivering value for Vista Outdoor’s shareholders,” Vista Outdoor CEO Chris Metz said in a prepared statement.

Manager and vice president of Lewiston bank earns recognition

Lewiston City Council member Cari Miller is among 50 “Women of the Year” named by the Idaho Business Review.

The award recognizes the leadership, mentoring and community involvement of women who are making Idaho’s economy and communities stronger.

A former logistics officer in the U.S. Army, Miller is vice president and manager of Zions Bank’s Lewiston branch. She is on the board of the Clearwater Economic Development Association where she helped improve broadband capacity in Idaho, Lewis and Latah counties, according to a news release from Zions Bank.

Online content introduced for the public at SEL

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories has created a virtual tour of its Pullman manufacturing operation as a substitute for the in-person tours hundreds of people took each year before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The video lasts just fewer than eight minutes and is available at selinc.com/virtualtour.

The company also released a manufacturing classroom kit where students build circuits with paper. The activity encourages students to solve management and production problems to make their factory more efficient.

Retiring Lewiston podiatrist sells clinic building and practice

Elaine Williams

The Tribune wants to hear about what's happening at your business. Send your news to ewilliam@lmtribune.com. Please put "Biz Bits" in the subject line.