RENO — During the years, Click Bond, Inc. has grown to become the largest manufacturer in Carson City. The company’s chairwoman, Collie Hutter, shared the story of the company’s journey while also encouraging manufactures in Northern Nevada to get involved with workforce development.
Click Bond manufactures adhesive-bonded fasteners for planes, trains, boats and more that are used in a wide array of industries including defense, naval, transportation and energy.
“Pretty much anytime you don’t want to drill a hole, we have a good platform (for our products),” Hutter said at Nevada Business Connections’ monthly breakfast meeting held Wednesday, at the Great Basin Brewing Company in Reno.
One of the newest products are the fasteners for the F35. Each F35 uses 22,000 Click Bond nuts throughout the aircraft.
“The biggest thing on an airplane is you want to keep the weight down,” Hutter said. “The heaviest part of an airplane is the engine, the electronics and then the fasteners, … anytime you can reduce that weight (our customers) get very excited.”
The company was established in 1984 in Carson City. It has 11 buildings in Carson and is headquartered at 2151 Lockhead Way.
The company currently has 425 employees with 320 of these employees in Carson and other employees in its manufacturing facility in Connecticut as well as in the United Kingdom, France and Canada.
“We believe in Carson City and we invest in Carson City,” Hutter said.
According to Hutter, it took time and work to build the company to where it is today.
“We were not an overnight success,” Hutter said. “In 1986, a lot of our customers fell on hard times. We decided to take one product and manufacture it ourselves.”
That product was a patch for a wet wing on an airplane.
Click Bond now has 10,000 products listed in its inventory that are used in aircraft, ships, submarines and even on the Mars Rover.
The company is also working to provide parts for unmanned aerial vehicles.
“If it flies we have a salesman on it,” Hutter said.
The original Boeing 777 was one of Click Bond’s first major customers, which led to the growth of the company.
“Once Boeing ramped up production we had to ramp up as well,” Hutter said.
According to Hutter, one of the secrets to the success is the company patents everything it sells.
Hutter stressed the importance of workforce development to the attendees of the NBC breakfast.
“As you know, we are being challenged to prepare (a ready workforce),” Hutter said. “There is a lot of pressure from Tesla, Flirtey” and all the other companies settling in the region.
According to Hutter, community colleges will be the training center for many of the manufacturing jobs these companies will need. She encouraged manufacturers to take advantage of the resources and courses local community colleges offer to develop a skilled workforce.
“I urge all of you to become involved in workforce development,” Hutter said.