OUR VIEW – “Engineering firm is the type of business Auburn airport needs” Titan Engineering, a business that’s growing swiftly in a competitive business climate, is the kind of tenant city and county economic development proponents should be pursuing at the Auburn Airport Industrial Park.Owner Titan Gilroy has grown his high-end machining enterprise over the past three years with a mixture of business smarts and dedication to his employees that’s admirable.Titan Engineering made a recent move from smaller quarters in the Lake of the Pines area to three buildings totaling 30,000 square feet at the Industrial Park.
Given the track record of another business that started small in Lake of the Pines and then thrived in Auburn, Titan Engineering could go far and carry the community along with its success by creating more good-paying, long-term jobs. The tally so far is nearly 40 employees at Titan, up from two when Titan started three years ago. Revenue this year is expected to be $6 million, double what it was in 2007.Gilroy, at one time a successful amateur boxer, takes a motivational approach to his business, papering the walls with signs saying “Hit it Hard” and “Only God himself is greater.”
His success has translated from the ring to the manufacturing floor. Plans call for hiring another 20 workers this year.The business produces titanium, fiberglass, plastic and aluminum parts in everything from paint ball guns to NASA space equipment. Gilroy said Titan isn’t afraid to take on the tough, technical tasks other businesses may pass on.With an Airport Industrial Park holding plenty of empty space and an economy moving through some choppy waters, Auburn needs to market the park as a great place for a business starting out to find its way.
That means not only a fair price on a lease and a key to the front door, it means support from the business community as a whole, including the promise of mentorship from local successful entrepreneurs, retired or still leading the way.And it means the community as a whole reaching out and supporting the enterprise, whether it’s through training programs catering to that industry or having elected and government officials dropping by to see how things are going.The other business that started in Lake of the Pines and moved to Auburn, started in a garage actually, is Ceronix, a world leader in monitor manufacturing for the gaming industry.Principal partner Don Whitaker had some bumps along the way.
In the early 1990s, he was preparing to move offshore until help from U.S. Rep. John Doolittle and the support of local elected officials allowed his business to stay by giving it the status of a free-trade zone.Whitaker’s multi-million-dollar manufacturing facility sits just outside the industrial park but serves as an example to fledgling businesses like Titan of how far someone with drive, determination and a great idea can go.Ceronix also serves as an inspiration for economic development proponents who see the hundreds of thousands of square feet of commercial space now vacant at the industrial park.And in its own way, so does Titan, a business down the street from Ceronix that has chosen Auburn as a place to grow and thrive.
– Auburn Journal