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Press Release

GPI Welcomes Element Six to Gresham

May 31,2018 | By Anna Marum
May 31, 2018
Contact information:
Anna Marum, Greater Portland Inc: 971-339-2012
Elizabeth Coffey, City of Gresham: 503-618-2247
Steve Johnson, Port of Portland: 503-415-6591
Nathan Buehler, Business Oregon: 506-689-3559

Element Six expands into Gresham
U.K. company manufactures synthetic diamonds
GRESHAM, OREGON -- Element Six, a synthetic diamond manufacturer and part of the De Beers Group, has announced its plans to build a $94-million advanced manufacturing facility in Gresham, east of Portland.
Using extreme heat under vacuum, as well as other high-tech methods, Element Six is a world leader in the production of synthetic diamonds. Element Six has manufactured diamonds for industrial uses for decades, and on Tuesday the De Beers Group unveiled Lightbox Jewelry, a line of affordable synthetic diamond fashion jewelry.

“We selected the Portland Region based on critical success factors such as competitive power distribution, access to a high-quality talent pool and strong support from the City of Gresham and other local partners,” said Ken Sullivan, Element Six’s Global Operations Director.

The choice to invest in Gresham illustrates the Greater Portland region’s appeal to global companies looking to expand in the U.S. Greater Portland Inc – along with the City of Gresham, the Port of Portland and Business Oregon – is proud to have played a part in Element Six’s decision to invest in the region.

The Gresham facility will initially employ about 60 full-time engineers, technicians and other employees in the production of synthetic diamonds. Once the plant is fully operational, it will be able to produce upwards of 500,000 rough carats of lab-grown diamonds each year.

“We’re very excited to welcome Element Six to our Gresham,” said Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis. “Gresham is becoming a hub for advanced industries, and we’re happy to welcome the new jobs and investment. The City of Gresham has the fastest guaranteed land-use review process in the region, which makes us especially attractive to prospective companies.”

With the Greater Portland region’s deep and sophisticated advanced manufacturing industry base and supply chain, low utility costs, skilled manufacturing workforce and competitive business climate, Element Six has plenty of room to grow its operations here.

Construction on the roughly 60,000-square-foot building is expected to begin summer of 2018, with full-scale synthetic diamond production starting in early 2020. The building is located in the Gresham Vista Business Park, inside an Enterprise Zone that offers a five-year property tax abatement on new investment.

The business park, owned by the Port of Portland, is located next to the ON Semiconductor campus in Gresham, and is less than a mile from I-84. The Port bought the property in 2011 and has worked to establish it as a thriving jobs center for clean tech, manufacturing, food processing, logistics, professional services and other traded-sector companies. Other tenants include Subaru, which recently opened its master distribution center for auto parts logistics. 

“This new investment fulfills our shared vision with the city to bring highly skilled, advanced manufacturing jobs to people in our community," said Curtis Robinhold, Port of Portland’s executive director. "Transatlantic and transpacific flights offered at our Portland International Airport make our region especially attractive to innovative international technology firms.”

Element Six’s facility will bolster the region’s advanced manufacturing industry, and the significant capital investment will create middle- and high-wage jobs in a sector ripe for growth.

“Element Six is a wonderful addition to the region’s portfolio of international brands,” said Janet LaBar, president and CEO of Greater Portland Inc. “This foreign direct investment from the U.K. further cements Greater Portland's reputation for advanced manufacturing capabilities, bringing quality jobs and global attention to our partners in Gresham and the Port of Portland. GPI is proud to support Element Six in its U.S. expansion into Greater Portland.”

The U.K. is Oregon’s third-largest source of foreign direct investment, and this latest investment shows that the Greater Portland area remains a globally competitive location for business.

“We’re working to attract more foreign direct investment like Element Six into Oregon, and the U.K. and Germany have shown great promise,” said Chris Harder, director of Business Oregon. “It takes collaboration to work on these projects, and this has been a great example of the strong team approach we have in Oregon, with the local, regional, and state economic development partners working cohesively to make it happen.”

The company’s recruitment was supported by Greater Portland Inc, City of Gresham, Port of Portland, Business Oregon, Portland General Electric and GPI's Higher Education Committee.


About Greater Portland Inc: Greater Portland Inc (GPI) is the region’s economic development organization, providing support and services to companies seeking to relocate or expand in Greater Portland, a region that spans seven counties in Oregon and Southwest Washington. A true public-private partnership model, GPI is supported by more than 70 public-sector partners and private investors who are committed to advancing regional economic development through job growth and investment. GPI and its partners shape the region’s economic future and marketing the region to the world. www.greaterportlandinc.com.

About the City of Gresham: Gresham is a welcoming community of hard-working people where tradition and heritage meet innovation and opportunity in Oregon's fourth largest city. Located just minutes from iconic Mount Hood, Multnomah Falls and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, the city of Portland and Portland International Airport, Gresham’s location is ideal for families and businesses wanting to start something new and grow. Gresham’s residents care deeply about our heritage as a homestead and agricultural community, and are committed to building a vibrant future. Today, Gresham is a dynamic, innovative and rapidly growing city with a mutual desire and drive to thrive. Learn more at https://greshamoregon.gov.

About the Port of Portland: Established in 1891 by the Oregon Legislature, the Port of Portland today owns three airports (Portland International, Hillsboro, and Troutdale), four marine terminals, and five business parks. The Port’s mission is to enhance the region’s economy and quality of life by providing efficient cargo and air passenger access to national and global markets, and by promoting industrial development. The Port’s core values are leadership, inclusion and service. Learn more at www.portofportland.com.

About Business Oregon: Business Oregon is the state of Oregon’s economic development agency. Business Oregon works to create, retain, expand and attract businesses that provide sustainable, living-wage jobs for Oregonians through public-private partnerships, leveraged funding and support of economic opportunities for Oregon companies and entrepreneurs. Learn more at www.oregon4biz.com.

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