Chris King gets White House invite to discuss U.S. job creation

Posted by on September 7th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Chris King (far left) gave U.S. Dept. of
Commerce staffers a tour of his
manufacturing facility last year.
(Photo: Dylan Van Weelden)

Chris King, the founder of Portland-based Chris King Precision Components, has been invited the White House next week for a discussion about how American manufacturing can spur job creation.

According to company staff, the invite comes from the White House Business Council, which operates within the Department of Commerce. Back in August 2011, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale, visited Chris King’s manufacturing facility and apparently the visit left a big impression.

In a blog post after the visit, Asst. Sec. Lamb-Hale wrote that, “I learned how this small business is able to use forward-thinking, innovative and sustainable methods to become a leader in the production of high-end precision aluminum, steel and titanium bicycle components.” She also learned that King’s success is due in large part because exports to Europe and Asia make up 40 percent of their sales.

“This meeting will provide an opportunity for you to… engage in a discussion on job creation and key areas of focus for spurring American economic competitiveness.”
— Ari Matusiak, White House Business Council

On Thursday of next week, King will be joined by Lamb-Hale and 11 other private sector business leaders in the West Wing of the Roosevelt Room. In the official invitation letter, Ari Matusiak, the executive director of the White House Business Council wrote that the meeting will, “provide an opportunity for you to receive a macroeconomic and budget overview from top Administration officials and to engage in a discussion on job creation and key areas of focus for spurring American economic competitiveness.” It’s a conversation, Matusiak says, to get feedback, “on what more the Administration can do to move our economy forward.”

Back in April, Chris King Precision Components was recognized by the City of Portland with a Mayor’s International Business Award. It was honor King shared with regional industry stalwarts Intel and Columbia Steel.

By growing his company from a one-man operation in 1976 to a full-time staff of around 100 employees today, King’s story is a testament that it’s possible to make world-class quality products in America while being responsible about environmental impacts and creating good jobs in the process. It’s a story that’s been building for years now, and thankfully, it’s finally getting noticed.

Stay tuned for more coverage of this exciting meeting.

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When I went mountain biking in Singapore with the owner of a bicycle shop he proudly showed off his Chris King Headset, it is cool how much exporting they are able to do.


I’ve been living in Shanghai for a couple of years. Recently I had a new bike built and couldn’t get any Chris King components here. Had to buy one when I was back in Portland and “export” it in my carryon.


Sometimes “it takes a village of small craftsman” to rejuvenate an economy, to think outside their borders, to invest in people, to create a dream and let nothing stand in your way and most importantly, to strive to be the absolute best in the world and set the bar by which every other similar product is measured. Chris King has done all that and more and still has his feet firmly “planted” in reality, quality and taking care of his employees. We should all, as cyclists, feel proud to have Chris King, his workshop and his employees as part of “our” local cycling culture.


Big congrats to Chris King. Way to lead the way!


Nice to see folks at the White House recognizing the need for manufacturing in the USA. Way to go King, keep those folks employed, and keep making the best bike parts money can buy.