Excellence in exporting pays economic benefits

There’s no small measure of irony in the fact the company that manufactures components for the largest and most innovative aquarium projects around the world maintains its headquarters in the landlocked desert of Western Colorado.

Nonetheless, there are millions of reasons to be thankful Reynolds Polymer Technology is located in Grand Junction — as in the millions of dollars the company brings into the region from sales in far-flung locales around the globe and spends locally on paychecks, taxes and purchases from its suppliers.

Moreover, congratulations are in order to Reynolds Polymer as one of the latest recipients of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Exporting. The award not only recognizes the ongoing commitment of Reynolds Polymer to international trade, but also the tangible effects of that commitment in terms of the number of overseas markets the company serves, the proportion of sales attributable to exports and the size of its staff in Colorado.

An administrator who works with the export awards program at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade told the Business Times that Reynolds Polymer received the maximum score possible from seven of eight members of a panel evaluating applications for the awards.

The timing of the award couldn’t have been better given the fact Reynolds Polymer nearly doubled exports in 2011 and the company expects exports to remain strong in 2012. While sales in the United States have lagged along with the economic recovery, increasing sales to foreign markets have more than offset that decline.

Working with International Concept Management, its sister company in Grand Junction, Reynolds Polymer has been involved in a succession of projects pushing the boundaries of aquarium design and construction. It’s difficult to even imagine the scale of aquariums that tower over 50 feet tall, extend more than 30 feet across and contain 260,000 gallons of saltwater. And how about entire clear acrylic rooms submerged so visitors can see the surrounding aquatic life eye to eye?

While exports are sometimes overlooked, they play an increasingly important role in the Colorado economy. The total value of goods exported from Colorado in 2011? More than $7.3 billion.

So what if the headquarters of Reynolds Polymer remains far removed from the undersea environments on display in the massive aquariums it manufactures around the globe. Residents high and dry in Western Colorado can remain grateful for the presence of a company that defines excellence in exporting and brings in millions of dollars to the community as a result of those efforts.