April 27, 2010


O.C. Tech Firm Expands to Massachusetts April 27th, 2010

April 27th, 2010 - Jan Norman, small-business columnist Orange County Register

Cristek Interconnects Inc. in Anaheim has opened a new factory in Lowell, Mass.

Cristek has leased a 7,000-square-foot building and hired three people to find contracts to build that business. If business grows, the factory could employ 40 to 50 people.

Originally Cristek was going to open a plant in New Hampshire, but got economic incentives from Lowell, an old mill town plus no sales tax on the $1 million it spent on new equipment, said founder and President Cristi Cristich.

Lowell is also closer to a trained workforce and engineers, a factor that keeps the company in Orange County.
Cristich said the expansion out of state is not an abandonment of California but is intended to capture East Coast contracts Cristek couldn't get as a solely West Coast company.

Some of Cristek's biggest customers, such as Raytheon in Waltham, Mass., are on the East Coast.

"Lowell opens new markets," she said. "Some New England companies prefer to do business with local companies. It may even bring additional work to California."

The Lowell facility just got its first $250,000 contract and some of the high-skilled, proprietary work will be done in Anaheim.

It's not the first time Cristek expanded outside California. In 2003, the company was in the process of opening a new facility with 100 jobs in Sierra Vista, Ariz., when Cristich found out that the community had not disclosed an abnormally high number of pediatric cancer cases.

"I wanted to be an ethical employer and I couldn’t relocate my (employee) families there," she said recently.

However, at the time she made no bones about the fact that the move was in response to California's anti-business policies.

"I will not create any new jobs here until we see the climate become more friendly," said Cristich in a 2003 Register article.

Even today, Cristich says, "if it were not for the 120 people who work for us in Anaheim, I'd be out of here tomorrow. That's how strongly I feel about California's business climate."

For more information contact:

John B. Pollock
Director of Sales & Marketing
Cristek Interconnects, Inc
(714) 696-5206


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