Orgill OpeningPOST FALLS — The first catalogue of Lownes, Orgill and Co. in 1856 reveals intriguing products that haven’t been sold for decades — a dog-powered churn, for example.

“Having been thoroughly and successfully tested, we do not hesitate in recommending them to the dairymen as being the most simple, durable and portable machine for the purpose,” the catalogue states.

“It is equally adapted for sheep, and many prefer them to dogs.”

While many of the products the 169-year-old, privately owned company that started in 1847 have long since been replaced by electric or digital gadgets, Orgill, Inc. continues to power on.

The world’s largest independent distributor of hardware products officially became plugged in to Post Falls on Thursday as local, county and state officials were among about 80 people who welcomed the Memphis-based company to the 500,000-square-foot facility formerly occupied by Kimball Office.

“We’re excited to be here,” said Ron Beal, Orgill’s chairman, president and CEO, adding that Post Falls will be the company’s seventh distribution center. “You have our commitment to be a good employer. We look forward to continuing our tradition in Post Falls.”

Beal said the area’s workforce; the cooperation of local, county and state officials; quality of life; accessibility to major highways; and the quality of the facility led to Orgill’s decision to expand to Post Falls.

The company is renovating the building and searching for a human resources director. The bulk of the on-site interviews for about 140 jobs will be in November as the operations timeline progresses.

Those interested in applying should visit under the Careers tab as openings get posted.

“Our first step is that we are actively recruiting senior management,” said Mark Scanlon, vice president of distribution for the Western region. “We’ll then install the racks and finally phase in other employees.”

Racks and conveyers will be installed starting in October. Labeling of shelf locations is targeted for early November. Products are expected to be received starting in early December.

The company is expected to start servicing Canadian customers in mid-February and its U.S. dealers in early spring.

Floor jobs will pay around $16 an hour; drivers $57,000 a year; and managers $75,000 a year. Employees will receive benefits, including vision and dental, life insurance, retirement and education assistance.

“This is exactly the kind of company we hope to recruit at Jobs Plus,” said Eve Knudtsen, chair of the Coeur d’Alene-area economic development agency’s board.

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