Originally posted in Nevada County Tech Connection on March 27, 2018

Nevada County might seem an unlikely place for a manufacturing company, but in fact it is home to a number of small family businesses that happen to produce world-class products. Autometrix is one of those businesses – a small manufacturing company in Nevada County that was founded on a passion for problem solving and making things easier. The company is still doing exactly that — producing cutting tables, digitizing tools, and software for customers like Adidas, Burton (They manufacture the snowboards that helped Chloe Kim and Shaun White to win gold at the Olympics), Patagonia, Cirrus Aircraft, Hunter Douglas, and the University of Washington. Autometrix also helps small businesses to scale up through automating their production processes.

Small Company Allows Employees to Pursue Their Interests

Autometrix employees are passionate and committed to their craft. They represent a number of different technical roles — software developers, field technicians, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, and assembly technicians, to name a few. Many of these roles are fluid, and employees pursue their interests to a degree that is only possible at a small company.  “Most everyone gets to be involved in lots of different things,” said Jonathan Palmer, Owner and President of Autometrix. “We’re small enough that we can keep the lines of communication open, and we work hard to engender teamwork.”

Autometrix Radium 24 in x 10 ft
Autometrix Production Team

And mountain biking

Autometrix may encourage teamwork, but its employees like a little competition, namely in the areas of food and mountain biking. There is an annual chili cook-off with a double blind taste test — the winner gets an actual trophy. Several employees ride their bikes to work, and participate in a daily mountain bike ride that takes off right from the office into the surrounding woods.

Some serious judging going on

Making Sure the Tech Companies Know About Each Other

Jonathan Palmer is passionate about something else — his role in building Nevada County’s tech ecosystem, and making sure that all 150 tech companies in the county thrive. When he moved back to Nevada County, he was worried that his wife, an electrical engineer, would not be able to find technical work locally. “I grew up here, and knew about a few tech companies in the area,” said Palmer. “But I had no clue that there were multiple opportunities for my wife. They were all hidden in the trees.” Now, in addition to running Autometrix, he sits on the board of the Economic Resource Council (ERC), and acts as a Business Champion for the ERC’s Nevada County Tech Connection (NCTC). His goal is to make sure the tech companies know about each other, and about the tech jobs that are available at companies outside of the tech sector, like the Nevada Irrigation District.

Jonathan Palmer, Autometrix
The Winner of the Chilli Cook-Off

We can support tech employees in avoiding career stagnation and achieving their career goals through education and interaction

– Jonathan Palmer

Benefits of Being Part of a Tech Community

Palmer believes that it is important for tech companies in Nevada County to feel like they are part of a community. It benefits the companies by supporting their employees.  “We can support tech employees in avoiding career stagnation and achieving their career goals through education and interaction,” said Palmer. “People learn from other people in their field, if they interact.” Palmer encourages local tech companies to join the NCTC and participate in events like TechTonic Tuesday. Not only does TechTonic bring in speakers and ideas from outside the area, keeping Nevada County connected with the rest of the world, it connects local tech companies with talent. Palmer has hired at least two high-quality employees as a result of his participation in the NCTC.

Are you a tech company or tech talent in Nevada County? Join the NCTC Directory and come to one of our many events to meet others in the community. Looking for a technical job in Nevada County? Autometrix is hiring! Keep an eye on their Facebook page for job listings.