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Containment booms a boon for Tacoma company

A Gulf Coast disaster is once again creating new jobs and new business for a Tacoma company.

Tacoma Tent & Awning Co., which saw its business grow quickly in the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation five years ago, is now building thousands of feet of oil-containment booms needed to keep the crude still spewing from a runaway Gulf of Mexico well from spreading to more beaches, inlets and marinas on the Gulf Coast.

The company has hired three new crews to build the yellow and red vinyl booms at the tent and awning company’s Stadium District plant. And Tacoma Tent President Scott Sutherland is considering adding another shift of workers to keep up with the demand.

The company constructs commercial and residential awnings, tarps and coverings for industrial customers such as The Boeing Co. and a line of large tents sold nationwide. Those tents are used at weddings, corporate gatherings and commercial events. Tacoma Tent and Awning’s tents, for instance, were used at the recent U.S. Open golf tournament at Pebble Beach in California.

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