Media Contact: Tozier - Int. 4306 | Information Service
For Immediate Release: February 20, 1959

Assistant Secretary of the Interior Roger Ernst today announced approval of the action of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation of Oregon in leasing 344 acres at McNary Dam town site for industrial development purposes to two California trailer manufacturing companies.

The land being leased was formerly surplus Federal property and has just recently been turned over to the Umatilla tribes by the General Services Administration under a law enacted by Congress in 1957. It will be used as the location for new trailer manufacturing or assembly plants that will provide jobs for Indian workers.

The actual lessees are two brothers, Robert and William Schultz, and their wives. They are the owners of R. S. Engineering and Manufacturing Company, Los Angeles, Calif., and S. and S. Steel Products Corporation, Compton, Calif. Both are trailer manufacturing companies.

The lease will run for five years with an option for two additional terms of five years each. First preference in employment will be given to enrolled members of the Umatilla Tribes and second preference to other qualified Indian workers.

The Schultz brothers have indicated that they will employ “approximately 20 production workers as soon as the buildings are ready, and will increase the production workers as rapidly as business conditions will permit." They have also agreed to provide Indians with on-the-job training that will equip them for employment in the plants.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs played a part in facilitating negotiation of the lease in line with its broad objective of developing job opportunities for Indian people on or near the reservations.

The Bureau's Branch of Industrial Development works toward this objective in conjunction with Indian tribes, local community organizations, and State industrial development or planning groups.