January 09, 2002 11:00 pm

By Ray Linker

Observer Staff Writer

JOSEPH The hustle and bustle of metropolitan life had its advantages, such as steady employment and advancement in a large company.

But it was not hard to put all that behind her, said Janelle Stewart, who this week opened her own computer drafting business in downtown Joseph. She deals mainly with steel detailing for the interior of buildings.

Clean air, no traffic and a husband who loves to hunt were reasons she cited for wanting to move to Joseph. We wanted to get out of the rat race.

Her husband, Chris, discovered Joseph through hunting magazines and the Internet, she said.

Until late last week, she was working out of her basement in their home near Joseph, operating a company she calls Stewart Springs Ltd. She started the business in April 2001.

Now she is occupying the space previously rented by an art gallery in a mall on Main Street. She has two employees but hopes to expand to eventually 15 to 20 employees, she said. These will be good jobs, living-wage jobs, people with degrees and backgrounds in civil engineering.

Weve applied for a $48,000 grant in lottery funds through the Northeast Oregon Alliance. We hope to hire two more trainees this year and two the next. We have quite a few contracts already.

Most of those are through the company near Washington, D.C., where she used to work.

We are working with a couple of D.C. companies now. We probably can expect some work on rebuilding the part of the Pentagon that was hit by the terrorist plane on Sept. 11.

She doesnt exactly do the design work but does the final drawings that help engineers complete the design to show where the steel components of a buildings interior will go.

We get the designs from the architects and use them to expound on them and do drawings so the fabricators can do the setup and erection drawings, Stewart said.

Its all done with computers.

Back in Virginia, I took an auto cad class and have had 15 years of training, she said. I worked for Superior Iron Works in Sterling, Va., (outside of Washington) the largest metal and steel fabricating company in the D.C. area.

I started out running prints and estimates and left there as a project engineer, Stewart said.

She has already worked locally with Valley Bronze on some of the design for the World War II Memorial scheduled for the Mall in Washington, D.C., she said.

Some other major projects include the Marriott national headquarters and the Capital One campus consolidation headquarters in northern Virginia.

She will make a presentation to the Northeast Oregon Alliance on her grant request during a Jan. 23 meeting in Enterprise. A decision wont be made for a few weeks after that.

You can reach Ray Linker at 541-963-3161 or via e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it