Federal Government Gives Green Light To Innovative Local Timber Product
Wood product manufacturers in Springfield and Eugene now have preferential access to federal development funds. Local leaders head to Washington, D.C. tomorrow [Tuesday] to help advance their goals.
The Department of Commerce designated Oregon and Southwest Washington as one of 12 “manufacturing communities.” The program looks to increase domestic job growth in selected industries. The region submitted an application focused on cross-laminated timber, a strong and sustainable wood product currently not made in the U.S. Springfield Mayor Christine Lundberg is excited to showcase the new, layered panels on the Glenwood Riverfront:
Lundberg: “We have specifically zeroed in on a demonstration project to build a parking garage. And a U of O architecture class spring term did that as their project, so I have beautiful renderings of what a cross-laminated timber parking structure would look like, which is much different than a concrete structure.”
More than a billion dollars in economic development money is available from 11 federal agencies. While the award doesn’t guarantee funding, regional businesses now have VIP status when they apply for aid. Mayor Lundberg says the federal recognition brings opportunities for jobs in timber production, manufacturing and university research.