Oregon Congressional Delegation, Governor Celebrate $3M Grant for Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center
Today all seven members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation – Reps. Kurt Schrader, Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Greg Walden, along with Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley – joined Governor Kate Brown in announcing that the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC) will receive a $3 million grant from the Economic Development Administration to support a transformative economic development project in Northwest Oregon.
OMIC is a partnership of industry leaders in advanced manufacturing and higher education institutions, including Oregon Institute of Technology, Portland Community College, Oregon State University, and Portland State University. This partnership will create good jobs, foster innovation in manufacturing, and equip workers and students for success in the 21st century by providing work-based learning programs. Bonamici led Oregon’s Congressional delegation in advocating for the grant, which was awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to the Oregon Institute of Technology. The funding will be used to retrofit and equip OMIC’s R&D facility.
“Education programs that foster public-private partnerships are so important to the future of our Oregon economy,” said Rep. Kurt Schrader. “These programs align their curricula with the needs of their communities and industry, helping students gain the skills required to succeed in today’s job market and to support our economy. This grant for the OMIC will further solidify their role in building partnerships between industry leaders and higher education institutions to develop these innovative learning programs.”
“I am glad the ‘Oregon Way’ approach of working together to find solutions has produced this great news that will help economic development and education in rural Oregon,” said Senator Ron Wyden. “These kinds of partnerships can unlock the huge potential of young Oregonians and serve as a model for the rest of the country.”
“If we don’t make things in America, we won’t have a middle class in America,” said Senator Jeff Merkley. “I’m proud that Oregon is showing the way forward with partnerships that help our students and businesses alike to prepare for the future and to lead the way in innovation. This grant is huge news for Oregon and a testament to the great work that is happening in our state.”
“This grant is a boon for Oregon’s next generation of innovators,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio. “We must continue to invest in our growing advanced manufacturing industry, which will provide high skilled, high-paying jobs for Oregon students and workers and help equip young people for success in the 21st century workplace.”
“OMIC’s Research and Development Center will help prepare Oregon for the economy of tomorrow,” said Congressman Earl Blumenauer. “Developing public-private partnerships in advanced manufacturing will help create good jobs and strengthen Oregon’s economy.”
“This investment is a big win for Oregon workers, helping them get the skills they need to land a better job,” Governor Kate Brown said. “We’re looking towards the future to support strong economies throughout the state, and training centers like these will help give our workforce the skills local businesses need to grow and thrive.”
All seven members of Oregon’s delegation made a joint request for the funding to Sec. Wilbur Ross in January.