In an effort to invigorate manufacturing and employment opportunities across Washington state, the Commerce Department has introduced a groundbreaking initiative. The Evergreen Manufacturing program, backed by $2 million in grants, is set to drive innovation and economic development, particularly in rural regions. With each of the ten selected projects receiving $200,000, the program anticipates the creation of approximately 526 new jobs over the next three years. 

Commitment to Innovation: 

Mike Fong, Director of Commerce, underscores the pivotal role of innovation in sustaining Washington's key industries. He emphasizes the state's dedication to global competitiveness and highlights the transformative potential of emerging technologies in catalyzing economic growth across sectors such as aerospace, clean energy, agriculture, and timber technology.

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Diverse Project Selection: 

The grants have been distributed to a diverse array of projects proposed by local economic development groups, known as Associate Development Organizations (ADOs). These initiatives span from clean energy endeavors to inclusive employment models, reflecting the breadth of Washington's economic landscape. 

Notable Recipients: 

Projects like the Port of Whitman County's Alternative Energy Materials venture and Chinook Enterprises' expansion exemplify the program's multifaceted approach. The former aims to advance clean hydrogen production technology, while the latter focuses on enhancing manufacturing capabilities while championing inclusive employment practices. 

Cluster Collaborations: 

Cluster organizations, including the Consortium for Hydrogen and Renewably Generated E-fuels (CHARGE) and the Natural Resources Innovation Center (NRIC), have also received funding to spearhead collaborative ventures. These initiatives seek to drive innovation and sustainability within their respective industries, fostering a spirit of cooperation and progress. 

Long-Term Vision: 

Aligned with the state's ambitious goals outlined in the Building Economic Strength Through Manufacturing (BEST) Act, the Evergreen Manufacturing grants signify a concerted effort to add 300,000 new manufacturing jobs over the next decade. By nurturing innovation and collaboration, Washington State is poised to lead the way in manufacturing excellence and economic prosperity. 

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