Build Back Better Awards Oregon Group

Oregon Mass Timber Coalition was named by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) as a finalist in the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge.

The coalition was awarded $500,000 to create a strategy for a Mass Timber Modular Manufacturing Facility at Marine Terminal 2 in Portland. The Oregon Mass Timber coalition is a partnership among the Port of Portland, Business Oregon, Oregon Dept. of Forestry, DLCD and the Tallwood Design Institute (a partnership between U of O and OSU). The vision is to support Oregon’s emerging mass timber industry, grow regional economic development opportunities, create career pathways and business opportunities for struggling communities, and accelerate housing production.

The coalition will advance to Phase 2 and compete for up to $100 million in American Rescue Plan funding to develop and scale mass timber manufacturing in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

The Oregon Mass Timber application was supported in a letter from the entire Oregon Congressional delegation, including Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Jeff Merkley, Congressman Peter DeFazio, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Congressman Kurt Schrader and Congressman Cliff Bentz. The letter highlights that the delegation “has worked collaboratively for many years to establish our state as a hub for mass timber products. This proposal to grow a regional cluster builds on past efforts to scale this industry and has the potential to revolutionize how America builds affordable homes.”

The EDA challenge is assisting communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks. The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is the largest economic development initiative from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce in decades.

Phase 1 of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge invited coalitions to apply for funding to implement a collection of three to eight distinct but related projects in their region. Projects need to be in coordination with industry and community partners, and aligned around a holistic vision to build and scale a strategic industry sector.

EDA received 529 applications from regions in all 50 states and five territories, and the 60 finalists represent regions that formed extraordinary coalitions, demonstrated regional needs, and presented bold proposals to grow their target industry clusters.

In Phase 2, finalists will compete for significant implementation assistance. EDA will award 20-30 coalitions each up to $100 million. These awards will assist communities in executing ambitious plans to supercharge their regional economies across a variety of strategic growth sectors.

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