Wyden, Merkley Announce Funding For Oregon in Financial Services Appropriations Bill

Washington, D.C. – Continuing efforts to improve the economic environment for Oregon’s businesses and provide training to local workers for good-paying jobs, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) have announced several Oregon projects included in the Senate Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill just approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“The projects for Oregon in this bill are designed to help businesses thrive and create jobs,” Wyden said. “They provide the incentives for economic revitalization in Salem, expand a hotbed of new economic activity in Coos Bay and help train metal workers at Portland Community College to meet growing demand. All of these projects mean more jobs and a better skilled workforce.”

“With the unemployment rate stagnating in double-digits, we must get Oregon back on track and create jobs,” said Merkley.  “These projects will attract new businesses to Salem by revitalizing the downtown area, provide Oregonians in Portland with the training necessary to start careers, and give businesses in Coos Bay a better chance at success.  I will continue working to get these projects approved by the full Senate to ensure that these new jobs for Oregon become a reality.”

The Senate Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill is expected to be considered by the full Senate and upon passage will be reconciled with the version passed by the House of Representatives before being sent to the President for his signature.

Projects in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill include:

Downtown Revitalization “Toolbox” Program – $150,000 – City of Salem

Funds will be used to continue revitalization incentives for businesses in downtown Salem. Such incentives include interior and exterior matching grant funds, below market rate commercial loans and special housing opportunity funds to encourage development of all types of housing. Since 2003, the Toolbox program has helped to reduce building vacancies and improve the economic viability of the area.

Business Center Incubator Expansion/Renovation – $125,000 – Port of Coos Bay

Funds will be used to expand and renovate the Business Center Incubator building in the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport’s Business Park in North Bend. The additional capacity will allow the Port to provide space and services to five of the ten businesses currently on the waiting list.

Swan Island Training Center – $125,000 – Portland Community College

Funds will be used to increase the available student capacity at the Swan Island Training Center by more than 44 students. The center provides training for workers in welding and other metal trades, providing a workforce to meet the growing demand for skilled metal workers.