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Timber Manufacturing To Increase In Pacific Northwest

A log truck rolls by in Columbia County.
Amelia Templeton
A log truck rolls by in Columbia County.

Oregon and southwest Washington make up one of 12 new regions accepted into the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership initiative.

The program is a federal effort to increase domestic manufacturing by "supporting the development of coordinated, long-term economic development strategies in communities," according to Business Oregon.

The U.S. Department of Commerce selected the regions based on competitive proposals. The first 12 regions were accepted last year and the Pacific Northwest was not among them.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Prtizker said the initiative is critical to the administration's efforts.

"To support American manufacturing, create good paying jobs and spur sustainable growth across our country," she said.

She said the designation is an important positive signal to potential investors in the Northwest and other parts of the country.

The Pacific Northwest Partnership Region will focus on reviving and modernizing the timber industry.

Cross-laminated timbers, a type of cross-hatched wood product, are as strong as steel or concrete and will be manufactured locally under the program.

On its website, Business Oregon says cross-laminated timbers have "significantly lower environmental impact, sequesters carbon and yet meets the same fire and safety code regulations as concrete and steel."

The new type of wood can even be used to frame skyscrapers.

Copyright 2015 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Courtney Christy