CRPUD Awards Grant for INSEAM Program

Deer Island, OR – April 27, 2020 – Northwest Oregon Works received a $7,500 Economic Development Grant from Columbia River PUD to expand its Industrial Sewing Education for the Arts and Manufacturing (INSEAM) program.

The PUD’s Board of Directors awarded the grant during their April 21 meeting.

INSEAM is working to expand its offering of industrial sewing classes in Columbia County. These classes are held at Oregon Aero in Scappoose and are designed to address a gap in the local workforce.

Columbia County is home to several businesses that rely on the industrial sewing industry. They have identified a lack of skilled workers in that field.

“What we’re trying to do is, No. 1, fill the existing need for industrial sewers,” said Northwest Oregon Works Program Manager Debra Smith. “No. 2, we’re trying to build a pipeline. There’s a large number of industrial sewers who will be retiring in the next few years. There’s going to be openings and there’s going to be a need for that pipeline.”

The industrial sewing classes can be completed in as little as two weeks. They are offered through Portland Community College at no cost. Northwest Oregon Works intends to use this grant money to hire an instructor, to develop and maintain a marketing program, and to purchase materials and supplies for the classes.

“I think it’s really great that you’re doing this,” said PUD Board Member Rob Mathers. “In our current situation, maybe you’ll have a bunch of applicants who want to stay local, and we can expand this business in Columbia County.”

CRPUD’s Economic Development Grant is designed to promote investment in long-term economic development and growth of business and industry within the CRPUD service area for the benefit of the local community and CRPUD customers. It is available to nonprofit corporations for projects meeting certain considerations and requirements.

This is the first Economic Development Grant awarded by CRPUD in 2020.