|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Assistance to Coal Communities||2||$450,000|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||1||$200,000|
|Regional Innovation Program||3||$1,300,000|
|Trade Adjustment Assistance||1||$1,170,418|
Chehalis, WA - Lewis County, Washington, is a region that has been heavily dependent on the extractive industries of timber harvesting and mining. The timber industry was severely impacted by the reduction in timber harvesting in the national forests since the 1990’s and almost all of the timber mills have closed. The coal mining industry supplied the adjacent coal fired power plant, the largest in the Pacific Northwest. However, approximately 10 years ago, the coal mine was closed and 750 high paying jobs were eliminated. Also, the coal fired plant is scheduled to close in the next few years, eliminating nearly 250 high paying jobs. The region is also prone to flooding and has recently experienced two Presidentially declared disasters by FEMA. There is a substantial need for economic diversification and employment opportunities in the region.
In August 2017, EDA invested $2,798,648 in Public Works funds to the Port of Chehalis for improvements consisting of filling, grading, storm water drainage and culverts to prepare a site for multi-tenant industrial development. The Port had a 25-acre site that had rail service and utilities, located in close proximity to the I-5 interstate, and strategically positioned between the two major metropolitan cities of Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. Several companies viewed the site but declined to relocate since it was not development ready.
The improvements will enhance the marketability of the site and industrial park by enabling existing businesses to expand while attracting new development to the region. This will lead to the diversification of the regional economy and provide greater employment opportunities for the displaced workers and underemployed.