$200K in grants available to help grow local manufacturing jobs

$200K in grants available to help grow local manufacturing jobs

This is a developing story. Watch KVAL News at 5 and 5:30 p.m. and KVAL.com Monday for more

EUGENE, Ore. - By the pint, can, bottle or keg, Eugene's Oakshire Brewing is on the grow.

The brewery turns out 6,500 barrels of beer - over 1.6 million pints.

And thanks to an economic development grant from Lane County, that number will likely continue to grow.

The money, funded by state lottery dollars, allowed Oakshire to buy new equipment.

"The centrifuge - this is the unit the grant allowed us to purchase," brewmaster Matt Vanwyk said. "This allows us to separate the yeast from the beer."

Long story short: the new equipment improved efficiency - and created jobs. Vanwyk is set to hire 11 more workers.

"With this plant expansion and the new centrifuge, we can grow up over 35 employees this year," he said.

Lane County officials are looking for more local businesses to invest in.

"I've spent years as a small business owner, and I must tell you, even if it's $20,000, it's amazing what that can do for business to help buy some equipment and create more jobs in the community," County Commissioner Sid Leiken said. "So yeah, it's very, very exciting."

The grants are available to certain types of businesses.

"Businesses that produce or manufacture some sort of product here in Lane County, and then exported out of lane county to bring in those new dollars, because that's how our local economy grows," economic developer Sarah Mizejewski said.

She said another $200,000 are up for grabs in this grant cycle.