|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||3||$385,875|
|Regional Innovation Strategies||1||$158,467|
Many Native American communities in Oregon and Washington state have high unemployment and limited economic opportunities, with low commercial activity and economies based upon natural resources. Native American communities that were historically dependent on timber had been hard hit by that industry’s long-term downturn, and needed ways to grow their economies and provide Tribal members job opportunities. However, there was an opportunity for Tribes to produce value-added timber products, but they needed technical assistance to market the products, especially internationally.
In 2011, EDA awarded the University of Washington $176,000 to help develop the marketing and managerial capacity of Native American communities in parts of Washington and Oregon to successfully export their timber products. This project was designed to expand the competitiveness of Tribal wood manufacturers by developing tribal exports and adding value to tribe’s timber resources. The project was substantially completed by the end of 2015, and has increased the ability of Native American communities to export their timber products.
By expanding their marketing capacity, this project increased the global competitiveness of tribal forestry enterprises, providing opportunities to manufacture higher value-added wood products and support the development of strategic export business plans. The project conducted three export workshops to increase tribal manager’s awareness and understanding of the export process and the use of wood within the Japanese market. The program also coordinated two tribal trade missions to Japan where tribal managers had the opportunity to see how wood was used in the Japanese home building industry, as well as to meet with potential customers at the Japan Home Show. A combination of export workshops and tribal trade missions proved to be effective, resulting in $36 million in tribal softwood lumber exports to Japan.