By Office of U.S Senator Maria Cantwell| Press Release

Project expected to create roughly 150 jobs, generate millions in public, private investment in Darrington & other communities devastated by Oso mudslide

Cantwell, a longtime supporter of the project, wrote a letter of support for the grant application, worked directly with EDA to secure funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, announced the Town of Darrington will receive $6 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to purchase land and invest in infrastructure to help establish the Darrington Wood Innovation Center. Cantwell has long supported the project to invest in Snohomish County’s sustainable timber economy she wrote a letter of support for Darrington’s grant application and worked directly with the EDA and the town to secure the funding.

The first of its kind center will support sustainable mass timber manufacturing, business development, research, and education. It is expected to support roughly 150 direct timber industry jobs and bring millions of dollars in public and private investment to Darrington and other communities in rural Snohomish County that were devastated by the 2014 Oso mudslide. After witnessing the devastation firsthand, Cantwell has worked with Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin and Snohomish County to secure economic development and funding opportunities for the impacted communities.

“This $6 million federal grant is an important investment in the economies of Darrington and Snohomish County after the devastation of the Oso landslide seven years ago,” Senator Cantwell said. “The Darrington Wood Innovation Center would be the first of its kind in the United States, creating a campus where environmentally-friendly building materials, like cross-laminated timber, will be produced and where people will come to research and learn about these state-of-the-art wood products and how these products can be used to build next-generation, safe, and sustainable buildings. I am proud to have worked with Mayor Rankin and the community to support this project, which will create timber industry jobs in rural Snohomish County, and I will continue working to support Washington’s innovative mass timber industry.”

The Wood Innovation Center will establish a mass timber plant in Darrington, the first to be built entirely out of cross-laminated timber (CLT), which will house wood product companies in the area and promote the state’s growing mass timber industry. The innovative center will produce mass timber products, including CLT and modular housing, which are affordable, safe, and more environmentally-friendly than many other building materials, for construction projects throughout the state. It will enable Darrington and the State of Washington to compete internationally in the emerging mass timber industry and provide much-needed public and private economic investment in rural Snohomish County.

Senator Cantwell has long supported innovative, sustainable timber products and the development of the mass timber industry in Washington. In December 2018, her bipartisan Timber Innovation Act was signed into law. That legislation has helped accelerate the development the research and development of wood for use in construction projects – such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) – focusing on the construction of buildings more than 85 feet in height. She has also worked closely with the timber industry to support the sourcing and manufacturing of these environmentally-friendly and safe wood products in Washington.

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