At the Clearwater County Economic Development office we love to garden, not only the type that includes getting nicely composted soil under your fingernails but also Economic Gardening, where we cultivate community capacity, infrastructure, entrepreneurism and supporting local business growth.

During the month of May we worked on several initiatives that we expect to grow, ripen and result in job creation across the County. Over the past quarter we have been involved in writing grants to support public and private developments:

Activity Grantor Grant Amount Status

Weippe Basketball Court ID Community Foundation $ 4,891 Awarded

Clearwater Historic Society ID Community Foundation $ 2,200 Awarded

Clearwater Historic Society AVISTA Foundation $ 10,000 Pending

Economic Development ID Commerce $ 32,000 Awarded

Facilitating Innovation with Technology (FIT) USDA Rural Business

Development $ 4,881 Awarded

FIT US Bank $ 1,000 Pending

FIT Wells Fargo $ 1,000 Pending

Regional Market Assessment USDA Rural Business

Development $ 7,195 Awarded

IDYCA Facility Design & Engineering - Biomass Conversion USFS Wood Innovations $ 50,000 Awarded

IDYCA Science Classroom Benches US Bank $ 5,418 Pending

Community Capacity building and Infrastructure improvements represent the soils of an economic garden and our efforts last month included supporting the Clearwater Highway District as it tried to secure funding to repair damaged roads; participating in the startup of the wood pellet boiler at the Pierce Community Center; and supporting the ID Youth ChalleNGe Academy as it moves forward with the USFS Wood Innovation grant to design a wood boiler system at the Pierce campus.

Also supporting Weis Towers’ much anticipated development of cellular towers in Pierce and Weippe; we have introduced the Idaho PTECH (http://www.idahoptech.org/) to ID Youth Challenge and District 171 High Schools as a partner in professional and technical education; working in partnership with our regional drug & mental health court in a workforce development project; and assisting the IOOF and Rebekahs in Orofino on facility preservation opportunities and expansion of the National Register of Historic places designation across the County.

Entrepreneurs are the seeds in an economic garden and our Igniting Innovation group continues to grow. We directly supported four individuals with business development and planning.

Existing businesses are the perennial plants who provide for us year after year whether it be flowers or fruits. Last month we provided direct assistance and or expanded the networks of ten (10) existing businesses who collectively employ 190 folks in Clearwater County.

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