Gov. John Kitzhaber, second from left, tours the Boise Cascade particleboard plant June 28. There he presented a check for a $166,000 forgivable loan. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
Boise Cascade forgivable loan part of Business Oregon program
Over the past 12 months, Boise Cascade has ramped up production in La Grande, hiring 70 new employees between Mount Emily Lumber and its particleboard plant.
The expansion was aided in part by a Business Oregon forgivable loan that helped pay for on-the-job training for 58 employees.The nearly year-long project culminated last weekend when Gov. John Kitzhaber presented Boise Cascade with a $166,000 check and toured the particleboard facility.
“Tom Insko read something about the governor’s strategic reserve fund,” said Steve Lyon, human resources manager at Boise Cascade. “We made contact, did a lot of paperwork and had a lot of meetings.”
Insko, inland region manager at Boise Cascade, and others began working with the state late last summer. Lyon said he had not previously heard of the forgivable loan program but that they are pleased with what it has allowed the company to do.
“It made the decision to increase the production at the facilities a whole lot easier,” he said.
Insko, during the governor’s tour, said the company still has much room for growth. Both Mount Emily Lumber and the particleboard plant could double production.
Forgivable loans from the governor’s strategic reserve fund come with stipulations, making them different from grants.
“It’s based in part on creating new jobs,” said Rachel Wray, Kitzhaber’s press secretary.
For the full story, see Wednesday's issue of The Observer