Skagit County’s Chinook Enterprises receives $200,000 manufacturing grant

Skagit County’s Chinook Enterprises receives $200,000 manufacturing grant Main Photo

8 Apr 2024


Chinook Enterprises, with support from EDASC, was awarded a $200,000 Evergreen Manufacturing Growth Grant from the State Department of Commerce to support its strategic expansion, increasing its manufacturing capacity while adding about 25 new jobs within two years.

The local manufacturer was one of 10 companies statewide to each be awarded $200,000 by Commerce. The grants were designed to accelerate manufacturing job growth and economic opportunity across the state, with a focus on rural communities. Together, the projects anticipate supporting up to an estimated 526 jobs over the next three years.

“Innovation is a hallmark of each of Washington state’s key growth industries. From aerospace and clean energy to agriculture and timber tech, eyeing the future and investing in emerging technologies keeps us globally competitive,” said Commerce Director Mike Fong. “These new grants will help to advance expansion of existing projects with potential to spur new economic growth and good jobs in communities throughout the state.”

EDASC will administer the state funds for Chinook Enterprises’ expansion project, which includes adding a new pole building and upgrading infrastructure at existing buildings.

Chinook Enterprises is a 43-year-old non-profit social enterprise that produces manufacturing and assembly solutions. Chinook follows an inclusive employment model that supports initiatives aimed at training, hiring, and retaining employees facing disabilities and other barriers. The project is a strategic expansion to meet increased demand by enhancing manufacturing capabilities, accommodating growth, and increasing the company’s workforce at its facility located at Skagit Valley College.

“EDASC was instrumental in notifying Chinook of the grant opportunity and assisting us with identifying pain points that would prohibit our business growth,” said Chinook Enterprises CEO Nikki Wegner.

“With the support of EDASC and Impact WA, we were able to refine the grant narrative to best describe how we can expand our infrastructure to make the most impact in the community, thereby planning to scale our footprint and increase employment, furthering our mission of inclusive employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and other barriers.”

Not only did EDASC help Chinook craft the grant application and aid in the submittal process but also will continue to help Chinook as it implements its expansion.

“We were thrilled to see Chinook Enterprises was among the 10 awardees for this very competitive grant,” said Aaron Weinberg, Economic Development Manager at EDASC. “That is a testament to Chinook’s excellent leadership and strong, feasible plans for growth.”