Northwest export program receives grant

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The Port of Clarkston (Wash.) will receive a $100,000 grant from the state to continue the Snake River Boat Builders Export Program.

Eight welded-aluminum jet boat manufacturers and one boat trailer manufacturer are in the program, which focuses on expanding exports to Europe. In January, the participants will exhibit in the Snake River Boat Builders Pavilion in Boot Düsseldorf in Germany, a leading international boat show.

The program was initiated and administered by the Clearwater Economic Development Administration in Lewiston, Idaho, and funded by a USDA grant. This latest grant will provide for a continuation of the program while transitioning administration responsibilities from the development agency to the port.

Clarkston, Wash., and Lewiston, Idaho, are on opposite sides of the Snake River in what is known as the Lewis-Clark Valley. Seventeen economic development organizations in Washington and Idaho are supporting the program, working together to position the area as the "Jet Boat Capital of the World."

"The new funding will allow us to provide additional on-the-job training here in the Lewis-Clark Valley and through expanded participation in Europe," said Wanda Keefer, manager of the Port of Clarkston, in a statement. "We now have the resources to fine-tune this very unique cluster development model, based on international trade, into something that can eventually be replicated throughout the state in a wide variety of industries."

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